KERALA

Reservation benefits yet to reach the most deserving, says Neera Shastri

Staff Reporter

NEDUMBASSERY: The benefits of reservation have reached only a fraction of the Backward Classes. The most deserving among them are yet to gain from reservation primarily because of lack of education, Neera Shastri, member of the National Commission for Backward Classes, has said.

Talking to reporters here at the Nedumbassery airport, Ms. Shastri said some castes and communities had become influential and powerful by virtue of their political clout and were cornering the benefits.

She said the conference of the commission in Delhi had recommended to the Centre a categorisation of backward and most backward classes. States such as Rajasthan were already considering such a categorisation, she said. Backward classes in Kerala were better off owing to the high literacy rate, she said.

The commission had asked for more teeth to implement its decisions, she said. At present, it can only make recommendations. The Government is under no obligation to implement them.

She said the Government had granted special budgetary allocation to the commission for carrying out a survey among the Jats in Delhi.

Ms. Shastri said an incident of social harassment of a woman chairperson in Lakshadweep had come to her notice. She said the police had failed to offer protection to the woman. The Lakshadweep administration had been asked to send her a report on the incident, she said.

She said the nomination of a new chairperson, not less in rank than a retired judge, and a member were pending to the five-member commission.