AT A time when Haryana Assembly elections are less than four months away, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday announced a host of measures in favour of the Scheduled Castes, who comprise 20 per cent of the state’s population.
In Jind, where he was chief guest at a state-level function organised on the 621st birth anniversary of Sant Kabir Das, Khattar announced in-principle approval for implementation of the ‘Scheduled Caste A and B categorisation’ in educational institutions from the upcoming academic session.
Explaining the issue, architect and Dalit activist Devi Das Valmiki said Dalits are divided into two categories — chamar and non-chamar. “We from non-chamar communities have been demanding separate reservation within the SC quota for government jobs and admission in educational institutions. Today, the chief minister has announced categorisation of SCs in two categories for admission in educational institutions. But in our point of view, this reservation system is more needed for government jobs.”
The CM announced that about 25,000 government jobs would soon be advertised and pending posts meant for SCs that are lying vacant will be filled.
He also declared that 11 new government hostels would be set up across the state to provide more education opportunities to the oppressed and deprived sections of society.
Khattar said that from July 1, the state government would organise tours for SCs to visit the birthplace of Sant Kabir Das and Sant Ravidas at Varanasi, and the pilgrimage of Maharshi Valmiki at Amritsar. Those interested can get their registration done in the deputy commissioner’s office and would be provided second class reserved train tickets free of cost. Initially, 100-100 devotees each from every Assembly constituency will be given the opportunity every year. This way, 9,000 pilgrims will visit these places in a year. It will be on first come, first serve basis and a family will be given this benefit only once.
The chief minister also said that in the first week of July, 1.25 lakh BPL card-holders will be given their cards at their doorstep. He said that the present state government has started celebrating the birth anniversaries of all great men at the government level, be it Sant Kabir Das Jayanti, Sant Ravidas Jayanti or Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti or Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar Jayanti.