Chief Minister Kiran regrets trend among Muslim youth to eke out a living at an early age when they ought to be in schools

The government will sanction Rs.174 crore for construction of new buildings for the 12 minority residential schools in the State. Besides, 20 hostels for post-matric students costing Rs. 44 crore, 10 pre-matric hostels costing Rs. 22 crore and a working women’s hostel in Hyderabad will be constructed.

These announcements were made by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy during the Minorities Welfare Day programme organised as part of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s 125 birth anniversary here on Monday.

He also promised to double the assistance of Rs. 25,000 per head being given for mass marriage of poor minority girls. But he linked it with a rider that educated girls would get more money.

Salaries to Imams, Mouzzens

Responding to the demand for grant of salaries to the Imams and Mouzzens of mosques, he said government would take a policy decision shortly after consulting religious leaders. However, he hastened to add that any such move should be justified and stand the scrutiny of courts.

He appealed to the religious and family heads to give a call for making education compulsory for all communities, especially girls.

He regretted the trend among Muslim youth to eke out a living at an early age when they ought to be in schools. Education, Mr. Reddy said, was not employment alone. It was for overall growth of a person so that one could take the right decision in the face of challenges. He asked students to pursue courses they liked and not what their parents want them to.

Awards presented

Later, Mr. Reddy also presented the Maulana Azad lifetime achievement awards of the Urdu Academy for the years 2009 to 2012 to Prof. Ahamdullah, former principal, Law College, Prof. Ashraf Rafi, former head, Department of Urdu, Osmania University, Rahman Jami, poet, and retired IAS officer, Mohd. Shafiquzzaman.

The award carried cash of Rs. 1.25 lakh, citation and a memento. Awards were also presented to 63 best Urdu teachers, 70 Urdu students and 15 eminent personalities in various fields.

The State Minorities Commission awards were given away to 15 persons in different fields.

Earlier, Minorities Welfare Minister Mohd Ahmedullah thanked the Chief Minister for enhancing the budget of the Minority Welfare Department to a massive Rs. 1,027 crore. Abid Rasool Khan, Chairman, A.P. State Minorities Commission, and Shaikh Mohd Iqbal, Commissioner, Minorities Welfare, spoke.

‘Follow Maulana’s teachings’

Meanwhile, the need for people to emulate the teachings of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and promote Hindu-Muslim unity in the country was stressed by speakers at a function held at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) on Monday.

Dr. Aziz Qureshi, Governor of Uttarakhand, who was the chief guest at the National Education Day celebrations held as part of the birthday celebrations of Maulana Azad, said that the struggle to unite both the communities was started by the Maulana and the struggle against communal divide is still in progress.

“Maulana did his best for the cause, and people, particularly youngsters, should follow his teachings,” Dr. Qureshi said. Professor Ved Prakash, Chairman, University Grants Commission, said Maulana Azad always opposed partition of the country and stressed for a united nation.

Professor Mohammed Miyan, Vice-Chancellor of MANUU, also spoke.

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