Hyderabad: The Chief Minister Mr N Kiran Kumar Reddy has assured that he would utilize the opportunity given to him to head the state, to help the SCs, STs, BCs and Minorities. He said he had never indulged in vote bank politics and asserted he would not attempt it now.
Participating in the 185th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Jhotiro Phule, organized by the B C Welfare Department at Ravindra Bharathi here on Monday, he said he was pained that issues like female infant mortality and low literacy rate of the women were still continuing to haunt the society, though the magnitude of these problems had diminished.
The Chief Minister said that Mahatma Phule strove to root out caste discrimination and early marriages from the Indian society and worked to improve the literacy levels in the Dalits and women. He said though the awareness among the people on these issues had increased and the magnitude of the problems had decreased, the issues still continue to haunt the society, he lamented.
Quoting the senses, he said according to the 1951 Census report, the over all literacy rate in the country was 27 percent and the women’s literacy rate was a mere 8.8 percent. According to the Census-2010, the literacy rate has now shot up to 82 percent and the literacy rate of women had also remarkably increased to 65 percent. He however lamented that women’s literacy rate was still less than the national average even in this advanced age. Nearly 30 percent of girls were still out of the school, he pointed out and said the inequality in male and female ratio was an example of continuing female infant mortality. Expressing anxiety over the slowing up of female births, he said while there were 946 women for 1, 000 men 1951, the number has decreased to 914 for 1000 men.
Reacting to the suggestion of the BC union leaders to lead an all party delegation to New Delhi on the issue of 33 percent reservation to BCs in the legislative bodies – as it would strengthen his position – Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy said that he had never indulged in vote bank politics. He however said the issue raised by the BC unions was justified. He said Constitutional amendment was required for it. He has added that the quota to BCs was presently linked to the issue of reservations to women, as some political parties were stating that there should be a quota for women even in the BC reservations.
The Chief Minister has assured that 50 percent quota to women in local body elections would come into force from the next elections.
Reacting to the slogans raised some students and youth demanding release of scholarships, the Chief Minister reiterated that the tuition fee reimbursement and scholarships schemes would be continued inspite of financial problems. He also felt that irregularities and misappropriation of funds were taking place here and there in the disbursement of tuition fee reimbursement and scholarships. The Government was trying to cap them up and bring transparency in the system, he added. The ultimate aim of the Government was to ensure tuition fee reimbursement and payment of scholarships to every eligible poor student.
“The demand of the students remind me of an old saying. They say that people would hurl stones only at a tree that bears fruits” the Chief Minister said. He said the Government had allocated Rs 1,743 crores in the current budget for scholarships of BCs and EBCs and it was estimated that 17 lakh students would be sanctioned scholarships.
The Guest teachers were also made vein effort to disrupt the speech of the Chief Minister by raising slogans demanding recognition of them as “Contract Residential Teachers”.
Ministers – Mr. Basavaraju Saraiah, Mr. Mukesh Goud, Mr. Danam Nagender, Mr. Dokka Maniskhya Varapasad and Mr. Pitani Satyanarayana, the former Chairman of Legislative Council, Dr. Chakraphani, GHMC Mayor, Ms. Banda Kartheeka Reddy, MLAs Mr. Chandrasekhar and Mr. Christopher Lazarus and the former MLC, Ms. Ganga Bhavani were among those who have attended the programme. (NSS)