The government-run hostels for students from the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes need to shed their image as places of mismanagement and corruption, Minister for Social Welfare H. Anjaneya has said.

At a function organised by the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe workers of the Social Welfare Department here on Wednesday, the Minister said the government might think of steps such as installing surveillance cameras in these hostels in the light of innumerable complaints received against wardens and cooks.

Mr. Anjaneya said that wardens and cooks need to undergo formal training on issues such as student management and nutrition. “The government provides enough provisions, vegetables, and infrastructure. Even so there are endless complaints,” said the Minister, and urged the employees in hostels to work with sincerity for the cause of children’s education.

About B.R. Ambedkar’s contribution to society, the Minister said that he was a great national leader and restricting him as the icon of any particular community was “an injustice done to him.” His call to the people to “educate, agitate and organise” should not be seen as a message for just the Scheduled Castes, but to all depressed sections of society, Mr. Anjaneya said.

He regretted that another important Dalit leader, the late Jagjivan Ram, who served as Deputy Prime Minister, could never become the Prime Minister. “It was a missed political opportunity for the Dalit community,” Mr. Anjaneya said.

Meritorious students from hostels run by the department and children of workers who scored high marks in SSLC and PU exams were felicitated on the occasion.

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