ANDHRA PRADESH

Special package for social welfare hostel inmates

CUDDAPAH, MARCH. 3. A special package of Rs. 60 crores was formulated for the welfare of social welfare hostel inmates as part of `one crore boons' scheme, said the Commissioner of Social Welfare, P. Sundara Kumar, on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the package was part of the department's budget of Rs. 807 crores and included Rs. 400 crores allotted for the education, maintenance of hostels and disbursement of scholarships. The department proposed extension of loans ranging from Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 2.50 lakhs to six lakh poor families in the State.

He lamented that the pass percentage was dissatisfactory, despite providing facilities for SC students by spending crores of rupees. Specialised training would be imparted for 10,000 hostel staff at the divisional, district and State-levels, so that they could create awareness among parents to admit their children in hostels, he said.

Model hostels would be chosen and facilities in them improved, besides introducing computer education in five best SW hostels in each district, Mr. Sundara Kumar stated. Girls hostel inmates would be trained on tailoring, he added.

Training camp

The Commissioner, garlanded a portrait of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and inaugurated a day-long training camp for hostel wardens and matrons at the SW hostel at Vallur mandal headquarters, where he also released a citizens' charter.

Speaking on the occasion, he said the department was imparting education to about three lakh inmates of 2,312 social welfare hostels by spending Rs. 180 crores. The State had 1.30 lakh SC families and 25 lakh ST families, who remained backward and educating their children would give them a bright future, he said.

He exhorted the wardens and matrons to take proper care of the children's health and ensure their regular attendance. LPG connections were provided in all the hostels in the State, he said. Three lakh hostel inmates were issued health cards and scholarships would be promptly released every quarter, he said.

The Joint Director of Social Welfare, Raghava Reddy, wanted hostels developed as learning centres by creating a good atmosphere, but not as feeding centres. The Cuddapah Deputy Director, R. Venugopala Rao, said the district has 142 hostels including 38 for girls and 57 hostels were being developed as model ones. All the seats were filled and hostel inmates were being imparted yoga, he said. Thirty hostel buildings were being built with Rs. 3.75 crores.

The Joint Collector, G. Jayalakshmi, the deputy directors -- G.V. Raghuram (Chittoor), C.H. Malathi (Nellore), Executive Director of SC Service Cooperative Society Ltd., G. Gurunathudu, social welfare officers, Annapurnamma and Samuel Babu, resource persons, Dayakar and Vijaya Kumar, and other officials participated.