Minister for Tribal Welfare P. Balaraju said that the fruits of development should reach all sections of people as was envisioned by the Father of the Constitution Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

Participating as chief guest at a meeting organised at the Ambedkar Bhavan at Marripalem on Wednesday, he recalled the services of Dr. Ambedkar in improving the conditions of the oppressed sections through the Constitution. He said that the Government was providing several schemes to poor. He recalled that the late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had understood the problems of the poor and had granted several welfare schemes for them.

Mr. Balaraju said that the ‘Bhu pampini' (land distribution) programme was taken up all over the State to mark the birth anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar. He said that about 8,000 acres of land would be distributed in the district under the programme. While ST beneficiaries would be given 4,100 acres, SC would be given 452 acres of land. He said that all eligible Dalit families would be given land, provided Government land was available. He recalled that a total of 14 lakh acres of forest land was distributed to tribals in the State under the Forest Rights Act on the intervention of former Chief Minister Rajasekhara Reddy.

Payakaraopeta MLA Golla Babu Rao called upon the people to avail of the schemes introduced by the Government.

Joint Collector Pola Bhaskar, Additional Joint Collector S. Satyanarayana, former MLA G. Sumana, Dalit leaders Chinna Rao, Penta Rao and Malleswara Rao were among those who spoke

Earlier, the Minister garlanded a portrait of Dr. Ambedkar and paid tributes.

Tributes paid

Cutting across party lines, representatives from various political parties, trade unions and others on Wednesday paid glowing tributes to Bharat Ratna B.R. Ambedkar on the occasion of his birthday.

Ambedkar statue near LIC junction attracted several leaders and activists, who offered floral tributes and took a pledge to propagate his ideals and strive hard to achieve his dream for a casteless society.

Telugu Desam district president Ch. Ayyanna Patrudu, former MP M.V.V.S. Murthi, MLA V.R.K. Babu and others garlanded the statue. Congress MP Sabbam Hari, CPI district secretary J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy, CPI (M) district president Ch. Narsinga Rao and BJP city president Nagendra and national executive member K. Haribabu described Dr. Ambedkar as the champion of dalits and called for steps to achieve social justice for the oppressed.

Mr. Narsinga Rao earlier led a rally on behalf of Kulavivaksha Porata Samiti and burnt an effigy of caste. The CITU activists staged a dharna at the statue in protest against non-payment of wages to sanitary workers for past four months for the service they rendered at the Government Hospital for Mental Health.

Dalita Hakkula Porata Samiti president Devi Prabhakar alleged the diversion of funds meant for dalit welfare and said this showed lack of commitment by the rulers for social justice. NTPC Executive Director (HR) S. Kumar recalled the contribution of Dr. Ambedkar for the Constitution. He was speaking at the birthday celebrations of Dr. Ambedkar at Sakuntalam auditorim of Deepanjalinagar by NTPC Simhadri. General Manager in-charge of Simhadri D.K. Sood and others offered floral tributes. Sports kits and electric items were distributed by the company to the children of social welfare hostel. Prizes were distributed to the winners of various competitions conducted for children of social welfare hostels. Later a community lunch was organised.

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