Telangana

Telangana to launch direct cash transfer scheme for Muslims living below poverty line

Published : October 06, 2021 11:25 IST

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao. Photo: PTI

Telangana will soon have a scheme that will be specifically focussed on the empowerment of Muslims living below the poverty line (BPL), similar to its flagship “Telangana Dalit Bandhu” scheme.

Telangana will soon have a scheme that will be specifically focussed on the empowerment of Muslims living below the poverty line (BPL), similar to its flagship “Telangana Dalit Bandhu” scheme.

Announcing this on October 5, the Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao said: “Inshallah, we will go forward like this. Even among Muslims there are many pasmanda [marginalised], we know it. I am saying that on every person’s face in Telangana there should be a glow, be it Muslims, Dalits, or our B.C. [Backward Classes] brothers.” Adding that there will be a Dalit Bandhu-like scheme for Muslims, the Chief Minister said: “All fact finding committees have mentioned that the community is in a bad state.”

The government’s “Telangana Dalit Bandhu” scheme is aimed at economic and social empowerment of Dalits across the State. Touted as the country’s biggest direct benefit transfer scheme, it aims to provides Rs.10 lakh to each Dalit family in the State. Under the first phase of the scheme, 100 Dalit families from the State’s 119 Assembly constituencies will be identified. The government has already announced an allocation of Rs.1,200 crore for the scheme. Beneficiaries of the scheme can utilise the Rs.10 lakh financial assistance to start or develop a business of their choice.

The Dalit Bandhu scheme kicked off on August 5 in the Chief Minister’s adopted village of Vasalamarri in Thurkapally mandal in Yadadri-Bhongir district, benefiting 76 Dalit families. The Chief Minister said his government was ready to spend even Rs.1 lakh crore for the scheme.

The success of the Dalit Bandhu cash transfer scheme prompted Asaduddin Owaisi, president, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and Hyderabad Member of Parliament, to demand the inclusion of Muslims living below the poverty line in Telangana to be also included in the scheme.

Owaisi lamented the fact that though Muslims in Telangana face a deprivation that is similar to what Dalits face, they (Muslims) “do not receive the same kind of governmental support”. Stating that the Centre for Economic and Social Studies had estimated that 8.5 per cent of Muslims live below poverty line in Telangana, Owaisi had said that “if extremely poor Muslim households were given the same amount, it would go a long way in improving their lives”.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has criticised both the Dalit Bandhu scheme and Owaisi’s call for a similar scheme for Muslims.

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