Govt has worked for uplift of minorities: Heptullah

New Delhi: Union Minister Najma Heptulla today claimed her Minority Affairs Ministry has succeeded in changing the “intentionally created” perception that the Modi government would be anti-minority by launching various schemes for the uplift of the communities in its two-year rule.

“A perception and fear was intentionally created in the minds of the people before Lok Sabha elections that if Modiji comes to power he will eliminate the Minorities Ministry or if manages to exit, its budget will certainly be cut. It was a big challenge for me to take up this ministry in that circumstances. But I accepted it and things changed,” the minister said.

She was speaking at an event to showcase the Minority Affairs Ministry’s two-years achievements at Vigyan Bhawan.

Talking about new initiatives like ‘Nai Manzil’, ‘Seekho Aur Kamao’ ‘USTTAD’ and ‘Hamari Dharohar’ taken up by the ministry for the development of minorities, she said after the allocation of 10 per cent more to states, there was continuous increase in the budget allocation and no cut was imposed in the embarked Plan Budget for the ministry.

“We have started a pilot project in our programme ‘Nai Manzil’ for madarsas and we are happy that today thousands of children are taking training under it. The trainers promise to provide jobs to more than 70 per cent children or we will facilitate cheaper loans to them from NMDFC to start their own occupation,” she said.

‘Nai Manzil’ is a scheme under which girls from minority communities are imparted three month skill development training in seven identified sectors relevant to the region.

Appreciating the programme, Heptulla said World Bank also recognized the importance of development of minorities and agreed to provide loan for the project.

“The World Bank liked the Nai Manzil module and provided us USD 50 million loan while recommending the module to the madarsas of Africa and south east Asia so that they can also introduce skill development in their madarsas,” she said.

During the event, a short film showcasing the achievements of the ministry was also screened.

An MoU was also signed between Maulana Azad National Academy for Skills (MANAS), Madhya Pradesh Madarsas Board and former cricketer K Srikanth’s organisation, AA EduTech Private Limited for providing leadership and entrepreneurship skills.

She also launched ‘Nai Udan’ portal and MANAS web portal for geographical information system mapping of training centers of MANAS and their online monitoring and evaluation through real time CCTV cameras.