Saturday, June 16, 2007

Grant for Sikkim Schedule Caste communities

GANGTOK: The central government this year exclusively allocated special component plan for the welfare of Schedule Caste communities residing in Sikkim. According to the plan, Rs 18 Cores of the entire budget will be exclusively separated for the Schedule Caste communities.
Chairman of Schedule Caste Board Aita Singh Barialy said the plan will mainly focus on the overall development of Schedule Caste communities. It includes construction of houses, buying of lands for landless, construction of footpaths and residential schools. The fund will be sanctioned through Social Welfare Department.
Mr Barilay said a huge campaign is in progress to make people aware about the new venture of the state government. Expressing his acknowledgement to the Chief Minister and the Central Ministry, he said that the expenditure of the funds will be commenced as per the direction of the central government.

The Constitution (Sikkim) Scheduled Castes order 1978, C.O-110 includes in its Scheduled Castes list:
1. Damai (Nepali) 2. Kami / Lohar (Nepali) 3. Majhi (Nepali) 4. Sarki (Nepali)


The four main Scheduled Castes in the State are Kami, Damai, Sarki and Majhi who practice traditional occupation viz. Blacksmithy, Tailoring, Tanning, And Fishing respectively. They are not confined to any particular district and are scattered all over the state as they are occupational group like craftsmen engaged in manufacturing agricultural tools, gold, silver jewelllery, metal work in copper, aluminum utensils, (Kami / Lohar, Bishwakarma) tailoring (Damai / Darjee), leather work (Sarki) and fishing (Majhi). The district wise distribution of SC population is 3.55 % in the North District, 5.64% in South District, 7% in East District and 5% in West District. They are predominantly agriculturist and also depend on animal husbandry to support thier family. According to 1980-agricultural cencus, only 1.62% of the total operated area is owned by SCs. Hence they get a low return from the agriculture.