Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday laid the foundation stone for a 125-ft bronze statue of BR Ambedkar on the occasion of his 125th birth anniversary and announced a slew of welfare programmes for dalits and other communities.
The 125-ft statue, to come up at the NTR gardens near the Hussain Sagar lake here, would be a major landmark in the city, Rao said, speaking at an event on the occasion.
Telangana is indebted to Ambedkar as it became a separate state because the architect of our Constitution kept the power to form new states with the Centre and not with the state itself, he said.
"He (Ambedkar) said in that note that there could be some weak regions within the states. A strong region could be troubling this weak one. The strong one would not let go the weak even if the latter wants to. If the weak is to pour out its grievance, there should be an opportunity for the weak to come to the Centre..."
"We got Telangana because Ambedkar argued in the Constituent Assembly and made the Act that Centre should stand by the weak...," Rao said.
He announced setting up of 250 educational institutions for students from SC, ST, and minority communities.
These institutions include 100 social welfare residential schools, 25 degree colleges for dalit girls, five residential degree colleges for boys, 50 Girijan residential schools, and 70 residential schools for minorities.
He announced a hike in the amount of academic scholarship given to dalit and Girijan students from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh to pursue higher education in foreign countries.
Observing that dalit and Girijan engineering graduates are being given training, he said the government would support them to become contractors for various civil works.
Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and several other state ministers were present on the occasion.