CV News/ Monday, May 20, 2019
A Government of India fact-sheet, released late last year on the midday meal scheme across India, has been brought to light to show that Gujarat is one of the two major states with zero minority community cook-cum-helpers. The other state is Chhattisgarh. In the country as a whole, out of a total of 25,12,111 cook-cum-helpers, 6.14% or 1,54,438 are from minority communities.
Out of 96,329 cook-cum-helpers in Gujarat, 10,887 or 11.3% are from scheduled castes (SCs), 22,542 or 22.4% are from scheduled to tribes (STs), 43,705 or 45.37% from other backward classes (OBCs), and 19,195 or 19.92% are from the general category. SC population of Gujarat is less than 7%, while there are 14% STs in Gujarat.
A Right to Information (RTI) plea filed by a senior minority rights activist failed to get any information on this score from the Gajarat government. Mujahid Nafees of the Minority Coordination Committee told CV News that the official concerned sought to provide the same information that is available from the Government of India fact-sheet.
“However, he decided not to hand over the reply after showing because he said this appeared to incorrect”, Nafees said, adding, “According to this official, unlike other states, Gujarat has not categorised minorities separately. They have been calculated either as part of OBCs or general category. Hence the Government of India fact sheet shows zero minority cook-cum-helpers.”
“Official said, the state government would now have a separate minority category and provide information thereafter”, the activist said.