Udupi: Mallajamma, the Chairperson of Dr B R Ambedkar Development Corporation Ltd, has instructed the district administration to replace the statue of Dr B R Ambedkar erected in front of the Zilla Panchayat. Her instructions were received during the review meeting of Dr B R Ambedkar Development Corporation and an interaction programme with leaders of the Dalit community organised at the Dr V S Acharya Memorial Auditorium, Zilla Panchayat Rajathardri, Manipal here, on July 16.
Vijayalasksmi, a resident of Brahmavar, said that the face of the statue of Dr B R Ambedkar installed in front of the ZP in Udupi did not match Dr Ambedkar’s face. She said that it was neglected by the district administration amid repeated suggestions from the Dalit community leaders. Mallajamma instructed the Social Welfare Department Deputy Director for action into the issue as it was associated with the sentiments of the Dalit community. Kumar KAS, Additional Deputy Commissioner, said that the report has been sent to the government and action will be initiated at the earliest.
Sunder Master said that the corporation has to focus on the unemployed youth of the Dalit community by introducing skill development programmes and promoting entrepreneurial development. The youth are actively involved in fishing activities and if financial assistance was provided to them to buy fishing boats and nets, it would ameliorate their lives. He urged the corporation to extend loans for buying boats and fishing nets. Mallajamma said that skill development programmes will be given to the youth in Mangaluru and Mysusu.
“Middlemen were solely responsible for the government projects not reaching out to the poor and marginalised,” said Sundari Puttur. She urged Mallajamma to dissolve the Member of Legislative Assembly committee for selecting the beneficiaries and instead to formulate a committee under the leadership of the district officer of Dr B R Ambedkar Development Corporation.
Uday Kumar Tallur said that there was a need to increase subsidy to schemes like Ganga Kalyan Yojana since to dig an open well cost Rs 5 Lakh. Vijaylaksmhi said that illegal activities were reported in Ambedkar Bhavan near the old RTO office; Mallajamma instructed the CMC Commissioner to take necessary action in this regard. Sunder Master urged for the construction of dormitories to promote tourism and employment opportunities through the corporation in the district.
Later, addressing a press meet Mallajamma said that the government in its budget has allotted Rs 16,000 crores to the Social Welfare Department which is first among other states in India. The government has released Rs 450 crores for formulating programmes for the development of the Dalit community. She also said that the corporation would need Rs 2,500 crores to reach out to the beneficiaries at large.
She also said that the Tahasildar has been instructed to thoroughly check applications while processing for caste certificates. Certificates are being issued to people who are not Dalits in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Karwar districts. A proposal has been sent to the government to provide Innova cars rather than Tata Indigo cars to Dalit youth to promote tourism, she added.
Prior to the interaction programme, the website of Dr B R Ambedkar Development Corporation, Udupi was launched by Mallajamma.
Annamalai K, District Superintendent of Police; B C Geetha, President of Malenadu Development Board; Veronica Cornelio, President of Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Ltd; Yuvraj P, President of City Municipality Council and others were present.