Involve poor in poverty -eradication programmes: Shekhawat

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Bhopal, Aug 29 (UNI) Former vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat today advocated involvement of the poor in poverty-eradication programmes to provide maximum benefits to them.

Inaugurating a two-day national seminar organised by the Madhya Pradesh Social Justice Department and State Commission for the Economically Weak among the General Category here on poverty, Dr Shekhawat stressed on employment-oriented programmes for poverty alleviation. He suggested that the option of choosing the nature of work should be left to the poor beneficiaries themselves.

''In order to identify eligible beneficiaries of proposed schemes, utmost caution should be adopted,'' he said while calling for making a list of work that could be done manually instead of machines so that large-scale employment could be provided to the poor.

Dr Shekhawat said those not included under reservation should also be given fringe benefits being extended to reserved categories. The former-vice-president underlined the need for evolving a system that could ensure all-round services to the poor.

In her address, former Rajya Sabha deputy speaker Najma Heptullah expressed concern over spiralling poverty in India and warned that it could be ''dangerous for democracy. Poverty knows no bounds of caste and religion''. Urging all concerned to help overcome poverty in order to save democracy, she said that povery could be eradicated only through provision of basic requirements to one and all.

Social Justice Minister Kusum Mehdele and Commission Babulal Jain also spoke on the occasion.

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