Even as the Gujarat Government is holding 300 Garib Kalyan Melas across the state in the second round of the scheme. Chief Minister Narendra Modi today disbursed assistance worth Rs.3.91-crore to 4,695 beneficiaries at Dhanpur in Dahod district.
Addressing the gathering, he said these fairs are the way to free the poor, the oppressed, tribal people and Baxi community from the shackles of poverty, ensuring every rupee reaches the target group directly, literally at their doorstep.
Mr. Modi, who has lately adopted a practice to reach the venue without prior announcement, made it to the remote tribal areas in the eastern belt today.
He recalled there used to be budgetary provisions for the poor in the past too, but did not reach the target groups. While Rs.6,500-crore were spent for the tribal welfare up to 2000, he said, this government spent Rs.6,000-crore between 2001 and 2007 and proposes to spend Rs.15,000-crore under the Van Bandhu Yojna during the next five years.
He said the government has also taken up schemes to improve the educational level and health of the tribal people, like starting Industrial Training Institutes (ITI's) and Polytechnics, providing demonstration in cattle rearing to encourage them to take up dairy, and imparting training to make them fit for joining the armed forces at the taluka level itself.
Minister of State for Tribal Welfare Jashwantsinh Bhabhor said the Gujarat Government has allocated up to 15 per cent of the budget for implementing the 'Gujarat pattern' of development for the tribal. He said that assistance worth Rs.72-crore were distributed to the poor in Dahod district during the first rounds of the Garib Kalyan Mela.
Prominent among those who attended the fair included Parliamentary Secretary Jaydrathsinh Parmar and Sundarsinh Chauhan, District Panchayat President Dakshaben Parmar, a number of MLAs and In-charge Secretary Bhagyesh Jha.