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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Separate office to coordinate functioning of welfare boards

VILLUPURAM: Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy has said that Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has ordered to set up a separate office in each district for taking coordinated measures to provide assistance through the welfare boards to unorganised sector workers.

He was speaking at an awareness rally organised here on Tuesday, in which over 15,000 people participated.

Mr Ponmudy said that each office would have 16 officials. He said that when he was Labour Minister in 2000, the welfare boards for the unorganised workers existed only in three cities, with a total membership of 25,000.

Now, the membership in 24 welfare boards had crossed the one-crore mark.

Under the Moovalur Ramamirtham Marriage Assistance Scheme, education qualification of Standard X had been fixed. However, under the welfare boards, no such precondition had been fixed for the workers for availing themselves of benefits, including Rs. 1 lakh for decapitation and death.

Mr. Ponmudy said that in Villupuram, 8,79,478 members had been enrolled so far in various welfare boards, including 6,6,366 farm labourers, 1,024 folk artists, 64 tribals and 50 narikoravas.

He gave away assistance of over Rs. 2 crore to 5,963 beneficiaries.

Revenue and Housing Minister I. Periasamy said the rally indicated that people were fully aware of the welfare boards and their functioning. He would direct officials in other districts to organise such rallies.

Fisheries Minister K.P.P. Samy dwelt at length the rehabilitation measures taken up for the coastal community.

Collector R. Palanisamy, District Revenue Officer R. Kathiravan, MLAs T. Udayasuryan, V. Kannan, K. Thirunavukkarasu and A. Angayarkanni and other officials participated.

Contributions to the tune of Rs. 20 lakh, including Rs. 5,000 from the Press Club, were made towards the Sri Lankan Tamils Relief Fund. With this, the Villupuram district has donated Rs 47.79 lakh, besides a tonne of rice.


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