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Manjhi goes on sop spree for Mahadalits.

BIHAR Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has announced to increase the tenure of ' tola sewaks' from one year to 10 years and their remuneration by ` 2,000.

The Nitish Kumar government had hired about 30,000 Mahadalit youth as " tola sewaks" to work as a link between their underprivileged community and the government in different tolas ( localities).

Among other things, they were entrusted with the task of ensuring attendance of the mahadalit children in the schools, teaching them the importance of cleanliness and helping the community members steer clear of the vices of alcohol and superstition.

They now get ` 5000 monthly remuneration which will be increased to ` 7,000. They are appointed on contract for one year and their term is extended on the basis of their performance.

Addressing a gathering, Chief Minister Manjhi said: " At present, the state government is spending ` 240 crore on the tola sewaks. The hike of ` 2,000 will put an additional burden of ` 72 crore on the state exchequer." But Manjhi regretted that the tola sewaks had not lived up to expectations in discharging their responsibilities.

" You should forge ahead in your life by continuing your struggle. You should all study and appear in competitive examinations. I will be happy if you get success in the competitive examinations and get top posts." Political observers, however, believe that Manjhi has been trying to push Nitish's mahadalit- centric political agenda with renewed force to emerge as a big leader of his community that accounts for about 15 per cent of the total population in Bihar.

During Nitish Kumar's tenure as the chief minister of Bihar, Jitan Ram Manjhi was the minister for the Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes welfare but could not do much for his community.

But now he was trying to accelerate the mahadalit reforms in the remaining part of his tenure.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Oct 22, 2014
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