Are Indian Muslims Still Living in Poverty?
Finance Minister of India Arun Jaitley
The Finance Minister of India Arun Jaitley says if the benefits of growth are to percolate down to the last man, especially minorities, it is important that the growth rate should be high enough.
Addressing a Conference on Empowerment through Education – ‘Taalim-o-Tarbiyat’ in Mumbai today, Mr. Jaitley said post 1991 economic liberalization, the acceleration of growth rate has led to substantial reduction in poverty.
He said all communities have shown reduction in poverty levels, but added that it is uneven. Mr. Jaitley said while higher growth rate impacts all, by way of offering economic opportunities, certain minorities have lagged behind and those areas need to be addressed.
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He said, while poverty rate among Muslim community has gone down from 52% in 1991 to about 27% in 2011, some communities like Jains and Parsis have overcome the challenge of poverty.
Mr. Jaitley said education is the key to improve the conditions faster which would aid conversion of skills into opportunities. He said Madarasa is an important institution in imparting education for children of Muslim community and complimented the efforts of leaders like Zafar Sareshwala, for blending technology and traditional teachings.
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The Finance Minister said the world is facing two kinds of challenges – political and economic. He asserted that India is on a better wicket on both the fronts.
“Barring occasional skirmishes, often magnified by media, there are no major incidents in our country. Our society continues to speak in one voice,” he added.
Mr. Jaitley asserted that the framers of the Constitution, recognizing the diversity of India, had provided for minority protection and affirmed that government remains committed to the welfare of minorities.
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Mr. Zafar Sareshwala, Vice Chanellor of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University, and organizer of the ‘Taleem-o-Tarbiyat’ Conference appealed to youth and women of Muslim community to engage with government and take benefits of diverse welfare schemes.
An MoU was signed on the occasion between Maulana Azad National Urdu University and UFO Digital Cinema for imparting English, Maths, and Science education through satellite.
Photo courtesy: Press Information Bureau