What could the Union Budget have done to make the lives of Dalit students better?

Under School Education, the NCDHR suggests 500 state of the art modern schools, inclusion cells in schools and appointment of SC, ST teachers in rural areas
Representative Image
Representative Image

The National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights in their report on the Union Budget 2021 haS stressed repeatedly on the fact that there is a huge gap between the amount that gets announced for the ‘welfare of SC, ST’ communities and the money that ends up directly impacting their welfare. The NCDHR has come up with a list of suggested schemes that the Centre can implement that would ensure that the allocated money in every budget reaches the communities directly. 

“If the government just listens to the voices from the community they will realise what schemes will effectively bring about change in the community. Some of these schemes have the potential to significantly improve the lives of the Dalits and Adivasis if only the Centre would listen,” said Paul Diwakar of the NCDHR. Under Higher Education. The NCDHR suggests an allocation of Rs 3500 crore for SCs and Rs 2000 crore for STs for paramedical and nursing colleges, Rs 3000 crore and Rs 2500 crore for SC and STs for top class residential coaching, boys and girls hostel in every district, remedial coaching in English language and BR Ambedkar Universities in 29 states and eight Union Territories. 

Under School Education, the NCDHR suggests 500 state-of-the-art modern schools, inclusion cells in schools, the appointment of SC, ST teachers in rural areas. The organisation also recommends special teacher training programmes on anti-discrimination and inclusion. High-class hostels, the appointment of permanent SC, ST students at district headquarters and special nutritional supplements. 

Under Social Justice, the organisation has a long list of suggested schemes — scaling up the National Fellowship Scheme for all SC PhD students, pre-medical coaching and scholarships, establishments of centres in universities for the study of social exclusions and inclusive policy, SC, ST fellowships for non-NET research students, overseas scholarship for SC, ST women, national single window helpline, fellowships for students under exchange programmes to foreign universities and establishment of SC, ST research institutes. The organisation also sought Centre’s contribution to setting up centres of learning and libraries in SC, ST dominated districts.

For children, the NCDHR recommended a scheme for a special child protection mission for SC, ST children, targeted health coverage for migrant SC, ST children and formation of special POCSO courts to try SC, ST cases. 

In their general recommendations to the Centre, the organisation repeatedly stressed the importance of post-matric scholarships, “Allocation to direct benefit schemes like Post Matric scholarships, hostels, skill development schemes should be increased and timely transfer of funds should be ensured to beneficiaries at all costs.”

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