TAMIL Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced subsidy from the state for 500 Hindus who undertake a spiritual tour and pilgrimage to Mansarovar in Tibet and Muktinath in Nepal. She made a statement in the assembly that her government would extend financial assistance to 500 people to the important Hindu pilgrim centers of Mansarovar and Muktinath. She said the state government would bear Rs 40,000 of the total one lakh towards the expenses for a person to visit Mansarovar and Rs 10,000 out of Rs 25,000 for Muktinath. This sponsorship is definitely a clear positive step deviated from the communal angle taken by Karunanidhi. Previous DMK regime had a history of negative propaganda against Hinduism.
Everyone knows that DMK together with DK burnt Ramayana and destroyed Ganesh Vinayava idols in several places of worship of Hindus in Tamil Nadu. Origional Dravidar Kazhagam was largely known for denouncing Hindu Gods and Goddesses. D.K. movement was started 100 years back to establish social justice. Unfortunately it took a negative turn towards Hindu religious sentiments. Karunanidhi did not tolerate party functionaries wearing Kum Kum on their forehead. It is interesting to note that when DMK and DK is celebrating the year 2012 as the centenary year of Dravidhan Politics, AIADMK led by Jayalalitha is sponsoring spiritual journey to Kailash and Mansarovar. Ultimately the soul of this nation wins and establishes its wonderful effect.
This announcement of subsidy is not only for Hindu devotees, chief minister promised financial aid to Christians wanting to visit Jerusalam. Already thousands of Muslims are covered under government subsidy for HAJ Yatra.
Integrating Rich and Poor By Giving Equal Opportunity
Tamil Nadu government has taken another special initiative to encourage poor students for rich knowledge. Tamil Nadu school and college students will get laptop to improve their studies and career in Tamil Nadu. It will be helpful to all the students from Tamil Nadu to get the high quality education.
Initially the students who are studying 12th standard in government and government aided schools and final year students of arts and science, engineering and polytechnic colleges would be provided. Laptop identification number will be given to every student who receives the laptop and that serial number will be registered. The student who require laptop service, can send it for servicing with this serial number which is stuck on laptop. Tamil Nadu state is emerging as a favoured destination both for the domestic and multinational IT companies. This will open new job opportunities for youth in Tamil Nadu. Students from lower rungs of socio economic condition need to be equipped to participate in the process of development. To provide knowledge, develop skills and improve human resources in consonance with the latest developments, the government of Tamil Nadu, provides laptop computers to all students. Over the next five years, commencing from the current academic year, the government envisages nearly 68 lakh laptop computers to students.
Free Medical Treatment To End Social Inequality
The vulnerable sections of our society is affected by rapid erosion of incomes caused by sharp increase of prices of essential commodities. In general, common people are suffering and struggling hard to make both ends meet and run the family with minimum basic necessities. For those people who are unable to get themselves the minimum needs for a good life, it is the responsibility of the state to offer equal opportunity.
The government of Tamil Nadu is providing health care to the people of the state through a network of 8682 Health sub centers, 1589 health centers, 270 secondary care hospitals and 18 government medical colleges with attached hospitals. Apart from these already established health care schemes, Chief Minister has taken some new steps and initiatives.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa launched a comprehensive health scheme which would benefit 1.34 crore families. This scheme will provide free treatment in government and private hospitals to the members of any family whose annual income is less than Rs.72,000. The scheme provides for cashless hospitalisation facility for certain special ailments. It provides a coverage up to Rs.1,00,000 per family a year on a floater basis for ailments and proceedings.
Free Distribution of Rice to End Hunger and Poverty
Tamil Nadu is implementing the universal public distribution system. 1.95 crore family card holders are covered under the schemes. Kerosene is one of the essential commodities supplied to the card holders under the public distribution system. Added to this, Tamil Nadu government has launched Free Rice Scheme. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister launched the monthly distribution of 20 kg rice free of cost to nearly 1.84 crore ration card holders in the state. The civil supplies department has made arrangements for distribution of rice in 32,571 ration shops across the state.
Social Welfare Schemes
Jayalalithaa assured the farmers that the government is committed to the upliftment of the rural poor. Her government wants to augment the production of agricultural commodities. The government is taking new initiative for, free distribution of milch cow, goats, sheep to the rural poor to improve their economy.
It is essential to have humanitarian concerns about poverty. There is a rise in the number of rich people and well to do people in our country, at the same time, poor people continue to suffer for basic amenities. The gap is widening between the rich and poor. Poverty and inequality is existing. Welfare measures are obvious response to integrate rich and poor.
Robust Social Policy
Tamil Nadu government has issued orders to raise the monthly pension schemes from Rs.500 to Rs.1000 per month for age old persons, differently able persons, widows, agricultural labourers, destitute deserted wives and poor, incapacitated women. Lakhs of people will be benefitted by these measures. These schemes will definitely reward, support and empower the worst suffering section of our society. Protection and promotion of the economic and social well being of all citizens should be the aim of any government ruling the state. True democracy must aim to achieve relatively low poverty with a robust social policy.