SCs occupy lower rung of socio-economic ladder: Naveen

Bhubaneswar: Admitting that there are many scheduled caste families at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder in state, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said about 1.5 lakh dalit youths would be imparted placement-linked skill development training.

"In spite of a number of development strategies undertaken for them, the human development indices of many SC families are than the state average," Patnaik said while presiding over a SC Welfare Advisory Board meeting here.

A special drive has been taken up to identify SC boys and girls and to upgrade their skills through placement-linked employbility training, he said adding the state government intended to provide skill based training to 1.5 lakh SC youths in the next five years which would help them get jobs.

Though government had taken several welfare schemes for the development of dalits, their condition do not improve.

This despite the fact that SCs contribution to the socio-economic development of the state had been siginficant.

"Odisha has the unique distiction of having 93 SC communities spread over the 30 districts of the state," the chief minister said adding skill development among dalit men and women could help in changing their economic situation.

Patnaik also announced to enhance pre-matric scholarship amount for SC boys to Rs 620 per month and Rs 650 per month for girls. The enhanced scholarsihp would be effective from July 2012.