The National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC) was set up for socio-economic upliftment of safai karamcharis, scavengers and their dependents by way of providing financial assistance at concessional rates of interest for viable income generating activities. Its managing director Lalit Kohli spoke to HT on a range of issues. Excerpts:
What steps is the corporation taking for eradication of scavenging in the country?
The ministry of social justice and empowerment has introduced the self-employment scheme for rehabilitation of manual scavengers (SRMS) in January 2007. The ministry had allocated 12 states to NSKFDC for speedy implementation of the scheme. These states are: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Pudducherry, Rajasthan andTamil Nadu.
Please elaborate on the schemes under which NSKFDC gives financial assistance?
NSKFDC has been providing financial assistance to the target group for any viable income generating activities. The main schemes is the term loan scheme under which loan up to 90 per cent of the projects costing upto Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million) is given. The balance 10 per cent is to be provided by the state channelising agencies as margin money including subsidy alongwith promoter's contribution. The loan shall be repaid within five years.
What are the eligibility criteria for seeking financial assistance from your corporation?
The beneficiary should be a scavenger or a safai karamchari and their dependents identified through appropriate surveys. All those who could not be covered under the survey already conducted in this regard may obtain a certificate from a local revenue officer or an officer of local Municipal office among other authorities. No income limit is fixed for availing financial assistance under NSKFDC schemes.
Does NSKFDC also conducting training courses?
Training is imparted for self-employment ventures and skill development for taking up income generating activities. Under the scheme 100 per cent grant is offered along with stipend Rs 1,000 per month per candidate.