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‘Muslim children should get mainstream education’

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With a purpose: Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed during her visit to the Madrase-e Arabia Jamiya Ayesha Siddika in Bangalore on Friday.
With a purpose: Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed during her visit to the Madrase-e Arabia Jamiya Ayesha Siddika in Bangalore on Friday.

T.S. Ranganna

Bangalore: It was a pleasant surprise for children at the Madrase-e Arabia Jamiya Ayesha Siddika in B.T.M. Layout I Stage here on Friday when Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed came calling.

The forty-odd girls here are taught by Mohammed Anwar Ali, principal-cum-manager of the “madrasa.” They are now being provided an opportunity to learn English, Kannada and mathematics. They have been given a computer, thanks to the efforts of B.K. Chandrasekhar, Legislative Council Chairman. “It is depressing that so many are made to sit on the floor, and there is no fresh air. They are made to wear “burkha” covering their noses. It is enough to cover the head," she said. M.R. Ramesh, District Planning Deputy Coordinator of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, said the Government was ready to give the “madrasa” Rs. 10,000 annually for each student, if the children were provided mainstream education. Dr. Hameed and Prof. Chandrasekhar later visited a “madrasa” run by Madinat-ul-Jamaat Ulooma Jamia Masjid Ahle Sunnath-ul Jamaat for boys, in Malleswaram.

Dr. Hameed told The Hindu that she had been concentrating on improving the lot of Muslim women. “Muslims are a misunderstood lot and there is a need to change the mindset. Muslim children should be given mainstream education to help them become more productive,” she said.

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