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Hindutva outfit attempts to scuttle scheme for poor girls

Rishikesh Bahadur Desai
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Parents concerned following opposition from Bajrang Dal

New avenues:A batch of students undergoing training at the Carmel Vocational Training Centre in Bidar.
New avenues:A batch of students undergoing training at the Carmel Vocational Training Centre in Bidar.

A unique initiative that provides good education to poor girls from Bidar is facing stiff opposition from a conservative outfit.

The Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel that runs the Carmel Vocational Training Centre (CVTC) in Bidar has been sending 40 girls every year to Mangalore for the past 10 years. Over 90 per cent of the girls are Dalits. The Department of Social Welfare permits such transfers of orphans or non-orphan destitute students, providing them with destitute certificates and a monthly scholarship of Rs. 350 each.

The Bajrang Dal has opposed this claiming that Christian educational institutions in Mangalore are indulging in conversions in the name of education. Added to this, revenue officials in Bidar delay issuing destitute certificates to these children, saying that they do not want to be part of the controversy. Parents are naturally concerned. “We are not sure whether we should continue sending our children to Mangalore and whether they will be safe there,” said Anthappa Chandrapur of Kasar Tugaon village, who had planned to send his daughter to Mangalore.

New applicants

Of the 50 new applications for destitute certificates filed at various tahsildar offices, only 20 have been issued till now.

While the revenue office handbook says destitute certificates should be issued within two working days of the receipt of an application, some applications have been pending for over 45 days.

‘It is legal”

Deputy Commissioner Sameer Shukla toldThe Hinduthat he would instruct officials to facilitate speedy distribution of destitute certificates. He said the movement of children to Mangalore was legal and valid and no one had the right to stop them.

Christine Misquith of the CVTC said, “It will be very difficult to send students to Mangalore if the certificates are not issued before June 1.”

According to DSS leader Maruti Bouddhe, “Officials feel the Bajrang Dal members will target them for helping the children go to Mangalore. Officials should realise that the Bajrang Dal is an extra-constitutional body trying to meddle in their work.”

Voicing his opinion, Christian leader Vaijanath Yanagunde asked, “Who are Bajrang Dal members to tell us where we should admit our children?”

He pointed out that there was no meaning in the argument that the children sent to Mangalore are being converted. “All these children are from Christian homes. There is no need to convert them now,” he said.

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