Poverty alleviation committees have been formed in 196 village panchayats in Villupuram district under ‘Pudhu Vazhvu Thittam’ (new life project), according to Rural Industries Minister P.Mohan.

He was speaking at a special mass contact programme organised by the district administration in Kallakurichi panchayat union office here on Sunday to give away welfare assistance worth Rs. 76.79 lakh to 561 beneficiaries.

Mr. Mohan said that the project was being implemented in select five backward blocks of the district. The objective was to empower rural people to take up livelihood ventures to alleviate poverty.

“Being implemented through the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department, the project is inclusive in nature because it totally involves target groups such as poor households, most vulnerable sections of society, physically challenged and marginalised communities,” he said.Under the project, skill development training was imparted so far to 14,574 youths in the identified five blocks. The project also aimed at improving infrastructure of village panchayats.

– Special Correspondent