Despite claims to the contrary, Delhi Government yet to implement welfare schemes for the minorities

RNI, New Delhi: Owing to it giving preferred language status to Urdu and Punjabi and more due to the fact the major opposition party in the fray is largely portrayed as communal, Delhi’s ruling Congress government boasts of being pro-minority in approach. However, ground reality is different. Delhi is way behind several other states in implementation of welfare schemes for the minorities. Hadees-e-Dil Trust, an organization working in the field of minority welfare, has spelled out several areas where Delhi Government has been found lacking compared to other states which are miles ahead. For instance, Delhi is yet to formulate a Madrasa Board. Several minority welfare schemes for madrasas and other organizations working in the field of minority welfare makes it mandatory for any institution seeking benefits from Central Government Schemes to be affiliated with Madrasa Boards. In certain states, local Wakf Boards have been given the power to grant accreditation to madrasas, but that is also not the case in Delhi. Consequently, while madrasas in other states are taking advantage of the various schemes being run by Ministry of HRD, the Delhi madrasas are deprived of the benefits. These include schemes for development of infrastructure in minority educational institutions and schemes like SPQEM and others. The aforementioned organization has also claimed that since it is mandatory for minority institutions to seek ‘Minority Status Certificate’ from National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, before availing such schemes and the ‘Minority Status Certificate’ is not granted to unrecognized institutions, minority institutions like schools and madrasas have to run from pillar to post to take advantage of these schemes. Whereas State Government provides recognition to schools, that too after stiff checks and measures, there is no place whatsoever in Delhi where the Madrasas can go to seek accreditation. Due to this, despite the fact that the Union Government has sanctioned several lakh of rupees for madrasas, only a handful of madrasas have availed the benefit of the scheme so far. Benefit from various other schemes like Madrasa Modernization Program too is hard to come partly because there is no recognizing body in Delhi from where the madrasas can seek recognition and hence cannot apply for ‘Minority Status Certificate’ and partly because those running the madrasas are unaware of the procedures. RNI has learnt that the Delhi Government had initially asked the Delhi Minority Commission to register the madrasas but no progress was made as the Delhi Government failed to give clear directives. Consequently, Delhi Minority Commission is merely going ahead with the work of creating a register of existing madrasas in Delhi; that too at a snail’s pace. Due to this, the Delhi madrasas which wish to avail the various benefits being provided by various Central Government schemes like SPQEM have nowhere to seek response to their grievances. An organization Social Workers Association has lately been lobbying hard that various minority institutions and madrasas benefit the most from various schemes. The organization has demanded that special relaxation need to be granted in providing recognition to minority-run schools and madrasas,

which are serving the educational requirement of the deprived areas belonging to minority community. However, the Education Department is still treating the minority institutions at par with others as far as schools are concerned whereas there is no organization at present that has the power to provide accreditation to madrasas willing to avail benefit from various Government schemes. “This speaks of the apathy of the Delhi Government towards minorities, claims a communiqué from Social Workers Association. Social Workers Association is also demanding employment of language officers in various Governmental bodies but to no avail. “It appears that granting second language status for Urdu and Punjabi is merely for the namesake,” says the communiqué, adding that “other than painting the names of various streets in Urdu and Punjabi, the Government is yet to take concrete steps towards promotion of these languages.” In order to create pressure on the Government to appoint language officers, Social Workers Association is imploring Urdu and Punjabi speaking people to commence writing their applications in their respective languages. It is also urging people to start writing bank cheques in Urdu and Punjabi. Real News International (RNI) News Bureau