TIRUCHI: The catalytic role of village panchayat presidents in identifying beneficiaries of Central and State schemes was underlined by District Panchayat Chairperson V. Sankeetha Vasanthakumar here on Wednesday.
Inaugurating a ‘Capacity-building programme for elected Dalit representatives,’ organised jointly by Tamizhnadu Association of Dalit Action Movement (THADAM), Human Rights Federation for Dalit Liberation, Tamil Nadu, and the Une Ong De Development, Puducherry, Ms. Sankeetha called upon panchayat presidents hailing from the Dalit community to be aware of schemes benefiting the weaker sections. The presidents should identify the beneficiaries of schemes such as the Muthulakshmi Reddy Memorial Marriage Assistance Scheme and the monthly assistance programme for the disabled and the poor.
THADAM convener V.K. Amirthavalli said the programme aimed at explaining to the elected Dalit representatives the powers and responsibilities entrusted with the village panchayats and for imparting training in evolving solutions for problems.
The meeting adopted a resolution urging the State government to allot ‘panchami’ lands to Dalits.
She urged the State government to constitute a committee headed by a Madras High Court judge to assess the extent of ‘panchami’ land available in the State and for retrieving the land under the landlords.
It also pleaded for proper maintenance of group houses constructed decades ago for the Dalits. The houses were in a dilapidated condition due to non-maintenance.
Resolutions pleading for passage of Women’s Bill in Parliament with special reservation of 20 per cent for Dalit women and allocation of additional funds for rural local bodies were also adopted.