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Empowerment of minority girls only through education: South Zone Conf

By Shafee Ahmed Ko, TwoCircles.net,

Chennai: The South Zone Conference on Empowerment of Minority Girls held here on 2nd Feb. asserted that this empowerment is possible only through education. The speakers at the conference covering Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and host Tamil Nadu stressed on more awareness campaigns for female education among the community.

The daylong conference deliberated means to increase the enrollment of minority girls, particularly Muslim girls and to how best tackle their problems. Eminent personalities and dignitaries featured the conference apart from about 1200 delegates from minority institutions from the four states.

Abdul Qadir Abdul Rahman Buhari honour Hon. Minister Ponmudi

Eminent speakers included Justice M S A Siddiqui, Chairman, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI), Dr. Shabistan Gaffar, Chairperson, Committee on Girls Education, Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy, Dr. Kaviko Abdul Rahman, Padma Bhusan Moosa Raza (IAS-Retd), and guests of honour Dr. Mohinder Singh, Dr. Syriaac Thomas, Dr. S.M. Hamid Abdul Quadir, S. Mohamed Jaleel, Rev. Father Vincent Chinna Durai, M. Abdul Khadir Abdur Rahman Buhari, Pro Chancellor, Abdul Rahman University, Chennai. The conference was organized at Justice Basher Ahmed Sayeed Women’s College campus.

“A package of all inclusive education alone will be an answer to crying crisis. The state and Centre have several schemes, but no sound NGOs found as taker” lamented Mr. Justice M S A Siddiqui. .


According to Justice Siddiqui, awareness among Muslim community brought forth a big change. About 1.05 crore Muslims found admission in the primary school level in 2009-2010, out of which 49 per cent were girls collectively from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Justice Siddiqui called for shared efforts to improve the educational chart in northern states. Information derived from conferences held in different zones should form a manifesto, and that will be submitted in May 2011 to the central government.

“Although there are several committees at the Centre and State level for minorities, a lot has to be done in this direction” conceded Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy, and further said that the State government has been according important plans for women empowerment through Self Help Groups. Women should form SHGs as these will give them financial freedom and ability to think independently.”


Moosa Raza, chairman of the Southern India Education Trust (SIET) felt that “Setting up a Parliamentary Committee for minorities and a Legislative Committee for ensuring proper monitoring of schemes at all levels will be an effective answer to the gap and missing part.”

Mr. Raza mooted 15-point memorandum urging the governments to focus on girls’ education especially minority girls through a sub-plan in the five year plan; providing special quota for minority girls; providing incentives to parents to send their girls to schools; special scholarship; to encourage NGOs working for Muslim minorities; providing grants to upgrade minimum facilities; and subsidizing minority girls’ hostel stay

Former chairperson, State Women Development Corporation, Kerala, Qamarunnisa Anwar, felt that to avail a loan from bank is hectic and involves hardships and formalities. She suggested that government should provide scholarship for needy and meritorious students.

In the valedictory function held in the evening session Dr. Shabistan Gaffar and host of academicians from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh deliberated their expert views and presented papers.