Allies of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) like the Dravidar Kazhagam (DK), Congress, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and the CPI(M) have announced a protest on 6 September against the Vishwakarma Yojana announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech on Independence Day.
They said that the scheme would encourage the continuation of caste-based 'hereditary occupations' or 'kula kalvi' and discourage the youth from pursuing higher education.
DK president K Veeramani said, “Under the guise of supporting traditional artisans and craftspeople of rural and urban India, the scheme could potentially compel young individuals to follow their family’s traditional professions, consequently reinforcing caste and trade hierarchy.
"So, to create a casteless society, this scheme should be opposed. To strongly condemn this, the DK and other democratic and progressive forces will stage protest on September 6 in Chennai. The next course of protest will be announced after consultation with democratic forces.”
Under the scheme, targetted at the OBC community, craftsmen and artisans involved in 18 different trades such as carpenters, goldsmiths, sculptors, weavers, masons, barbers, blacksmiths, tailors etc. would be initially eligible for collateral-free credit up to Rs 1 lakh. They would subsequently be eligible for a loan of Rs 2 lakh at an interest rate of 5 per cent.
The beneficiaries would be provided with a PM Vishwakarma certificate, stipends for skill training, aid to purchase tools and marketing support.
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