Mumbai, May 6: Maharashtra government will observe 2016 as the year of equality and harmony and make special efforts to reach out to Dalits, tribals and people from the lower strata of society.
Announcing this here today, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that during the year, the BJP-Shiv Sena government will focus on welfare programmes for Dalits, adivasis and disadvantaged sections of society.
The event coincides with the celebrations of 125th birth anniversary of the famed social reformer BR Ambedkar which will conclude in April next year.
"The state government will observe 2016 as the year of equality and harmony and make special efforts to reach out to Dalits, tribals and people from the lower strata of society," the Chief Minister said.
Fadnavis was speaking at a function organised to present Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Samaj Bhushan Awards to 51 people and 10 organisations, who were honoured for doing exceptional social work.
Social Justice Minister Rajkumar Badole, Minister of State for Social Justice Dilip Kamble and Mumbai Mayor Snehal Ambedkar were among those present.
Fadnavis said all the ground work for constructing a grand memorial for Ambedkar at Indu Mills land here has been completed. The Government will erect a memorial befitting the stature of the Dalit icon.
"Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar is not only respected in the country but also internationally. Keeping this in mind, the state government has decided to buy a residential property in London, where he lived in 1920s," Fadnavis said.
The government will also set up an 'Ambedkar Chair' at the London School of Economics, the noted jurist's alma mater, the Chief Minister said.