Members of the Muslim Dhobi community have urged the State government to include them in the Scheduled Caste category. President of the Bagalkot-based State Muslim Dhobi Welfare Society Mohammed Hussain C. Jamkhandi told presspersons here on Wednesday that their community was the most backward among the Muslims and their population also was not huge.

He said their community members had been dhobis (washermen) for over 2,000 years. Since laundry work had been the traditional occupation of their community, they should be included under the Scheduled Caste category and given facilities including shelter, he said.

Mr. Jamkhandi demanded the State government construct ‘dhobi ghats’ at all district centres in the State and build free hostels in Bangalore for their wards to help them get better education.

He said that since the community members had no social security, they should be provided with employment and facilities such as medical insurance and additional reservation in government jobs.

Mr. Jamkhandi said with the objective of highlighting the problems of the community, a first State-level convention would be held at Bhagini Nivedita Primary School in Hubli on Sunday . He said Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar had agreed to inaugurate the convention, while Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai would preside over the function.