With a view to ensure the socio-economic uplift of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes and other minorities of the state, the state government is implementing various welfare schemes. The state has set up welfare boards for the Gaddi, Gujar, Gorkha, Labana, etc. for effective implementation of the schemes launched for these categories.

In order to provide economic support to senior citizens, widows and physically disabled people, the State government is providing social security pension, under which the amount has been increased from Rs. 450 to Rs. 600 within a span of two years. Under the scheme, the pension of people aged above 80 years has been enhanced from Rs. 800 to Rs. 1100 per month. A budget of Rs.30, 643.27 lakh has been allocated under the scheme for this year and approximately 3, 39,921 people are getting benefit of social security pension scheme in the State.
The State government has also launched a scheme to encourage inter-caste marriage with the objective to diminish caste consciousness among the people. The Government is providing financial assistance of Rs. 50,000 for inter-caste marriage.

Himachal Government is providing housing subsidy to those members of the SC/ST and OBC, whose annual income is less than 35,000. The people who are homeless but own a house site, the government is providing subsidy of Rs.75,000 to them. A subsidy a Rs. 25,000 is also being provided for repair of house to the members of these categories. A target to as many as 3128 people has been set during this financial year.

Mukhya Mantri Adarash Gram Yojna has been implemented in the State to ensure integrated development of two selected villages under every Vidhan Sabha constituency having 40% or more than 200 Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes population. A provision of Rs. 10 Lakh has been made for the development of each village, under this scheme. An amount of Rs. 1165.40 lakh was allocated during the last financial year for the development of such villages whereas Rs. 12 crore have been allocated for the purpose in this financial year.

For the Schedule Tribe people belonging to BPL category or those with an annual income of less than Rs. 60,000, a skill development scheme has been launched for providing training in computer applications. Under this scheme, Rs. 1200 are provided per month to the candidates as monthly fee besides a scholarship of Rs. 1000. After completion of the training, the successful candidates are also being provided a scholarship of Rs. 1500 for getting advanced training in computer application from government or private institutions. A provision of Rs. 434 lakhs have been made during this financial for this purpose.

The State Government has also launched a scheme for ST/SC and OBC members whose annual income is less than Rs 35,000 and has done training from ITI or any other institute. In order to make them self-dependent they are being provided sewing machines, tools besides financial assistance of Rs 1500 for purchasing equipments. During last financial year, Rs. 84 lakhs were provided to 5624 candidates for purchasing sewing machines and other equipments and during this year, 7447 people would be benefitted under the scheme.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.