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Marginalized People No More On Margins in Palnadu

Palnadu district administration in Andhra Pradesh, is providing financial assistance for higher studies and bank loans to set up small-scale business This is being done under Navodayam scheme for SC-ST people designed by the district administration Under the leadership of 2013 batch IAS officer and DC, Mr. Siva SankarTholeti, it is running a grievance redressal system for weaker sections.
Indian Masterminds Stories

The district administration of Palnadu in Andhra Pradesh, has started a grievance redressal mechanism called Navodayam to resolve the problems faced by the marginalised people in the district. It is a platform where problems faced by the SC-ST communities are heard. It also provides opportunities for jobs in the fields of education, employment, entrepreneurship and empowerment. Not only this, but the grievance redressal system also covers land disputes and pension issues.

It was started on 14th September 2022 and till now has evoked very good response from common people. Administration got more than 2400 applications in only three months. The brain behind this initiative is 2013 batch IAS officer and District Collector of Palnadu, Mr. Siva Sankar Lotheti who sincerely wanted to help the marginalized people.

IAS officer Siva Sankar Lotheti (from left, first) inspecting the block level office

Most of the people wanted financial assistance for higher studies and bank loans to set up small scale businesses. Officials from various departments also participate in the registration process and gave them right advice.

Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Lotheti said, “We sponsored higher education of five meritorious students from the marginalised communities. We received over 2400 applications from marginalised people. This scheme has given opened new vistas for them.”

Mr. Lotheti and others paying tribute to Dr. BR Ambedkar before starting the Navodayam initiative

NAVODAYAM

The grievance redressal meetings would be held at the district, Block and village-level on the 14th of every month. Mr. Lotheti said that date was  selected to mark the birthday of Dr BR Ambedkar.

Every month, people come to the village, block and district and register their problems. They received 620 applications in October, 850 in November and about 900 in December.

Official mostly offer  the solution on the spots. If the issues is not complicated and could be handled at local level, then, the block level officer solves it, otherwise refer it to the district. Administration has involved banks, NGOs and some private companies in this scheme.

People gathered at a district office with their problems

Mr. Lotheti said, “Women are also coming forward with their grievances. This is really a good development.”

FUTURE PLANNING

Overwhelmed by the good response to this initiative, Mr. Lotheti is has planned to conduct job melas in near future. He said, “We will invite private companies and local industries encouraging them to hire people according as per their requirements. State Skill Development Corporation will also conduct training programmes to make them eligible for better jobs.”

Mr. Lotheti and other officials interacting with people

BADI BATA

This is not the first time that Mr. Lotheti has taken such steps for marginalized people. Earlier, he launched ‘Badi Bata’ scheme for dropouts children. Through this, he enrolls 950 children back into schools after counseling their parents. He said that there were over 30,000 dropouts in Palnadu district, mostly from the SC and ST communities.


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