Failure of the Church to know the socio-economic status of Dalit Christians, caste discrimination and denial of right to quality education were discussed at a review committee meeting, presided over by State Minorities Commission Chairman M.Prakash, at the Collectorate here on Wednesday.
One of the representatives of Dalit Christians of Tamil Nadu, A.Xavier, alleged that the Church failed to make use of the legal and Constitutional provisions to safeguard the interests of Dalit Christians, who constituted 75 per cent of the laity in Tamil Nadu.
Minority rights never helped Dalit Christians enjoy equity, equality, social justice and fraternity, because of the caste affinity displayed by the Church, he noted.
C.Bastin from Kodaikanal insisted that all Catholic institutions should take initiatives to introduce reservation for Dalit Christians.
Another representative, Jennifer, alleged that the church did not have any concrete infrastructure policies and programmes to ensure that the most oppressed enjoyed the minority rights. Even quality education was denied to Dalit Christians, she blamed.
Commission Chairman Prakash said he would take up the issues highlighted by the speakers with Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa.
Later, he said educational aid of Rs.2.28 crore had been disbursed to 13,723 students from the minority communities and welfare assistance to 112 women in the district.
The chairman then distributed identity cards to ulemas, sewing machines and financial assistance to minority beneficiaries.