West Bengal announces several initiatives for SC and ST people in the state

On November 4, 2020, the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a number of initiatives for the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and refugee population. This included land pattas and setting up of cultural and development boards.

Key Highlights

  • The initiatives have included all the refugees in the colonies spread across the state. Around 1,25,000 land pattas are to be provided. The State Government will also provide 25,000 land pattas to the refugees.
  • Rs 10 cores has been allocated to the newly announced Matua Development Board. Matuas are Dalit refuges from Bangladesh. They are spread over 50 Assembly seats in the State of West Bengal.
  • Also, development and cultural boards are to be created for the three ST communities in the state namely Bauri (Dhule), Majhis and Bagdis. This is being done to preserve their cultural heritage.
  • A community hall is to be constructed for the Chau dancers of Purulia. Also, the Dhokra artists are to be brought under Swastiya Sathi Scheme.
  • Loans are to be facilitated to two lakh people through cooperative banks to buy two wheelers.

Swastiya Sathi Scheme

The scheme was launched in 2016. Around 50 lakh families are benefitted under the scheme. The scheme provides health insurance up to Rs 1.5 lakh per annum. The illness such as cancer, cardiothoracic surgeries, neuro surgeries, blood disorders, liver diseases are covered under the scheme. The entire premium of the scheme is borne by the State Government.

What is Dhokra Art?

It is an ancient technique to producing non-ferrous metal ware using metal casting process. The process is believed to be 5,000 years old. The artisans make animals, jewellery, dieties and figurines using the art.

Matua Development Board

In 2018, the West Bengal Government set up two development boards for the Matua community and Namasudra community. The development boards were called the Matua Development Board and Matua Development Board. These boards will help improve socio-economic condition of the respective communities.

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