Modi promises to ‘change’ lives of tribals, Dalits with ‘Stand up India’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday promised he will “change” the lives of Dalits and tribal people by giving them cheap bank loans and opportunities for growth.

“Change is coming to my Dalit and tribal brothers and sisters. They will prosper and progress,” said Modi at a public rally in Noida to launch ‘Stand up India’, his government’s scheme to promote entrepreneurship among Dalits, scheduled castes and tribes.

Modi announced each bank in the country will have to sponsor a Dalit or tribal person with cheap bank loans–a scheme he had announced on August 15 from the Red Fort.

The PM’s latest event to reach out to the Dalits comes a fortnight after he laid the foundation stone for a memorial for Babasaheb Ambedkar in Delhi, where he had hailed the Dalit icon as a champion for women and labour rights.

His decision to launch ‘Stand up India’ in Uttar Pradesh is significant because the state will hold assembly elections in 9 months and it has a 21% Dalit population, the highest among all states.

Stand-Up India will also see the ruling NDA’s focus on women welfare as most of the loans under the new scheme would be earmarked for women and Dalits.

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