Hyderabad: Implementation of the ‘Telangana Dalit Bandhu’ scheme has been welcomed by the Telangana government with the release of Rs 7.60 crore, thus providing assistance to 76 Dalit families in Vasalamarri village of Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district on Thursday.Also Read - Complete Lockdown in Telangana After Eid? Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao To Take Final Decision Shortly

The implementation came a day after Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao visited his adopted village Vasalamarri where he interacted with Dalit families. The release of the financial aid of Rs 7.60 crore was issued by the Scheduled Castes development department through Government Order (GO) which permitted the Telangana Scheduled Castes Co-operative Development Corporation (TSCCDC) to hand over the aid to the district collector for implementation of the benefit of Dalit households in Alair Assembly constituency. Also Read - K Chandrasekhar Rao inspects renovation works at Yadagirigutta temple

The Chief Minister said that a sum of Rs 10 lakh will be deposited in each beneficiary family’s bank account from Thursday and the beneficiaries are free to spend the money as desired but further advised them to use it to create a source of revenue. Also Read - Telangana CM to launch Rythu Bandhu scheme in Huzurabad

During the interaction, he asked the people what they would do with Rs 10 lakh to which the beneficiaries responded in multitudes; setting up a dairy farm, buying tractors, and doing business.

Though last week, the State Cabinet decided to implement the scheme on a pilot basis in Huzurabad Assembly constituency from August 16, yet the program has been rolled out for Alair constituency from Thursday, which has received criticism from opposition parties and NGO’s calling out a “political stunt.”  Former Minister Eatala Rajender’s resignation from Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made the seat vacant. His resignation came after he was dropped from the KCR’s Cabinet following allegations of land encroachment.

A non-governmental organization, The Forum for Good Governance has urged the Election Commission of India to stop the implementation of Dalit Bandhu scheme in Huzurabad stating it to aimed at luring the voters; by-elections are likely to be held in Huzurabad soon. Some activists have moved to the High Court challenging the implementation of the pilot project in Huzurabad.

The government said that the Dalit Bandhu scheme is aimed at providing financial assistance to each of the identified Dalit families thus promoting entrepreneurship among them.

KCR said that through the financial assistance given under the scheme, the Dalit community should develop itself as a business community by selecting industries, employment, and business of their choice. Under the first phase, 100 families from each of the 119 Assembly constituencies will be identified. The government has announced an allocation of Rs 1,200 crore for the scheme. The Chief Minister said his government was ready to spend even Rs 1 lakh crore for the scheme. He exuded confidence that the scheme will become a torchbearer for the Dalit community in the entire country.

(With input from IANS)