Lucknow— In a resounding call to action, a public meeting convened under the auspices of the Church Auxiliary for Social Action in Lucknow focused on the urgent issue of the SCSP (Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan). Distinguished speakers at the event, including Kuldeep Kumar Baudh, a prominent Dalit activist from Bundelkhand, Harish Chandra, Former Secretary to the Government of India, and Badrud Duja Naqvi, a former High Court Judge, gathered to deliberate upon the dire need for a legal framework to support the SC/ST Sub-Plan and its equitable implementation.
Kuldeep Kumar Baudh presented data during the meeting and pointed out that out of the budget of 6 million crores, only 9% was allocated to the Scheduled Caste sub-plan. This not only represents a reduction from the previous year's 13% allocation but is also disproportionately less than the 21% population of Scheduled Castes in the state.
Brijesh Bharti, an activist from Varanasi, spoke at the event and explained that there are two parts to the Sub-plan: one is targeted, and the other is non-targeted. The targeted part is rigorously implemented, but it constitutes a smaller portion than the non-targeted part, which is not implemented in a focused manner.
Daulat Ram, another representative from Jaunpur, stated that due to the shoddy implementation of the Sub-plan, SC/ST youths have been deprived of loans, and students are deprived of scholarships.
Speaking to The Mooknayak, Harish Chandra, Former Secretary to the Government of India, said that the Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and the Scheduled Tribe Plan provisions are executive orders and are subject to change by different governments. Therefore, they have demanded that there should be a law at the central level to safeguard these provisions. The allocation of funds for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes Sub-Plan should be in proportion to the population of these communities. Additionally, there should be the constitution of an authority with control over the finances for this purpose. He mentioned that laws for SC/ST sub-plans exist in states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, etc., and are in progress in several other states.
Badrud Duja Naqvi, a former high court judge, also spoke to The Mooknayak and said, "We believe that there should be a law for the SC/ST Sub-Plan. We will engage with the government, present a memorandum, and if things do not progress, we will launch a movement for this."
Andhra Pradesh was the first state in India to establish a legal framework for the implementation of the SC/ST Sub-Plan in 2013. Neighboring states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu also followed suit. The legal status of the Sub-Plan prevents the diversion of funds and provides for independent agencies to audit the plan.