Aiming to change perception about NDA government among minorities, the Centre has decided to hold ‘Progress Panchayat’, an information campaign, in minority-dominated areas about Centre’s welfare initiatives meant for them.
Union Minorities Affair Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will launch the programme on September 29, holding first Panchayat in Haryana’s Mewat, which is witnessing tense situation after double murder and gang-rape of members of a Muslim family, allegedly over beef consumption recently.
Naqvi will also take part in similar programme in Tijara in Rajasthan’s Alwar district on October 3 and is expected to attend a total of 100 Panchayats in the minority-concentrated areas across the country in time to come.
“It is going to be an information campaign. It is to inform people about various welfare schemes and initiatives of the government. We will launch the programme in Mewat,” he said.
Besides holding Panchayat, the Minister will inaugurate 100-bed hostel building for girls in Hathni in Palwal and staff quarters at schools in Nuh and Nagina. He will also lay founding stone of model school in Chilwali.
The Ministry plans to construct 1,000 multi-purpose community centres, to be called as ‘Sadbhav Mandap’, in the minority-concentrated areas of the country within a year in association with state governments.
Such centres can be used for marriages, during festivals, for organising craft mela and sports activity by locals.
It also plans to construct schools and other facilities on vacant lands of Railways, the Minister said.
According to Ministry officials, the government has released Rs 6,500 crore to states under 12th Finance Commission for implementing Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP), which the government plans to rename as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Yojana incorporating new works under it.
In 2015-16, it has released Rs 132 crore until now and has a target of releasing Rs 1,125 crore this year.
The Ministry has also set a target of training and placing 50,000 youths from Jammu and Kashmir within a year under its Seekho Aur Kamao (Learn and Earn) scheme within a year.
The work, however, has slowed down in the wake of on-going unrest in Kashmir, a Ministry official said.
A 20-year-old woman and her 14-year-old cousin were sexually assaulted by several men, while their uncle and aunt were beaten to death in their home in Mewat on August 24.
One of the gangrape survivors has alleged that the attackers asked “if she eat beef” before targeting her.