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Anglo-Indians aiming high

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ALL SMILES: Christine Lazarus, MLA (centre), with members of Anglo-Indian community in Visakhapatnam during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
ALL SMILES: Christine Lazarus, MLA (centre), with members of Anglo-Indian community in Visakhapatnam during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Prabhakkar Sharma

The community should make better use of quota, says Lazarus

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Anglo-Indians’ representative in the State Legislative Assembly Christine Lazarus has expressed hope that every member of her community will become a professional in the next few years to regain the past glory. She has already been striving towards this goal over the last two decades and her confidence stems from the fact that she could successfully enhance the reservations for Anglo-Indians in the State from a mere five seats in professional colleges in 1989 to as many as 185 in 2004. “In 1989, after a lot of pressure, we were allotted one seat each in medicine, engineering, B.Sc. Nursing and two in polytechnic. Now the increased quota includes 100 seats in engineering, one seat each in medical and dental, and 20 seats each in architecture and pharmacy, thanks to our late Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy who understood our plight and obliged us,” she told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

Tracing the decline of Anglo-Indian race in India, Ms. Lazarus said that their population had come down from about ten lakhs in 1947 to just 4.5 lakhs at present. She attributes this to lack of opportunities in education and jobs. “Our community during those days was present at all big railway junctions like Kolkata, Madras, and Secunderabad. We are hard working and the fact that those who joined the railways as khalasi with seventh class qualification had worked their way up to become even divisional railway managers proves this.

Most of the Anglo-Indians migrated to England, Canada and Australia a few decades ago due to lack of opportunities. We still have good teachers but the rest are all engaged in menial jobs for livelihood. Now that we have reservations in higher education, our children should utilise them fully to become good professionals,” she said.

The legislator was in city to attend ‘Hawaii Nite’ - night-long Christmas and New Year celebrations organised by the community at Railway Institute on Tuesday.

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