By A Staff Writer
The Govt. of India has made provision of 15% of all allocations for social development from all schemes in ministries such as education, housing health for minorities.
The Government of India had accepted 72 of the 76 recommendations of the Report presented by the Rajinder Sachar Committee. Of these 69 are being addressed. Roughly 47 of these recommendations were taken up for implementation. Some of them are getting implemented through Prime Minister’s 15-point Programme.
The three recommendations that have not been taken up so far are Diversity Index, Data Bank and Equal Opportunities Commission. These are under active consideration for implementation by the Ministry.
We suffer from the dearth of NGOs, especially the credible NGOs. We don’t have even five per cent of the NGOs that are required to take up the work for the welfare and development of Muslim community.
The people who are being targeted under these programmes need BPL (Below Poverty Line) cards to begin with. The BPL cards are issued by the State Government. In most states, the number of cards issued have already reached the saturation limit. There is resistance to issue new cards. But the problem is not insurmountable. Some NGO could conduct a survey of BPL families who do not possess the BPL cards in a particular area and demand issuance of BPL cards to the deserving families.
Of the programmes so far implemented by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the scholarship programme has exceeded the target. Now there is a dominant opinion that the scholarships should be demand-driven rather than target-driven. It is here that we need a Data Bank as recommended by the Sachar Report.
There are two ways through which the Sachar recommendations are being implemented. While some programmes like scholarships are directed by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the government has directed various other ministries that look after social welfare programmes such as education, health, housing etc to set aside 15% of their financial allocations for the minorities. For instance, under Indira Awas Yojana, the Central Government scheme meant for housing for the BPL families, there was a physical target of 415,000 houses for the families belonging to the minorities. These were to be constructed and given to such families with quota demarcated for each state, district and blocks. The 12th Five-Year Plan had allocated Rs. 29,000 crore for the Indira Awas Yojana. In 2012-13 the financial target was Rs. 3,000 crore. Now it is for the Muslim NGOs to find out how many such houses were built and given to Muslim families in each block, district or states. Even a list of such families can be obtained through an RTI application from the collector. (At this point a participant from Hassan in Karnataka got up and said the 350 such houses were to be given to Muslims in Hassan district during 2012-13. But only 9 were actually given. On Deputy Commissioner being approached, his reply was there is no land for constructing such houses for Muslims. He said the same official allotted 120 acres of government land to other communities for sundry purposes.)
Continuing his speech further, Mr. Rahman Khan said 64% of the physical target under Indira Awas Yojana had been achieved by December 2012.
On the health sector, Mr. Khan stated, any BPL cardholder can be sanctioned any amount of money for treatment of chronic diseases in any Government hospital anywhere in India.
Similarly, he said, Rs. 450 crore were allocated for imparting skills for minorities. But achievement till December was merely 6.4% up to December 2012.
He further said, in view of the failure of the Multi Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP) in 90 Muslim dominated district across the country, the scheme has been redesigned to target the 770 blocks and towns with considerable Muslim population.
(This report combines the inputs available from Union Minister Mr. Rahman Khan in Rajya Sabha TV debate held at auditorium of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Hyderabad on March 8 and his speech at the 2nd Annual Convention of Muslim NGOs in Bangalore on March 10, 2013.)