CM dedicates 200 new hostels for SC, ST students

Bhubaneswar: To mark the birth centenary celebrations of legendary leader Biju Patnaik and the 80th yaer of formation of the Odisha state, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated 200 news hostels for SC and ST students and inaugurated a programme for distribution of 20,000 land pattas to all beneficiaries at a state level function at the Secretariat here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Patnaik said education is the only means for tribals and the dalits to join the mainstream of the society.

“Odisha is the leading state in the country for providing education to the students of backward communities. My government always gives priority to the education of the tribal and dalit students of the state. The government has set up more than 1600 schools and constructed more than 5000 hostels for them. Besides, it has also implemented Akankhya and Anwesha schemes to provide opportunity to about 26,000 SC, ST and dalit students to study in public schools in urban areas,” the Chief Minister said on the occasion.

The chief minister also announced that the government has set up 10 Kalinga Model Residential Schools for the poor students of and backward communities in the state. Classes would begin in these schools from 2018, he added.

Wishing the beneficiaries who have been given land pattas well, Patnaik assured them that they would be included in all social security programmes.

SC & ST Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare minister Lal Bihari Himirika, Finance minister Pradip Amat, Excise and Cooperation minister Damodar Rout, Revenue minister Bijayshree Routray, Sports and Youth Affairs minister Sudam Marandi, Housing and Urban Development minister Puspendra Singhdeo, chief secretary, development commissioner and secretaries of the concerned departments were present.