Telangana will soon have a program that will specifically focus on empowering Muslims living below the poverty line (BPL), similar to its flagship program âTelangana Dalit Bandhuâ.
Announcing this on October 5, the Chief Minister of Telangana, K. Chandrashekar Rao, said: âInshallah, we will move forward like this. Even among Muslims there is a lot of pasmanda [marginalised], we know it. I say on the face of every person in Telangana there should be a glow, be it Muslims, Dalits or our BC [Backward Classes] Brothers. “Adding that there will be a Dalit Bandhu-type program for Muslims, the chief minister said,” All of the investigation committees mentioned that the community is in a bad state. “
The government program âTelangana Dalit Bandhuâ aims at the economic and social empowerment of Dalits throughout the state. Billed as the largest direct benefit transfer program in the country, it aims to provide Rs.10 lakh to every Dalit family in the state. As part of the first phase of the program, 100 Dalit families from the 119 constituencies of the State Assembly will be identified. The government has already announced an allocation of Rs. 1200 crore for the scheme. The beneficiaries of the program can use the financial aid of Rs.10 lakh to start or develop a business of their choice.
The Dalit Bandhu program began on August 5 in the adoption village of the Chief Minister, Vasalamarri, in Thurkapally mandal, Yadadri-Bhongir district, benefiting 76 Dalit families. The chief minister said his government was prepared to spend even Rs.1 lakh crore on the program.
The success of the Dalit Bandhu cash transfer program prompted Asaduddin Owaisi, President of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and Member of Parliament from Hyderabad, to demand the inclusion of Muslims living below the poverty line in Telangana to be also included in the program.
Owaisi lamented the fact that although Muslims in Telangana face similar deprivation as Dalits, they (Muslims) “do not receive the same kind of government support.” Stating that the Center for Economic and Social Studies estimated that 8.5% of Muslims lived below the poverty line in Telangana, Owaisi said that “if extremely poor Muslim households received the same amount, it would go a long way in improving their life. â.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has criticized both Dalit Bandhu’s project and Owaisi’s call for a similar project for Muslims.