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Tamil Nadu: After video by tribal woman alleges apathy, Chengalpet collector takes action

After the woman from the Narikuravar community claimed that the loan assistance to set up shops, promised by CM Stalin, was yet to be released, the collector said necessary action has been taken to address the issue.

After a woman from the tribal Narikuravar community in Tamil Nadu alleged that the loan assistance promised to the community by CM M K Stalin was yet to be released, Chengalpet district collector A R Rahul Nadh met members of the Narikuravar community. (Photo credit: YouTube\ABP Nadu)

After a woman from the indigenous, semi-nomadic tribal Narikuravar community in Tamil Nadu alleged – in a video which soon went viral – that the loan assistance promised to the community by Chief Minister M K Stalin was yet to be released, Chengalpet district collector A R Rahul Nadh met members of the Narikuravar community on Thursday, allocated shops to them and assured them that more measures would be taken to assist them soon.

The collector said orders for a total of three shops have been issued and claimed that basic facilities, including road, drinking water and toilets – worth Rs 1.5 crore, have been implemented in Mahabalipuram’s Poonjeri village where the community resides.

In November last year, Stalin had visited tenements of the Irular and Narikuravar community members in Poonjeri and distributed house pattas (deeds), community certificates, besides launching other welfare schemes.

A few days ago, a member of the Narikuravar community, identified as Ashwini Sekar, told a local news channel that no one in their community received bank loans to set up shops as announced by the chief minister when he visited them. She claimed that the bank manager informed the community members that they would get a loan only if they have a shop, despite having identification, including Aadhaar and voter ID. Sekar said existing shopkeepers in the area were mocking them and that they were helpless.

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Addressing reporters on Thursday, collector Nadh said a total of eight members had applied for a loan through the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) and among them, Ashwini Sekar had applied for a loan of Rs 5 lakh. “The loan was sanctioned, but since it could be disposed of only if they rent a shop and submit the agreement of the shop to the bank, the loan process got delayed,” he said.

The collector noted that the district administration had shown shops in several areas to Sekar, but since she wanted it in a particular spot and the place was already full, they were not able to allocate her one.

Speaking to media persons after receiving the collector’s order on Thursday, Sekar said, “I am very happy to receive this order… My children will now study and have a good future”.

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Nadh said measures were underway to help the rest of the community members avail of the loan at the earliest. Further, he said, orders have been issued and they have directed Mamallapuram town panchayat officials to immediately commence construction work of the 22 houses sanctioned by the government to the community members.

First published on: 19-08-2022 at 02:19:53 pm
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