Country’s first Medical College for SCs in Kerala

  • Slew of welfare measures to help SCs
  • Medical facilities for free
  • Scholarships and other incentives to promote education
  • Adivasis to get lands, houses
  • ‘God’s own land’ stands first in caring for the downtrodden

(Santosh)

Thiruvananthapuram, November 12:  Kerala Government recently took several welfare measures for the development of the downtrodden in the society, one of them being the opening of the first Medical College in the country for Scheduled Class students under the State Scheduled Castes Development Department (SCDD).

The autonomous Medical College for undergraduate degree in medicine (MBBS) started functioning with an intake of 100 students in which 70 per cent of seats was reserved for Schedule Caste (SC) students and the rest to the General Category.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy_Medical college-12

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy

The works for the new Rs 550 crore Medical College building at a 50 acre site at Kizhakke Yakkara in Palakkad is in progress.

The Government is giving top priority to the health care and educational needs of people in backward areas in the State.

The plan is to organize 500-beds and 19-medical units for the medical college which is expected to be one of its kind in India and in future the College will start Para-medical courses, surgical equipments production units, medicine production unit and research units.

For the first two years, the College would function from the facilities of nearby District Hospitals and classes for the first batch of students started in September last. The institution would be shifted to the new campus at Kizhakke Yakkara after the work is completed there. The objective of the Government is to have Medical Colleges in all the 14 districts, and the works for 11 Medical Colleges in different parts of the state is progressing.

As Another major welfare measure for Adivasi community in the State, the Government has announced that 1129 acres of land with Forest Department in Wayand will be given to ST families under the Project “Aasikkunna Bhoomi Aadivasikalku Swantham.”

In the coming two years 29,000 families will get home out of which 20,000 will be given this year itself. Under this project upto Rs 10 lakhs will be given to ST families who are landless, for buying land. It was the promise of the Government that all the ST families in the State should get land and house of their own and the Government is committed to do the same. The houses will be constructed giving no space for any corruption, by creating committees as per Charitable Society Act. In many Panchayaths, several societies have already been registered under this project. The Government bought land at Aralam Farm for an amount of Rs 40 crore and distributed it to ST families.

The SCDD provides grant for purchasing three cents of land in village areas and 1.5 cents of land under Municipality and Corporation areas with Rs 50,000, Rs 2,00,000 and  Rs 3,00,000 respectively for SC families included in the Gramasabha lists. An amount of Rs 2 lakhs is given to houseless SC families for construction of houses. The amount will be given in four installments depending on the stage of construction.

The Department provides Special plans for building houses for socially weak castes such as Vedan, Nadayi, Chekkiya, Kalady, Arunthathiyar. An amount of not less than Rs 4, 50, 000 is given for buying 5 cents of land and for building houses.

The Department provides an amount of Rs 25,000 for construction of toilets for SC families.

It also provides a maximum of Rs 50000 as treatment grant to SC people from the SC Minister’s Relief Fund for those seriously ill or those suffering from long term diseases.

The prime concern of Scheduled Caste Development Department (SCDD) is the progress in education. Nine model Residential schools are being run by this department for providing better education to children from standard 5 onwards.

The Departments is also providing financial help to children whose parents are engaged in unclean occupation, without considering their caste or religion.

It gives financial aid for educational purposes to those students studying Plus-one and above. At present these benefits are being distributed through the ATM’s in the name of E –Grants.

The Department runs hundreds of hostels for providing hostel facilities for SC students. It gives financial help to SC students those studying in parallel colleges for plus two, Degree, PG courses who were not admitted in the Government and aided colleges.

It also provides food, uniform, school bags, shoes and monthly pocket money. It also gives a special scholarship as Temple Entry Proclamation Memorial Scholarship for the students scoring high marks in Degree/PG/LLB/Medical/Engineering courses.

It provides financial aid of 20, 000 for long term Medical/Engineering entrance coaching to students who have secured grades above B-plus in SSLC Examinations.

The Department distributed laptops to the students studying in Medical and Engineering courses admitted in merit and reservation seats in 2012–13. It also runs a Civil Service Training Institution at Trivandrum for giving training to those who are interested in civil service. Educational benefits are provided to SC students whose parents are residing outside the State as part of their jobs. SC students, admitted in aided colleges or central universities outside the State through merit/reservations for those courses, are being provided fees concessions.

The Department runs 44 Industial Training Institutes all over Kerala for giving training to different types of job oriented courses. Among these 41 ITI’s are accredited by NCVT and the remaing three accredited by the SCVT.

The Department provides financial help to the individuals/self help groups who are interested in self employment. It also conducts Trade Fair twice in a financial year for selling out the traditional products and the ethnic goods produced by the SC entrepreneurs and self help groups. This programme is conducted by the Department allied with Scheduled Tribe Development Department and KIRTADAS.

The SCDD gives subsidies to the farmers for purchasing agricultural land for cultivation. The amount is limited to 1 lakh or 50% of the purchasing price of the land, whichever is less.

‘Self sufficient villages’ is a newly launched programme framed by the Department for the development of entire SC habitats.

In this programme the Department provides all the basic facilities like roads, drinking water, electricity, biogas plants, renovation of houses etc. An amount of 1 crore is being spent for each habitat. The implementation of the scheme is done under the direct supervision of the MLA.

The Department provides an amount of Rs 50, 000 as Marriage Grant to the parents of SC family for the marriage of their daughter.

It also provides an amount of Rs 50, 000 to inter-caste couples (any one of them should belong to SC) to overcome social issues and for self employment.

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