To benefit widows and divorced women belonging to minority communities, 54 women from Malappuram district.

The State government on Friday launched a new housing scheme by giving aid to widowed and divorced women of minority religions.

Inaugurating the first instalment of the housing aid distribution at a function held at the Collectorate here, Minister for Urban Affairs and Welfare of Minorities Manjalamkuzhi Ali said that more beneficiaries would be included in the scheme soon.

The government is providing Rs. 2 lakh each to 250 minority widows and divorcees across the State.

Fifty-four of them are from Malappuram district.

The Minister said that the scheme would be expanded to cover more beneficiaries.

Mentioning a series of projects being implemented by the Department of Minority Welfare, Mr. Ali said that the State government was trying hard to change the notion harboured by the people of Malabar that government jobs were unreachable for them.

“Providing house and drinking water alone will not help to uplift the minorities. What is essential for them is education,” said the Minister.

Presenting a report, District Collector K. Biju said that 54 beneficiaries were selected in the district from 963 applications. When 938 applicants were Muslim, 25 were Christian.

Fifty of the beneficiaries are Muslim and four are Christian.

P. Ubaidulla, MLA, presided. Minorities Welfare Directorate head P. Nazeer welcomed the gathering.

Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation director Haneefa Perincheeri, Malappuram Municipal vice-chairperson K.M. Girija, Opposition Leader in Municipality Paloli Kunhimohammed, Municipal councillor U. Krishnan spoke.

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