NCP president Sharad Pawar | Commons

Mumbai: As Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar, known as the architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, turns 80 today, ministers in the government are busy launching schemes in his name to mark the occasion.

The MVA government has so far announced three schemes to mark Pawar’s birthday. Two of these have been proposed by departments held by NCP ministers. 

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Maharashtra’s Social Justice and Special Assistance Minister Dhananjay Munde, an NCP leader, Friday said his department will launch a ‘MahaSharad’ portal to give assistance to people with disabilities on the NCP chief’s 80th birthday. 

Similarly, NCP Mumbai president Nawab Malik, also the minister for skill development and entrepreneurship, launched a mega recruitment drive Monday, aiming to create jobs for 80,000 people to mark Pawar’s 80th birthday. 

Earlier this week, the MVA cabinet cleared a ‘Sharad Pawar Gram Samruddhi Yojana’ for employment generation through rural development works. 

Also read: Sharad Pawar shows why he is the shrewd fox of Indian politics

‘Jobs for 80,000 people’

NCP minister Malik told ThePrint the job fair on the occasion of Pawar’s birthday has met with an overwhelming response with nearly 74,000 registrations from companies for new jobs and 40,000 people having registered on the state’s portal for employment. 

“The staff from our department took special efforts, met human resources staff from companies and appealed to them to advertise their vacancies on the state’s ‘Mahaswatan’ portal. We are still roping in more companies,” Malik said.

The portal has already registered details of about 13.5 lakh job-seekers, while about 40,000 more have registered in the past few days.

“We had earlier decided that all the jobs will be open for application on two days, 12-13 December, on the occasion of Pawar saheb’s birthday, but there has been such a tremendous response that it has slowed down our portal. We are now extending the job fair till 30 December,” Malik said, adding his department was confident of crossing the 80,000 target. 

‘MahaSharad’ portal for braille kits, hearing aids

NCP Minister Munde, estranged cousin of BJP’s Pankaja Munde, addressed a press conference Friday to talk about his department’s ‘MahaSharad’ portal, which he said will be inaugurated Saturday. 

“Various modern devices prove to be of immense help to persons with disabilities in being able to live like a regular person. There are many such devices in the market such as braille kits, hearing aids, artificial limbs, battery-operated wheelchairs and so on, but it is not always possible for people to afford these,” Munde said. 

He added that many sections of the society such as private companies, non-government organisations, businessmen are willing to donate funds for such requirements. 

“The MahaSharad portal will be a platform where such donors can get in touch with those requiring help,” Munde said. 

The Sharad Pawar Gram Vikas Yojana, which the MVA cabinet approved Wednesday, falls under the employment guarantee scheme department held by Shiv Sena minister Sandipan Bhumare. 

The scheme will be implemented alongside the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). Some works from the MGNREGS will be hived off and brought under the new scheme to create basic infrastructure services for individuals and communities with an intention to double farmers’ income by 2022.

The works include building permanent sheds for cows and buffaloes, chicken, sheep, creating bio-composting facilities, among others. 

Also read: ‘Not remote control or headmaster’, but Sharad Pawar’s clout has only grown in a year of MVA


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