Staff Reporter

KARUR: The government machinery should ensure that financial benefits intended for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes reached the intended beneficiaries. At the same time, the Adi Dravidas should fully acquaint themselves with the numerous welfare measures and schemes and make use of them, Secretary, Department of Social Reforms, R. Christodass Gandhi, said here on Tuesday.

At a workshop to enlighten officials and stakeholders on ‘Special Component Plan,’ Mr. Gandhi said that the Centre adopted the plan in 1980 especially to ensure that the SCs and STs developed on a par with the rest of the society. While the Central allocation was 14 per cent of the budget, the States were to allot 19 per cent of the budgetary grants under the plan for the specific welfare and development measures for the targeted population.

Collector T.N. Venkatesh said that new buildings to house Adi Dravida welfare schools and hostels were being constructed in several places. Besides, loans were being granted to individuals. Under ‘Odi Varum Unnatham’ scheme, the district administration was reaching out to the Adi Dravidas at their doorstep and providing community and other required certificates. So far the scheme has been implemented in four taluks and in the Thogamalai taluk alone 1,011 Adi Dravidas have benefited.

Through Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar Housing and Development Corpopration (TAHDCO), training was being imparted to identified Adi Dravida community students in hotel management and catering technology and the beneficiaries have found gainful employment in restaurants in Tirupur and Salem among other places.

The district administration and the Federation of SC, ST Government Employees’ Associations organised the workshop in which a lot of government officials, among others, participated.