Shujaat Ali Quadri, Chairman of the Muslim Students Organisation of India said that several welfare schemes run by the Minority Affairs Ministry have changed the lives of minorities in the country for the better.
Minority welfare has always been the prime focus of the Indian government and it has not left any stone unturned to make various schemes reach the minority communities in the country.
Reiterating the same, Quadri said, “Several schemes run by the Minority Affairs Ministry in India are working wonders for minorities, especially for Muslims as they are the largest minority in India. Some of these schemes are Naya Savera, Seekho Aur Kamao, Nai Manzil, Nai Roshni, Hamari Dharohar, Nai Udaan, Gharib Nawaz Employment Scheme and Shaadi Mubarak Scheme.”
He stated that the mention of the Nai Udaan scheme is noteworthy in the wake of the just-released list of successful Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) candidates.
Several successful candidates from Muslim and Jain communities were coached as part of the Nai Udaan scheme.
The objective of the Nai Udaan scheme is to provide financial support to the minority candidates clearing Prelims conducted by Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission and State Public Service Commissions to adequately equip them to compete for appointment to Civil Services in the Union and the state governments and to increase the representation of the minority in the Civil Services.
“We are empowering all poor, backward and downtrodden people without any appeasement. We follow the mantra of development without discrimination and empowerment with dignity,” Union Minister Naqvi had said.
Giving data from a study on various welfare schemes of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, Naqvi had said, “Out of the 2.31 crore houses built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, 31 per cent were allocated in 25 minority-dominated areas, 33 per cent beneficiary of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi were minorities and out of the nine crore beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, 37 per cent were from the minority communities.”
“204 million Muslims have felt at home in India. Its centuries-old syncretic heritage has preserved Islamic values. I applaud the clarification and condemnation of anti-Prophet statements by the Indian government,” Bahrain-based researcher Amjad Taha tweeted.
Similarly, Quadri mentioned that the ministry implements the Free Coaching and Allied Scheme (Naya Savera) under which free coaching is provided to students/candidates who belong to the six notified minority communities (Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis, Jains and Muslims). As per the scheme, students are provided free coaching in selected institutions and financial assistance (scholarship).
As per the government record, the scheme has been able to benefit around 30,117 students in the last three years. Of these, 9,040 students from UP, 2,899 students from Karnataka, 2,380 students from West Bengal, 2,880 students from Maharashtra, 2,260 students from Madhya Pradesh and 1,700 students were from Andhra Pradesh.
According to reports, as many as 20 lakh more minority students received education scholarships under the Narendra Modi government’s first term, while 3.14 crore minority students secured government scholarships between 2014 and 2019.
Among Muslims, who constitute the largest minority group in the country, 2.37 crore students got a government scholarship under the first Modi government.
Quadri mentioned that another important scheme run by the ministry is Seekho aur Kamao (Learn & Earn). It is directly connected to the livelihood of the minority communities. As part of the scheme, the ministry helps to conserve and update the traditional skills of minorities and establish their linkages with the market. It then enables minorities to avail opportunities in the growing market. It also works to improve the employability of existing workers, school dropouts etc and ensure their placement. Overall, the scheme aims to generate means of better livelihood for marginalised minorities and bring them into the mainstream.
One more special scheme by the ministry is the Shaadi Mubarak Scheme. It is, in fact, a scheme of the Telangana Government and the ministry provides its assistance in running it smoothly. Under the Shaadi Mubarak Scheme, financial assistance of Rs 51,000 is provided to each unmarried Muslim girl at the time of marriage. The scheme is applicable to those residing in Telangana only.