Indian Muslims urged to make use of govt schemes worth Rs37 billion

1 / 2
2 / 2
Updated 28 April 2014
0

Indian Muslims urged to make use of govt schemes worth Rs37 billion

Although the Indian government allocates about Rs35 billion in financial assistance to Muslims and other minorities every year through various development schemes, less than half of the amount is actually utilized, said a prominent community leader.
“Most people do not know about such educational and welfare schemes and how to apply for them,” said Hussain Madavoor, Kerala state coordinator of the Minority Affairs Ministry in New Delhi and a former member of the Kerala Waqaf Board.
This year the government has allocated more than Rs37 billion for minority development schemes across the country, he said. “We should also make sure the amount is properly utilized and distributed among the deserving people,” he said while addressing community leaders and media persons from Kerala.
According to Abusaleh Shariff, economist and chief scholar at the US-India Policy Institute, only Rs 8.56 billion or 22.8 percent of the Rs 378 billion reached Minority Concentration Districts until 2011, from the total allocations made by the ministry for their welfare.
“The Prime Minister’s 15-Point Program and Moulana Azad Education Foundation offer a lot of scholarships and educational grants for minorities but they are underutilized,” Madavoor said, stressing the need to create awareness about such programs.
Madavoor, an educationist and graduate of Makkah’s Umm Al-Qura University, was named the ministry’s state-coordinator two weeks ago. He highlighted the role of community organizations and NGOs in enlightening Muslims and other minorities about the various schemes and services.
He said he would coordinate with ministers and district collectors in the state to implement and monitor minority welfare schemes and report to the ministry in New Delhi.
During the brainstorming session in Jeddah, the community leaders congratulated Madavoor on his new appointment and pledged their support to carry out his mission effectively. They asked him to make use of the Mohalla system in the country to enlighten Muslims about government schemes and implement various community development programs.
The participants called for a coordination committee of different Muslim organizations, the setting up of a help desk in New Delhi, appointment of district and punchayat level coordinators, distribution of bulletins on government schemes and removal obstacles facing Muslim organizations to get various financial support and minority status.
They emphasized the need to develop waqaf (endowment) properties across India estimated at nearly 600,000, adding that it would contribute to solving many financial problems of Indian Muslims.


At least one killed, six wounded in French Christmas market shooting

Updated 7 min 41 sec ago
0

At least one killed, six wounded in French Christmas market shooting

STRASBOURG, France: At least one person was killed and six people were wounded in a shooting near a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday, police sources said.
“There were gun shots and people running everywhere,” one local shopkeeper told BFM TV. “It lasted about 10 minutes.”
A source at the prosecutor’s office said the motive behind the shooting was not immediately clear and that an investigation was under way to see if it was terrorism-related.
France remains on high alert after a wave of attacks commissioned or inspired by Daesh militants since early 2015, in which about 240 people have been killed.
French Ecology Minister Francois de Rugy tweeted: “Solidarity and support for the people of Strasbourg. Our support too for the security forces. We are united and determined to protect the French people.”