'28 schemes for religious minorities, but no takers'

There is a need to create awareness on the available schemes and funds, says Minorities Directorate chief

'28 schemes for religious minorities, but no takers'

“We have sufficient funds and as many as 28 schemes to provide succor to the 15.69 per cent of the religious minorities in the state. Yet we failed in implementation.

Our programmes did not reach beneficiaries for the lack of human resources and awareness,” admitted the Director of State Directorate of Minorities, Akram Pasha.

To get rid of the problems, the directorate is vigorously going for an awareness campaign and staff recruitment, he said while speaking at the Christian development awareness programme organised by ACCPL training division Bangalore and sponsored by Directorate of Minorities in Mangalore on Saturday.

‘Will hire 2500 staff’

Pasha said the Directorate is running with 22 staff for the entire state and among them, only two being permanent. “At the Directorate in Bangalore, the strength will be increased to 50.

Also, for each district, some 10 personnel will be recruited. We are going for a massive recruitment drive to add up 2,500 odd manpower within a span of six months,” he said. The Directorate, when started in 1999, had set aside a minuscule, Rs 23 crore as fund.

This year, the allocation is Rs 800 crore. The Director said that Finance ministry has been questioning them for not spending the allocated fund within the stipulated time. “As we have no enough takers, the funds are being under utilized. Even the educated among minorities don't know about the various schemes and benefits available for them,” he rued. In 2011, Rs 50 crore had been set aside for Christian minority whereas this year the fund is Rs 125 crore.

Schemes, funds

Pasha elaborated that each district has an information centre under the Directorate providing every details about the schemes. There are plenty of schemes providing financial aid and training/coaching for students.

Apart from Pre-matric, Post-matric and merit-cum-means scholarships, there are funds set aside for skill development programmes and free coaching for competitive examinations like IAS, KAS, CET. For those who want to pursue PG courses abroad, Rs 10 lakh will be provided in two equal installments. Currently, 60 students are making use of it.

For students aspiring for IAS/KAS, selected 100 would be sent to New Delhi and Hyderabad for coaching, by spending Rs 2.5 lakh per head. Besides, they will be provided with Rs 10,000 as stipend. For CET, a six months coaching will be provided.

Under the incentive scheme, each student clearing SSLC, PUC, Degree will be encouraged with a sum of Rs 3,000, Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively. Pasha said the directorate will make an awareness drive in colleges over schemes for students.

Information at fingertips

The Director of Minorities Directorate stressed that every information regarding the schemes, scholarships and fund is available on Directorate's website, www.gokdom.kar.nic.in.

If a student applies for a scholarship, each phase of the process of application should be alerted though SMS. The district information centre will provide details regarding the application, submission and availing of funds. In Dakshina Kannada, the centre is situated in Kankanady in Al-Falah building.

Speaking on the occasion, MLA J R Lobo too reiterated that there are no enough takers for schemes provided by government for minorities. “There is a shortage of required number of applications even for zero per cent interest financial aid,” he said.

Milagres church Parish Priest Fr Valerian D'Souza, District Minorities Welfare Officer Sabeer Ahmad Mulla also spoke.

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