Delay in paying Rs 1K honorarium promised by DMK govt irks women

Meanwhile, an official from the Department of Social Welfare and Women Empowerment said that Civil Supplies Corporation is most likely to handle the scheme as cash assistance might be given through Public Distribution Systems (PDS)
CM MK Stalin
CM MK Stalin

CHENNAI: Women family heads specifically those from economically weaker backgrounds are growing apprehensive over the delay of the Rs 1,000 honorarium, promised by the DMK leader MK Stalin during his election campaign in March 2021. The Dravidian party that completed one year in the office in May is yet to either launch the scheme or roll out the eligibility criteria.

Meanwhile, an official from the Department of Social Welfare and Women Empowerment said that Civil Supplies Corporation is most likely to handle the scheme as cash assistance might be given through Public Distribution Systems (PDS). However, none of the State departments have received any official confirmation yet.

But, as far as beneficiaries are concerned, the anticipation and apprehension over the scheme are growing stronger.

G Indira (41) of Chengalpattu said, “I am a single mother with a daughter studying in Class 12. Despite trying hard for years. I could not avail for widow’s pension. But I hope I can get Rs 1,000 promised by the DMK as it will help me run the family...even a gas cylinder costs over Rs 1,000 now.”

Indira is not an isolated case, says S Valentina of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) – Tamil Nadu. “As it’s already been a year, beneficiaries are worried if the scheme will be dropped. Due to the pandemic, many are suffering from financial crisis. Hence this cash assistance from the government will act as a saviour,” said Valentina.

As part of a 10-year vision document, DMK leader Stalin as a poll promise assured Rs 1,000 for women family heads three months after actor-politician Kamal Haasan of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) made a similar announcement.

Subsequently, in August 2021, Chief Minister Stalin said honorarium will be provided only to women of economically weaker backgrounds and in February, he confirmed that the scheme will be launched soon. Followed by that Minister for Finance and Human Resources Management Palanivel Thiaga Rajan too, in June, told the media persons that the scheme would be launched soon, while the background work of weeding out non-beneficiaries was under way.

However, when DT Next contacted Thiaga Rajan, he remained tight-lipped about the scheme.

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