No complaints. That’s what seems to be the ‘problem’ with the minority departments.
The grievance cell, set up to address minority issues, has few takers. Week after week heads of departments of various minority institutions meet at the Haj House here but there are hardly any complaints to deal with.
Over the last few months, neither top officials nor the public are turning up. Only a lone officer heading the Urdu Academy, S.A. Shukoor, is present unfailingly every Monday to listen to the grievances.
The grievance cell was set up with much fanfare last November to redress public complaints. Initially, HoDs of the Wakf Board, AP State Minorities Finance Corporation (APSMFC), AP Christian Minorities Finance Corporation, Urdu Academy and Haj Committee made themselves available at the grievance cell.
Then secretary of the Minorities Welfare Department, Mr. Dana Kishore, who set up the cell, also attended the weekly programme. But after his transfer, officials began losing interest.
Given the pathetic functioning of minority departments, one would expect them to be flooded with complaints. However, statistics show that since its launch, the number of complaints number – hold your breath – just 376.
Interestingly, most complaints were received in the initial months after the grievance cell was set up. Thereafter, they have come down to a trickle.
Students turn up
The few who turn up at the grievance cell on Mondays are mostly students trying to find out the status of their scholarship applications. While all departments have addressed the complaints, the Wakf Board is still to dispose off 117 petitions.
The complaints received by the Urdu Academy were more in the nature of representations.
Does it mean people have no grievance against these departments or their functioning is flawless? The problem, many feel, is the loss of faith in the grievance cell.
“There is no point complaining as no action is taken on the petitions,” some say.
The presence of second-rung officials at the grievance cell, instead of the heads of departments, is another reason for the people not evincing any interest, it is said.
Officials feel they are ‘wasting’ half a day at the grievance cell with few turning up with complaints. They have reportedly urged Ahmed Nadeem, secretary, Minorities Welfare, to wind up the show.