BANGALORE: Expressing concern at the lack of sanitation facilities in backward regions of the state, Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda announced to enhance the subsidy for constructing individual toilets in such places from the existing Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000.
Speaking at the 121st birth anniversary celebrations of Dr BR Ambedkar organised by the social welfare department at the Vidhana Soudha on Saturday, he said that this would be effected in Gulbarga, Raichur, Yadgir, Koppal, Bellary and Bidar districts this year. “More districts will be considered after discussions with the social welfare department,” he said.
He vowed to end the practice of Dalit women in parts of rural Karnataka waiting till sunset to relieve themselves by extending financial assistance to construct toilets free of cost. “This practice will be history when we meet this time next year.”
He stated that his government has taken several steps for the empowerment of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. He said that the annual outlay for the social welfare department has been fixed at a record Rs 7,200 crore. “The doors of my office are wide open to all round-the-clock.”
Social Welfare minister A Narayanaswamy appealed to the oppressed classes to avail the Right to Education Act.
“The state government is committed to implementing the RTE Act, which has been approved by the Cabinet.”
Kannada and Culture Minister Govind M Karjol expressed concern at the trend of facilities meant for Dalits being misutilised by other communities.
Several dignitaries, including former state BSP president B Gopal, Unviersity of Mysore professor D Ramaswamy were presented with the Dr Ambedkar award.