Skip to main content

NGO posts 1 lakh postcards to Gujarat CM, submits plea to 33 district collectors to set up state minorities dept

A minority ghetto in Ahmedabad
By Our Representative
A minority rights civil society organization has asked the Gujarat government to set up an independent minorities’ welfare department. Currently, all minority-related activities fall under the social justice and empowerment department of the state government, one reason why, the NGO, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), feels there is no focused approach to ameliorate their plight.
In a memorandum addressed to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, submitted to 33 district collectors, MCC has also demanded setting up a state minorities’ commission and providing it with a constitutional set up by passing a law in the state assembly. Currently, all major states, except for Gujarat, Odisha and Jammu & Kashmir, have minorities commission.
In a list of eight of eight demands, the MCC also asked the state government to set up higher secondary schools up to standard 12 in minority-dominated areas, providing madarsa schools certificate the status of Gujarat state board certificate, setting aside a special economic package for the minorities, and implementation of the 15-point prwogramme for minority welfare, begun by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The memorandum has been submitted to each of the district collector’s office of Gujarat following the NGO’s month-long campaign, which included public meetings, seminars and signature campaigns. About one lakh post cards were sent to the Gujarat chief minster listing the eight demands. However, Gujarat officials have so far not responded to any of these campaigns.
MCC convener Mujahid Nafees, who lives in Juhapura, said to India’s largest Muslim ghetto, told Counterview, “There is a sinister move of the Gujarat government to identify minorities only with Muslims. We take a larger view by including in in the definition not just religious minorities, but also Dalits and other social groups which face social exclusion.”
In that sense, he suggests, MCC follows the well-known Minority Rights Group International (MRGI), one of those objectives has been to work for “the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples worldwide.” Especially focusing on “religious and ethnic persecution, forced migration, persistent inequality and environmental degradation” in India one of the MRGI’s interests includes focus on Dalit rights.
Formed on December 18, 2016, MCC believes, minorities in Gujarat are “more vulnerable than other states”, and examines, as part of its advocacy thrust, how the state government has been treating minorities in Gujarat.
One of its recent analyses, based on official data, says, though a big proportion of minorities live in urban areas, there has not been any effort to “flow” funds to help the poorer sections living in cities/towns which have “a substantial minority population”.
To substantiate, it says, despite an allocation of a whopping Rs 2,033.08 crore in 2014-15 in the state budget for the poor urban minorities, the Gujarat government did not spend the money for their welfare.
Pointing out that there are eight minority concentrated blocks Kutch, Rajkot district and Bharuch districts of Gujarat, and 10 minority-concentrated towns are in Kutch, Junagadh, Panchmahals, Bharuch, Sabarkantha, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Junagardh, Anand in Borsad districts, the analysis says, though the Government of India has set the target of providing assistance to 670 minority beneficiaries for setting up of individual and group micro-enterprises in 2014-15, the state government did nothing in that direction.
According to the analysis, 4,424 minority beneficiaries in self-help groups were to be helped, but not one beneficiary benefited. Also, stat government did not extend any special help to upgrade the skill of minority beneficiaries, though the target was to training 5,535 persons.
The analysis further reveals that the Gujarat government did not construct any primary or upper schools in 2006-07 under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in districts with substantial minority population under the Prime Minister’s 15 point programme to alleviate the plight of the minorities; nothing was done to implement the National Rural Drinking Water Programme in minority areas; and so on.

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Contempt of court? UP CM taking 'personal vendetta' against Dr Kafeel Khan: Activists

Counterview Desk
Demanding that the Uttar Pradesh government immediately release well-known paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, a group of more than 100 academicians, activists, researchers, doctors and lawyers have said in an open letter that he is being “targeted at the behest of the chief minister”, wondering, “When is an act of challenging the government a threat under the National Security Act (NSA)?”

ASI has 'no funds' to protect five centuries old Goa church, a World Heritage Site

Counterview Desk
The century-old All-India Catholic Union (AICU), the largest Laity movement in Asia, has blamed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for neglecting the historic Bom Jesu church by keeping its ceilings  open to the vagaries weather, with no steps  taken to protect the five century old monument from damage on account of impending rains on the lame excuse that there are "no funds". In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AICU simultaneously asks the Government of India to devise a "comprehensive" national social security safety net, universal health Insurance and medical Infrastructure so that the “calamity” that has befalenl millions of migrant labour and jobless rural and urban poor in “the Covid pandemic-driven lockdown is “never repeated.”

A locked up offer? Govt of India 'not serious' in involving NGOs: IIM-A survey

By Rajiv Shah
Was the Government of India serious when it asked 92,000 civil society organizations (CSOs) in early April to “assist” state governments and district administrations in taking care of food, shelter and other needs of migrant workers, known to have been affected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ sudden 21-day lockdown in order to “combat” the spread of Covid-19 virus, announced on March 24?

Will Govt of India, ICMR end 'perverse' practice of extracting profits from ill-health?

By Asmita Verma, Surabhi Agarwal, Bobby Ramakant*
The Epidemics Act, 1897 gives the central and state governments authority to impose any regulations which may be necessary to contain the outbreak of a disease. Some state governments such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh have already used this power to bring private healthcare facilities in their state under government control.

Coping with Covid-19? Options before small, marginal farmers of rainfed regions

By Biswanath Sinha, Kuntal Mukherjee*
The global crisis due to Covid-19 has hit after reaching in western Europe. India’s response to curtail the spread of the disease was quite decisive. It announced a Janata curfew on the March 22, followed by a complete national lockdown from the midnight of March 24.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

'Violation' of migrant workers' human rights: Legal notice to IIM-A director, govt babus

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to the police action against protesting migrant workers off the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on May 18, senior Gujarat High Court advocate Anandvardhan Yagnik, in a legal notice to the IIM-A director "on their behalf" has said that the workers had only been seeking to to go back to their home states, Jharkhand and West Bengal, for the last more than 20 days because they were not paid their “earned wages because of the lockdown.”