Separate hostels for Muslim girl students underway throughout the State and scholarships worth Rs. 12 crore to be disbursed this financial year

Reservation should be made available on the basis of caste and not religion and Dalit Christians should be accorded Scheduled Caste status was the gist of a report sent by the Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to the Union Government. It was hoped that they would get their due status, said Rev Fr. Vincent Chinnadurai, Chairman, State Minorities Commission, on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference after a review meeting here, Fr. Chinnadurai said that representatives of minorities thanked Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin for providing 3.5 per cent reservation to Muslims, instituting the Ulema Welfare Board and sanctioning hostels for Muslim girls.

He said that the issue of inadequate number of teaching and non-teaching staff in minority educational institutions would be addressed very shortly and the institutions would also be provided with a maintenance grant, which was stopped in between.

Answering a question on the Sachar Committee recommendations, Fr. Chinnadurai said that the Tamil Nadu government had been implementing them and one of the tangible efforts was the construction of hostels for Muslim female students.

During the last financial year 24,125 pre-matric scholarships worth Rs. 3.7 crore and 6,693 post-matric scholarships worth Rs. 1.96 crore were disbursed. This year, 1,33,185 beneficiaries would receive scholarships worth Rs. 12 crore.

In Madurai district last year, 100 auto rickshaws were distributed through the Tamil Nadu Minorities Economic Development Corporation (TAMCO), individual loans to the tune of Rs. 75 lakh, educational loans for Rs. 5 lakh and micro credit worth Rs. 25 lakh were disbursed. This year, 50 persons had so far received financial benefits worth Rs. 47,50,000, he said.

The panel appreciated the interest shown by the district administration in safeguarding the interests of minorities and minority institutions in the district. Earlier, Fr. Chinnadurai and Commission members, V. M. Maurya Methapal and Pyare Lal Jain, held discussions with officials and a few representatives of minority communities on the socio economic conditions of minorities and whether the State’s efforts to rectify anomalies were reaching them on time. Among those present was the Madurai Collector N. Mathivanan.

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