A total of 36 Periyar Memorial Samathuvapurams will be created in the State in the next financial year, said M.K. Stalin, Deputy Chief Minister.

He was inaugurating a samathuvapuram at Lakshminaickanpatti village in Uthamapalayam panchayat union here on Tuesday.

“We want to open more and more samathuvapurams to create an atmosphere that treats all persons equal. The DMK government had opened 142 samathuvapurams in the State during its previous term. After change of government, The AIADMK not only abandoned the scheme but also failed to maintain the existing ones. Again, the DMK government had developed 29 samathuvapurams in 2008-09 and 30 in 2009-10. It had planned to develop 36 samathuvapurams next year,” Mr. Stalin said.

Praising the excellent performance of SHGs, Mr. Stalin said that SHG concept that was launched in 1989 was snowballed in to a great movement, thanks to massive participation, involvement and dedication of SHG members. The SHGs women were the symbol of duty, nobility and discipline. Progress of women was the basis for development of nation.

The SHGs in Tamil Nadu stood first in the country in garnering funds from nationalised banks. It had garnered Rs.1,159 crore against a total disbursal of Rs.1,844 crore by the nationalised banks to 2.64 lakh SHGs in the country, he said.

The State government, that has been giving special emphasis for women development, would bring more benefits to women, he said and appealed to them to extend full support to the government that supported them. Such uninterrupted support to the DMK government will help them get these benefits continuously and more benefits in the years to come, he added.

Mr. Stalin spent one and half hours to hand over cheques to members of 2,560 SHGs personally.

The Deputy Chief Minister laid foundation stone for 79 projects at an estimated cost of Rs.50.12 crore, inaugurated 110 new buildings constructed at a cost of Rs.21.21 crore and disbursed welfare aid worth Rs.27.03 crore. The Collector P. Muthuveeran listed development works executed by the district administration. Later, Mr. Stalin left for Sivaganga to inaugurate another samathuvapuram.