Higher Education Minister V.S. Acharya said on Friday that the State Government had allotted Rs. 40 crore for welfare schemes to uplift the backward communities. He was inaugurating Sri Maharshi Valmiki Jayanti celebrations organised by the district administration and the zilla panchayat here.

Dr. Acharya said the State Government had decided to build Valmiki Bhavans at a cost of Rs. 1 crore each in 18 districts. Hostels for students coming from weaker sections of society would be built in 32 of the 114 most backward taluks identified by the Nanjundappa Committee Report. This would benefit 3,800 students.

To help students of weaker classes to appear for the civil service examinations, the Government would pay for their training in best institutions. Nearly 35,000 students got benefits of the Morarji Desai and other schools built for their benefit in the State.

The Government had formulated several programmes to provide education, training, employment, housing and basic civic amenities to the people belonging to weaker classes.

Valmiki, Vyasa and Kalidasa were three great poets of Sanskrit literature. There was a misconception that Sanskrit language was the exclusive preserve of upper castes. But Valmiki, Vyasa and Kalidasa belonged to backward communities and made stellar contribution to Sanskrit literature, Dr. Acharya said.

Writer and president of Udupi District Kannada Sahitya Parishat Ambatanaya Mudrady said that Valmiki Jayanti celebrations should not be confined to a single community. Valmiki was the foremost poet of the country and belonged to all people and not to any one community. Knowledge and talent was not restricted to any one community. Everyone could aspire and strive to achieve it, Mr. Mudrady said.

Coordinator of the Integrated Tribal Development Project Urmila welcomed the gathering. MLA Raghupati Bhat presided over the function. Deputy Commissioner P. Hemalatha, chief executive officer of the zilla panchayat N. Rajashekhar, and zilla panchayat member Gerald Fernandes were present.

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