Muslim Women in Uttar Pradesh are Least Educated Group in India
India’s Ministry of Minority Affairs has said that Muslim women in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh are the least educated group in the country. It said that high level of illiteracy was caused by extreme poverty among the community in many districts of the state.
As per available information, due to Socio-Economic factors, Muslim women have low literacy rates compared to the National level for literacy for women in Uttar Pradesh, including the districts of Bahraich, Deoria and Gorakhpur. Further, the incidence of poverty among Muslims including Muslim women in the State of Uttar Pradesh is high.
Ministry of Minority Affairs has adopted a multi-pronged strategy for development of minorities including minority women. For educational empowerment, Pre-Matric, Post-Matric and Merit-cum-Means Scholarships are awarded. Under these schemes, minimum 30% seats are reserved for girls.
In addition, Maulana Azad Education Foundation, an autonomous body under the Ministry, provides scholarships to minority girls studying in class XI and XII exclusively. Further, under Prime Minister’s 15 Point Programme and Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) for minorities, educational infrastructure like schools, girls’ hostels etc., Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Polytechnics etc., are constructed. In addition, the scheme of “Nai Roshni”, the Leadership Development of Minority Women, is also being implemented since 2012-13 to empower and instill confidence among minority women by providing knowledge, tools and techniques for interacting with Government systems, banks and other institutions at all levels.
To meet the needs of Micro-Finance, a specific scheme of “Mahila Samriddhi Yojana” is being implemented by the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation. Recently, the Ministry has formulated a scheme of “Seekho aur Kamao (Learn & Earn)” for Skill Development of Minorities, wherein 30% of the seats have been reserved for minority girls. This was stated by Ninong Ering, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs in response to a written question in the Lok Sabha.
(Compiled by Mohammad Shahanshah Ansari)
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