Explained Maharashtra National

Phule-Shahu-Ambedkar’s Maharashtra- A Fact Check on the Delivery of Social Justice

social justice delivery

This article is part of a series on Maharashtra – Promises and Delivery

Part 1: Infrastructure

Part 2: ‘Water For All’ 

Part 3: Urban Development

Part 4: Economy and Employment

Part 5: Farmers

Part 6: Education

Part 7: Health For All

Part 8: Women Empowerment & Safety

Part 9: Cultural Heritage

Part 10: People-Centric Policies

Part 11: Social Justice

Part 12: Safety and Security

Continuing the series, we now analyze the promises of social justice. Maharashtra has had the history of Babasaheb Ambedkar and host of other reformers who aimed at social justice. Has Fadnavis government been able to achieve success in this field?

Promise There is total support for Maratha reservation. Steps will be taken for effective implementation of the same.

16% reservation for the Maratha community was announced in late 2018, after proper legal processes were followed and it was established that the Maratha community is backward. Recently, the reservation was upheld by the court despite it breaching 50% mark in Maharashtra.

Promise Extending support for reservations to Dhangar community without affecting the current reservation quota of tribal communities, will be taken up.

No explicit reservation has been granted. It has been a long-standing demand but is meeting a lot of legal hurdles. However, all schemes pertaining to ST category have been extended to Dhangar community.

Promise A new corporation will be established for welfare of labour force involved in sugarcane cutting.

Instead of the corporation, the government formulated a scheme named Gopinath Munde Sugarcane Labourers Social Security Scheme.

  • The scheme extends EPFO benefits to sugarcane labourers
  • Additional benefits include ones for housing and education.

Promise Caste certificates to students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, etc. categories will be made available on the day of their SSC results.

No such rule has been made.

Promise Lands belonging to Wakf board will be recovered from unlawful intruders and returned to the board. The decisions of the courts in favour of the Wakf board will be strictly implemented.

Maharashtra government launched CID probe in the issue of encroachment of Wakf lands in 2014. It also set up a second tribunal at Nagpur to deal with cases of encroachment.

Promise Simple and transparent procedures with online validation system to acquire caste certificates will be introduced.

Under the Aaple Sarkar portal, one can now apply online and get validation for caste certificate.

Promise New census for de-notified and nomadic tribes such as Koli, Paradhi, Ramoshi and Berad will be undertaken. An independent government department for ensuring their welfare, will be set up.

No specific decisions taken.

Promise

  • Special body will be formed to address the issues related to safety, health, financial and social support to senior citizens.
  • Free and hassle-free medical facilities will be provided for senior citizens through state government’s Public Health Department.

Government launched a special policy for senior citizens that included lowering age criteria for senior citizens from 65 to 60 years, exemption from property tax, 50% concession in medical bills, etc.

Promise– Training centers and bureaus will be established at district levels to meet the growing demand for caregivers and nurses.

While the Continuous Nurse Education scheme was introduced in 2016 wherein nurses would need 150 hours of training, the scheme has been stopped due to complications in its functioning.

Promise Separate reservation will be introduced for poor and economically backward people.

The promise was fulfilled by the central government by declaring 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections among the unreserved categories.

Promise Implementation of the reservations for disabled persons.

Maharashtra has declared reservation for disabled people in the government jobs. 3% of the budget funds will be kept specially for Divyang. Easy access to loan facilities for Divyang willing to set up businesses also is ensured.

Promise All government buildings and public places will be made disabled-friendly.

A directive was given which talked of making 50 government buildings disabled-friendly. But a lot needs to be done in this regard.

Promise– Stringent implementation of the policy which makes provision of special facilities to disabled people mandatory in public toilets.

There has been limited success in this provision. There have been announcements for building disabled-friendly toilets but not much has been achieved.

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