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Meet: Revolutionary songs being sung during the inauguration of the workshop for social welfare officers in Bangalore on Tuesday.
BANGALORE: Despite several laws and welfares schemes of the Central and State governments, atrocities on the Dalits continue. They still live under vulnerable conditions in villages and urban areas of the State, said Minister for Social Welfare D. Sudhakar.
The Minister termed continuing atrocities on the Dalits a “disgrace” to the society and said the Dalits have been deprived of their rights and properties and subjected to harassment owing to non-implementation of schemes by the officials concerned.
Speaking after inaugurating a three-day capacity building workshop for taluk-level social welfare officers of the Social Welfare Department at National Law School of India University (NLSIU) here, Mr. Sudhakar said many officials were unaware of the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989, and several circulars issued by the department for stringent implementation of the welfare schemes.
The officials’ failure to respond to the grievances of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was one of the major reasons for their socio-economic plight. Mere discharging of duties was not enough, the department officials should act as social agents and work towards the welfare of the downtrodden in the society, he said.‘Keep a check’
Issue of fake caste certificates, misuse of funds meant for the welfare of the Dalits and irregularities in the execution of social welfare schemes need to be checked, the Minister said.
Social Welfare Department Secretary E. Venkataiah said the conviction rate under the Act was just 15 per cent at the national level. The laws, which were framed to bring socio-economic development to the lives of the Dalits, had not brought the desired changes. The constitutional rights of the Dalits would be protected only by strict enforcement of laws, he said.
Urban Development Department Principal Secretary D. Thangaraj said the officials need to adopt a proactive attitude for better implementation of welfare schemes. The officials should report cases of atrocities against the Dalits to deputy commissioners for action against the accused, he said. S. Japhet, professor, Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, NLSIU, and A. Jayagovind, former Vice-Chancellor, NLSIU, spoke on the significance of the workshop for field-level social welfare officers of the government.
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