Restart all SARTHI projects, Maratha leaders raise demand even as govt promises funds for institute

One of the key coordinators of the Maratha Kranti Morcha and the Sakal Maratha Samaj proposed setting up divisional offices of SARTHI, engaged in training and implementing development schemes for the Maratha youth,  in cities or districts which are educational hubs.

Even as Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday announced that the government would provide funds to Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Research, Training and Human Development Institute (SARTHI) for its activities, the coordinators of Maratha Kranti Morcha said the government should first get all 38 of the institute’s projects up and running.

“Of the 38 projects and courses by SARTHI for Maratha students, only four are active now. The rest of them have been closed down,” said Rajendra Kondhare, one of the key coordinators of the Maratha Kranti Morcha and the Sakal Maratha Samaj.

Kondhare proposed setting up divisional offices of SARTHI, engaged in training and implementing development schemes for the Maratha youth,  in cities or districts which are educational hubs. “There will be one sub-centre at Kolhapur. In all, we have urged for the setting up of 23 offices of SARTHI in 23 districts,” he said.

“We have urged the government to start all the courses. In case, some of the projects have become irrelevant, the government should scrap them and start new ones,” Kondhare added.

Kondhare also proposed the formulation of income slabs to roll out financial help. “We have suggested slabs based on the annual income of a  family. For instance, if the annual income of a youth’s family is Rs one lakh, then he or she should get 100 per cent aid. In case, the annual income is around Rs 9-10 lakh, then the aid should come down to 20 per cent. This will ensure that the needy and the poor among the Maratha community would be benefitted. The government has liked our suggestion,” he said.

On Saturday, a delegation of the Maratha community led by Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, MP, met the deputy chief minister at the government rest house in Pune. During the meeting, Pawar promised the delegation that the government would provide funds to SARTHI and also bestow autonomy on it. SARTHI chairman Ajit Nimbalkar, directors Madhukar Kokate, Navnath Pasalkar and MD Ashok Kakade were also present.

“Pawar has promised to provide funds and restart the stalled courses. We hope the government will keep its word unlike in the past when it misled us by making promises and never living up to them,” said Sadashiv Bhutekar who led the Maratha students’ agitation last year.

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