Evaluation of Government Schemes

It is a matter of disgrace that even after 73 years of Independence, the socio-economic indicators of the Scheduled Castes are miserable. The Government has time and again come up with developmental programmes for welfare of the Scheduled castes, yet the issues pertain. These are due to:

    • despite several constitutional provisions, the representation of SCs and STs in government services has not improved substantially during the last seven decades
    • Untouchability is practiced in public places like wells, temples, hotels etc. though it is a crime to do so. Yet many times the concerned police officers do not take any action even after complaints have been made.
    • It is widely alleged that false criminal cases are filed against SCs and STs when they lodge complaints about atrocities committed against them. This defeats the very purpose of the POA Act.
    • practices like social and economic boycott and social and economic blackmail imposed upon SCs and STs by the upper castes are not listed as crimes of atrocities under Section 3(2) of the POA Act
    • Absence of exclusive Special Courts that have an exclusive special public prosecution machinery and a special investigating agency in every district against those who have committed atrocities.
    • land reform programmes have not substantially altered the conditions of SCs and STs in rural areas. In fact, landlessness is increasing at a faster rate among SCs and STs than others, as more and more small and marginal cultivators are becoming landless labourers.
    • According to the government guidelines, the proportion of funds allocated under each plan should be equal to the proportion of SC and ST population in each State. In reality this proportionality is hardly maintained.
    • In many cases the unspent money lapses back to the government because departments which have the responsibility of spending the funds are unable to promptly finalise the welfare schemes.
    • amongst the poor, SCs and STs are worst affected by the problem of malnutrition. Maternal anaemia, children with low birth weight related deficiencies are other problems that affect SC/ST communities. As a combined result of social neglect and denial of opportunities, these communities have not been able to realise their potential.
    • The talents of children from weaker sections of society waste or wither away due to lack of opportunity.
    • the governments have failed to abolish the employment of manual scavengers (safai karamcharis) completely
    • A report from The Sunday Guardian states that despite the ban, at least 300 manual scavenging deaths took place just in 2017. In addition to this, a 2015 article in The Hindu states that, as of 3 July 2015, just under 1.8 lakh households in India were still engaged in manual scavenging, despite the act being prohibited.
    • Apart from this, it adds that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, created to address problems of the SC community, has further REDUCED the budget for the rehabilitation of manual scavengers by 95 percent since 2014-15.
    • Lastly, members of the public services in general are reluctant to working in fields relating to SCs and STs. It is also felt by some that many public servants are guided by their own biases and prejudices instead of the Constitution’s objectives and aspirations. This results in denial of the rights of the SCs and STs