SC/ST colonies to get computer, wire news
The Times of India News Service
BANGALORE : Chief Minister S.M. Krishna on Saturday launched a programme which will benefit the scheduled castes and scheduled tribe colonies to be in touch with the minute-to-minute happenings in the world.
The SC/ST colonies will be provided with a colour television set, a computer, and fax machine, and agency news among other things. This will enable them to watch entertainment and current news.
Krishna termed it as a ``path breaking initiative'' taken by the information department. The general opinion that the welfare of the SC and ST people was to be looked after only by the Social Welfare department has been disproved through this step, he pointed out.
Krishna urged other departments to develop such a mindset and even if they apportioned a portion of their funds for the welfare measures of the SC and ST, it would create a great impact, he felt.
He said the feeling that the information department was to shield the opposition and be the loudspeaker of the government had become irrelevant through this step. The functioning of the information department has to change now since people came to know of the government's achievements through television and media much before the information department released it.
Though TV had become a powerful medium, the importance of print medium cannot be dismissed as it continued to create its impact in the minds of the people, he added.
He complimented President K.R.Narayanan for his decision to appoint a committee of governors headed by Maharashtra Governor P.C. Alexander to study the schemes meant for SC and ST sections and how far such schemes had helped them economically. The committee submitted its report to the President a month ago and it would be forwarded to Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee.
Krishna said the state government, on receiving the report, would also take proper measures to implement the recommendations soon.
Information Minister B.K.Chandrashekar said the department would initially instal 175 television sets and other facilities at a cost of Rs 19 lakh in the SC/ST colonies.
He also announced that the government will send four students from the SC/ST communities to various journalism colleges including the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi. The course fee, which is Rs 1.5 lakh will be borne by the government. The Karnataka government had requested the institutes to bear the other expenses of the SC/ST students, to which they have agreed, the minister added.
Home Minister Mallikarjun Kharge and Social Welfare Minister Kagodu Thimmappa said these schemes will benefit the SC/ST community.