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Odisha to offer free education to SC/ST in English medium schools

Odisha government on Monday launched a scheme which would provide fully-funded education to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe (SC & ST) students from remote areas in public schools in urban centers.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik launched Anwesha, a scheme under which every year 5,000 children from the backward castes will pursue quality education in leading English medium schools.

The state government will bear all expenses of the children, including school fees, uniform, books, hostel and transportation.

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As per the scheme, 5000 children would be enrolled in class-I every year which would be extended upto 50,000 in subsequent phases.

“There is huge potential among tribal children and our state has been promoting their talent in the fields of art, culture, sports and education,” Naveen said, announcing the scheme at Saragi Phul – a three day children’s festival for SC/ST children, which started at the Adivasi Ground here on Monday.

Naveen further said, “Over 3.5 lakh SC/ST students stay in hostels to continue their education, while two lakh more will be able to avail the facility soon. The state has recently increased scholarships for SC/ST students.”

The scheme will be operational in 17 tribal-dominated districts in the first phase, official sources said.

Naveen Patnaik

SC & ST Development Minister Lal Bihari Himirika, Minister of State (Tribal Welfare) Sudam Marandi, Minister for Handlooms and Textiles & Handicrafts Snehangini Chhuria were present during the occasion.

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