Maharashtra govt extends sops to Dhangar community
The BJP-led state government's promise to categorise the Dhangar (shepherd) community as tribals with benefits from the scheduled tribes (ST) quota may have run into legal issues and a wall of opposition. But, the Maharashtra Cabinet on Tuesday decided to extend benefits and schemes for tribals to the Dhangars in a bid to placate the powerful, yet restive community, before the state Assembly polls due in October.
The Devendra Fadnavis Cabinet approved a special development programme including 13 schemes and a separate Rs 1,000 crore outlay. This includes students from the nomadic tribes (NT-C) category, in which Dhangars fall in, being given admissions to reputed English-medium schools, 10,000 houses for families in the first phase and equity for co-operative spinning mills launched by Dhangars.