Adi Dravidar, tribal schools to get facilities

By Special Correspondent

New classrooms and laboratories will be developed at 150 schools run by the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department at a cost of ₹100 crore, Minister for Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare N. Kayalvizhi Selvaraj said in the Assembly on Wednesday.

Now, 83,259 students are studying at 1,138 schools run by the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department.

The Minister said the government would increase the maintenance allowance granted to students under the State’s Special Post-Matric Scholarship on a par with that given under the Union government’s Post-Matric Scholarship. “The State government will incur an additional expenditure of ₹4.63 crore. This scheme will benefit 26,024 students.”

Ms. Selvaraj also announced a hike in the special feeding charges (on the occasion of Pongal, Republic Day, Tamil New year, Independence Day and Deepavali) being provided to the boarding students of hostels run by the Department. While school students would be provided a special feeding charge of ₹40 each, college students would be given ₹80 each. Earlier, they were ₹20 and ₹40 respectively. She also made several other announcements for the welfare of Adi Dravidars and tribes.

Minister for Backward Classes Welfare S.S. Sivasankar announced that the condition that one should be a ‘first graduate’ to avail oneself of the special scholarship granted to students of the Backward Classes, the Most Backward Classes and the Denotified Communities would be amended as the ‘first generation graduate’ so that many from the same family could benefit from the scheme.

Mr. Sivasankar also announced that libraries would be opened at 259 college hostels run by the Department at a cost of ₹2.59 crore. The libraries would be named ‘Semmozhi Noolagam’.

The government would provide gym and sports goods to 259 college hostels at a total cost of ₹1.44 crore. Students of these hostels would be trained in spoken English and other skills by the Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation.

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