The social security and welfare scheme being implemented in the State for the agricultural workers, and small and marginal farmers in the last three years became a great success and a boon to the agricultural workers and farmers, said K.P. Ramalingam, chairman of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Workers Welfare Board, here on Wednesday.

Distributing various types of welfare assistance to the tune of Rs. 65.12 lakh to 487 beneficiaries of agricultural workers and small farmers under the social security welfare scheme, Dr. Ramalingam said till end of September about 1.73 crore members were registered as members with the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Workers Welfare Board from the 76 lakh family card holders.

Dr. Ramalingam pointed out that a total welfare assistance to the extent of Rs. 348 crore had so far been distributed 4.48 lakh beneficiaries in the last three years in the State of which about Rs.133 crore was disbursed to 1.08 lakh families at Rs.12,500 per family as compensation for natural death of the head of the family and for performing funeral rites.

The chairman said that under the scheme, the agricultural workers and small farmers would get marriage assistance for the members and their children, old age pension, education grant, maternity assistance and a compensation of Rs. one lakh, if the breadwinner of the family died in accident. Besides, the members were also being covered under the Chief Minister Kalaignar’s Health Insurance Scheme for Life Saving Treatment.

Dr. Ramalingam said that Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi was taking special interest in the welfare of the farmers and agricultural workers and according priority for implementing several welfare schemes. He said that as many as 4,644 families were given a total compensation of Rs. 45.33 crore for the death of the head of the family in accidents since the implementation of the scheme. The government has also decided to give free dhotis and saris also to the persons getting old age pension under the scheme, he said.

Collector T. Soundiah who presided over the function said that steps were taken to enrol more agricultural workers and farmers as members under the social security scheme and pointed out that as many as 7.25 lakh members had so far been registered under the scheme. He said that welfare assistance of more than Rs.10 crore had so far been disbursed to 11,369 beneficiaries in Tiruchi district.

The Collector pointed out that the scheme was being implemented effectively in the district and appealed to the farm labourers, small and marginal farmers to register their names under the scheme to get various benefits from the government.

MLAs K.N. Sekaran, Soundapandian and Anbil Periasamy, District Revenue Officer V. Dakshinamurthy and others spoke.

Earlier, Dr. Ramalingam who reviewed the progress and implementation of the agricultural workers and farmers social security scheme with the Collector and other officials, appreciated the district administration for achieving good progress.