Vijayawada: Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy will felicitate volunteers for the fourth consecutive year on February 15 at Phirangipuram in the Guntur district. The ‘Volunteers Ku Vandanam’ felicitation programme is scheduled to be held across the state for seven days in a festive atmosphere after its inauguration by the CM. This year, the Chief Minister increased the cash incentives/awards to Seva Vajra to Rs 45,000 from Rs 30,000, the Seva Ratna to Rs 30,000 from Rs 20,000 and Seva Mitra to Rs 15,000 from Rs 10,000.

The Chief Minister often described the volunteer system as the backbone of the welfare programmes. The entire country has been observing the functioning of the system in AP, with inspiration and surprise, he has noted. Jagan Mohan Reddy called the volunteer force as the Jagan Army taking the welfare schemes to the doorsteps of families, in a sincere and transparent manner. Volunteers are extending the benefits of nearly 25 welfare programmes to lakhs of eligible beneficiaries, with a sense of unflinching commitment, he said.

Officials said Jagan Mohan Reddy is disbursing Rs 392.05 crore in cash awards to 2,55,464 volunteers across the state in three categories. The Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government expresses deep gratitude for the invaluable services rendered by volunteers and remains steadfast in its commitment to support them, they said. The officials explained that, in addition, 997 volunteers, who collected good quality

testimonials from beneficiaries of the YSR Pension Kanuka, Aasara and other schemes were selected in a transparent manner by a committee headed by the district collectors, and are awarded cash prizes of Rs.61 crore.

Each volunteer would receive Rs 15,000 at the mandal/town/ municipal corporation levels, Rs 20,000 at the constituency level, and Rs 25,000 at the district level. Awards will be presented in three categories to volunteers who have delivered continuous service for at least one year. Explaining about the awards, the officials said that the Seva Vajra awards are bestowed in the form of a certificate, a shawl, a badge, a medal, and a cash prize of Rs 45,000. The award is presented to the first five volunteers who attain the highest rank in each Assembly constituency. A total of 875 volunteers are being recognised across 175 Assembly constituencies in the state.

Regarding Seva Ratna, the top five ranked volunteers in each mandal/municipality and the top 10 in each municipal corporation are given the Seva Ratna award. A total of 4,150 volunteers will be awarded in the state with a certificate, shawl, badge and a cash prize of Rs 20,000. In the Seva Mitra category, a total of 2,50,439 volunteers who have worked for a year without any complaints or disputes across the state are eligible for the Seva Mitra award. The award is given in the form of a certificate, shawl, badge, and a cash prize of Rs 15,000.

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