Move over the Gujarat model of lopsided development. Here comes the Karnataka model of development that empowers all sections of society with numerous state-run welfare schemes. This model believes the state’s riches belong to women, youth, farmers, labourers, and marginalised sections, and not an affluent set. This governance model that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has painstakingly crafted for the people is worth emulating.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s recent visit to the state pulled crowds in large numbers, which is a testimony to the good work that the Congress government has done in Karnataka over the last five years. Karnataka’s flagship projects have benefitted millions of people by reducing inequities and boosting development for the backward classes, whose voices are not heard. These schemes range from educational awards, women and child-centered initiatives to housing schemes and bold decisions on providing relief to farmers.
Here’s a look at some of the path-breaking welfare schemes of the Congress government in Karnataka:
- Anna Bhagya
One of the most successful programmes, Anna Bhagya provides for the free of cost distribution of 7 kgs of rice to BPL families. This was started with a vision to establish a hunger-free Karnataka. Over 1 crore families have benefited from this scheme.
- Ksheera Bhagya
Launched in association with the Karnataka Co-operative Milk Producers Federation Ltd, the Ksheera Bhagya scheme provides free milk to school and Anganwadi children for five days a week. The state has also tied up with Akshaya Patra and Amazon to widen the reach to 1300 government schools in the State. The project aims to tackle malnutrition and the school drop-out rates across the state.
- Farm Loan Waivers
The state government understands the distress of farmers and has taken cautious steps to improve the economic condition of the debt-ridden farmers. The government has waived off crop loans of up to Rs. 50,000 per farmer benefiting over 22 lakh farmers. The total allocated funds for farm loan waivers in the state is Rs. 8165 crore. This will grant farmers some relief from the second successive droughts that resulted in declining agricultural activity.
- Indira Canteens
Indira Canteens have been set up across the state to provide affordable meals to all. In Indira canteens, breakfast is served at Rs. 5 and lunch and dinner are offered at Rs. 10 to ensure better accessibility and food security to all citizens. Over 1 crore meals have been served in just two and a half months of being operational. The government has also launched mobile canteens in Bangalore, where food trucks will be parked in public spaces.
- Jana Sanjivini
Healthcare has always been at the forefront of the state’s agenda. The Jana Sanjivini scheme was initiated to set up generic drugs stores at government hospitals. The stores provide access to medicines at a discounted price of up to 50%, thus improving the quality of treatment and the healthcare blueprint of Karnataka.
These are just a few examples that display the commitment of the Karnataka government for the welfare of its people. Moreover, Karnataka has been the pioneer in seamlessly integrating technology with these schemes to amplify social impact. All the schemes are proof of the unwavering concern the Congress government has for the development of poor. Quite a contrast with the anti-poor Modi government! The PM can certainly learn a lesson or two from the Karnataka model of development.