Over 6,000 students belonging to nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes in the State will get benefits under the Vidya Siri scheme of the State government from this academic year.
Speaking to presspersons here on Saturday, Minister for Social Welfare H. Anjaneya said people belonging to nomadic tribes were living in a pathetic condition.
“No amount of beneficial schemes, including housing, will be more rewarding than the scheme that will help get them educated to stand on their own two feet,” the Minister said.
At present, these students are paid Rs. 200 a month towards boarding and lodging facilities. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has agreed to enhance this amount to Rs. 1,500 a month, Mr. Anjaneya said.
People belonging to Golla, Budabudake, Jogi, Helava, Killekyata, Bundebesta, Dombidasa, Havadigar and others are in large numbers in Chitradurga, Davangere, Yadgir, Gulbarga, Belgaum, Tumkur, Raichur and Chickballapur districts. The department has been unable to accommodate all the students of these communities who had applied for admission to post-matric hostels; hence the decision to extend the Vidya Siri scheme to them.
Mr. Anjaneya said as many as 6,104 students would stand to gain from the extension of the scheme and the government will spend Rs. 9.15 crore for it.
This is in addition to the maximum cap of 20,000 students fixed for the scheme, he said. Apart from Vidya Siri, the government will spend Rs. 50 crore for the welfare of these tribes, the Minister said.Good response
The Vidya Siri scheme has received an overwhelming response from students belonging to Other Backward Classes and 3.81 lakh applications, including applications for post-matric scholarships, have been received.
Among these, 20,000 will get the Vidya Siri benefits and 1.52 lakh will get scholarship facilities. Many of the applicants are already boarders in department hostels and their applications for Vidya Siri would not be considered, Mr. Anjaneya said.