Initiating a discussion on the working of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the Rajya Sabha today, Leader of the party in the House, Derek O’Brien cited several instances where Bengal has achieved milestones in social justice and empowerment. Derek urged the government to move away from the mentality of distributing scholarships and opening hostels and urged them to double the budget of the ministry.
Slamming the government for not utilising even a penny of the budget for the liberation of the manual scavengers, Derek cited the example of Nadia becoming the No. 1 district in India in the construction of toilets. He also highlighted that West Bengal has constituted a Transgender Development Board.
Derek called for a grey revolution for the welfare of senior citizens. He asked the government to take a fresh look at the National Policy for Senior Citizens, 2011 and bring a Bill aimed at their welfare.
Regarding the development of scheduled castes, Derek highlighted the Sikkhashree scheme by West Bengal government wherein SC students receive scholarships for studies. He also took pride in the fact that 56% of the land pattas distributed by West Bengal government went to scheduled castes.
Derek O’Brien also included minorities and women in the scope of today’s discussion for empowerment and social justice. He highlighted that Trinamool Congress has 36% women MPs in Lok Sabha even when there is a debate going on over 33% reservation. He announced in the Rajya Sabha that 46% councillors in Kolkata Municipal Corporation are women.