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Pahari Board sanctioned record scholarships: Gupta

BJP Senior leader & Vice-Chairman of State Advisory Board for Development of Pahari Speaking People, Kuldeep Raj Gupta (MoS Status), while addressing media persons, said that the Board has sanctioned Rs. 16 crores and 20 lakh in favour of 1 lakh 43 thousand Pahari students for providing them scholarships.
Kuldeep Raj Gupta said that for the first time, the Board has published Annual Report on Post Matric scholarships containing details of this financial assistance to the students, both boys and girls, belonging to the Pahari speaking families of Jammu & Kashmir. He further said that it has happened for the first time in the history of the state that neither a single penny of the funds have lapsed nor any scholarship application rejected or kept pending.
The Board Vice-Chairman further disclosed that funds for purchase of the dress by a student has been enhanced from Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2250 besides making hike in monthly pocket money from Rs. 1500 to Rs. 3000. He said that in addition to the scholarships and monthly cash payments, the students in hostels run by the Board get free meals, accommodation and books.
Kuldeep Raj Gupta alleged that Pahari speaking people, who mostly reside in Rajouri, Poonch, Kupwara, Baramulla and Anantnag districts, had been discriminated and ignored by the previous governments for over 40 years.
“The governments of NC and Congress tried to win confidence of the Pahari Speaking People by claiming that they favour ST status for them and had recommended the cases to the Centre governments”, Gupta said and questioned that why the same were not followed for final approval, if these governments were really concerned for the same.
He said that Pahari Speaking People have contributed in the freedom struggle and made sacrifices. Despite having limited resources and less opportunities of quality education, these people have preserved their rich culture and they present the best example of brotherhood and social fabric of respect for others.
Gupta assured that the Board will further take initiatives to provide help and guidance to the youth of this community to progress and lead dignified lives.
BJP State Secretary Sanjay Baru and State Spokesperson Balbir Ram Rattan were also present in the press conference.