Khursheed keen on equal opportunities commission

Minority affairs ministry throws weight behind the creation of a commission to regulate development opportunities for the disavantaged


Sweta Ranjan | January 31, 2011

The minoirity affairs ministry has proposed the setting up of an equal opportunities commission, a watchdog to ensure a level playing field for minorities and other disadvantaged social groups in jobs.

Minister Salman Khursheed has been pursuing the matter with the government so that it is able to facilitate opportunities to those lagging behind in development.

On the occasion of the country's Anti-Leprosy Day on January 30, Khursheed said that leprosy-affected people will be benefited if equal opportunity commission comes into reality.

At “Rising to Dignity” awards function, Khursheed appreciated the hard work and success achieved by the three award-winning projects by leprosy-affected people and rued that there was no special scheme launched by the government on the lines of self-help groups for the leprosy affected population of the country.

He added that the stigma faced by leprosy affected persons needs to be addressed. “The one whose pain is not understood is also a minority,” he said. He further said that the proposed commission will help “people irrespective of their class, religion or caste”.

“The idea is to strike at the root of discrimination bases on gender, religion, caste or language. It is not just for minorities but also for all it would prove to be a boon. The benefits are just unthinkable," he added.

The awards are  organised by Sasakawa India Leprosy Foundation (SILF), a non-government organisation working towards ending the stigma against leprosy and ensuring that leprosy cured people are integrated into mainstream society.

The three prize-winning projects were Hanuman Nagar Kushth Vasahath's dairy farming project from Kalyan (Maharashtra); Swami Vivekananda Kushth Ashram's battery renting project from Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh) and Sheetalamata Kushth Dham Sewa Samiti's silver ornament project from Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh). Each team behind the winning projects was awarded a trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh.

Anti-Leprosy Day in India is celebrated on the day of Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary on January 30. In keeping with the father of the nation's selfless care of the leprosy affected people and need to fight the stigma against leprosy, the programme also featured students from prominent city schools singing his favourite songs.



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