Nirmala Sitharaman visits Dharmasthala

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Nirmala Sitharaman visits Dharmasthala

Mangaluru: The responsibility of social workers does not end with disbursing money to the needy. It also means educating people to utilise the money for fruitful causes, said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.


She lauded Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Dr D Veerendra Heggade, for promoting economic progress and self-dependence among rural women for 50 years, through the Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP).

She spoke after launching ‘Pragathi Raksha Kavach’ group insurance scheme for self help group (SHG) members in the state.

She noted that SKDRDP had done a commendable job by making the loanees accountable for the money they availed.

“Other agencies pressurise loanees to repay loans when they are financially troubled. But in the SKDRDP group insurance scheme, LIC covers insurers’ healthcare expenses, during illness (or demise of family member). The programme covers as many as 40 lakh people.

Recalls visits to DK

Nirmala Sitharaman said she felt a great sense of spiritual energy at Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala. She visited spiritual places in Dakshina Kannada during summer vacations in childhood, she recalled.

The Kshetra had been fulfilling spiritual aspirations of people and dispensing justice, through D Veerendra Heggade, who was the manifestation of Dharma and a chosen representative of Lord Manjunatha at the Dharma peetha, she added.

‘Loans must be investments’ Presiding over the programme, Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari D Veerendra Heggade said that believing in the Almighty was a good thing; but one should put efforts as well. “Loans should not be a burden; but an investment,” he opined. Heggade added that one should be proud of farmers who give food and soldiers who protect the country.

Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India Chairman V K Sharma said that the Pragathi Raksha Kavacha was for welfare of self-help groups.

Unique scheme SKDRDP has already paid the premium to the insurance company. The SHG member pays the premium at the time of borrowing and SKDRDP monitors both premium collection and claims. A scheme of such proportion in the SHG sector, was first of its kind in the country, he added.

LIC serves over 24 crore people in the country. The company clears the claims within 10 days through direct beneficiary transfer.

Nirmala Sitharaman was felicitated by D Veerendra Heggade on the occasion. The defense minister promised she would deliver the prasadam of Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Hemavathi V Heggade, M P Nalin Kumar Kateel, Belthangady MLA Harish Poonja, Sullia MLA S Angara, Kaup MLA Lalaji R Mendon, Puttur MLA Sanjiv Mathandur and SKDRDP Executive Director Dr L H Manjunath were present among others.

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