CAIRO - Indian Muslim youth are complaining of the government's failure to enroll them in its work schemes, criticizing 'scanty' socio-economic conditions of the religious minority.
"Most of the candidates cannot even afford to attend free training because they are daily wage earners whose survival depends on Rs 50 a day, Dr Mohammed Samiullah Khan, director of academics at Medwin Hospital, told The Times of India on Saturday, December 29.
They will starve even if they don't work for a day. Of the 500 who had approached us, 200 have registered.
Addressing a Muslim Educational Social and Cultural Organization (Mesco), Samiullah Khan said that although the government has schemes like the Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu (RVK) for welfare of youth, enrolment of Muslim candidates remains poor.
In spite of the fact that RVK training programs for minorities were routed through the AP Minority Finance Corporation for better accessibility, the scheme has failed to attract Muslim youth.
Attendants at Mesco conference drew comparisons between Sikhs and Muslims, both of which are minority communities.
K M Arifuddin secretary of Madina Education Society said that while the Sikh population constituted just 1.5% of the population, they accounted for 19% of Indian Police Service (IPS) officers while Muslims officers were less than 1%.
Prof KC Reddy, vice-chairman of RYK, agreed.
He noted that despite the four percent reservation for enrolment of Muslim students in higher education institutions, it was no better than that of Schedules Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Though the Sachar Committee provided insight on the condition of Muslims, statistical data on the socio-economic conditions of Muslims continues to remain 'scanty', he added.
Samiullah Khan urged the government to take actions to change scanty socio-economic conditions of Indian Muslims.
The dropout rate is around 30%," Khan said.
The government should give a stipend of Rs 2,000 to curb the dropout rate and provide alternate income to such people, he added.
He demanded new measures to increase Muslim participation for their training, educationists and activists.
There are some 140 million Muslims in Hindu-majority India who have repeatedly complained of being selectively and unfairly targeted by anti-terror police.
They also accuse authorities of feeding stereotypes about their religion.
Indian Muslims complained decades of social and economic neglect and oppression as well as being discriminated against in all walks of life.
Official figures reveal Muslims log lower educational levels and higher unemployment rates than the Hindu majority and other minorities like Christians and Sikhs.
They account for less than seven percent of public service employees, only five percent of railways workers, around four percent of banking employees and there are only 29,000 Muslims in India's 1.3 million-strong military.
A 2006 report, known as the Sachar Committee report, looked into the socio-economic and educational backwardness of Muslims in the country and suggested various remedial measures.
The recommendations included setting up educational facilities, modernization of madrasahs, creation of job opportunities and steps to increase the community's representation in public services.