Hyderabad: The Telangana government has decided to set up 200 Residential Schools exclusively for the minorities at a cost of Rs 8,000 Crores in the State, of which 71 had already begun operations during the 2016-17 academic year, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar said on Wednesday.
Initiating a debate on minorities’ welfare in the State Assembly here, he said that 100 of the 200 Minorities Residential Schools would be exclusively for girls since it was noticed that the dropout rate among girls was high. “About 1.28 lakh students, both boys and girls, will get global level education in English medium in these schools,” he said, adding that these revolutionary measures for minorities will usher in a wonderful future for youngsters from the minority communities.
Stating that 129 Minorities Residential Schools will be started in the next academic year, the Chief Minister said that past regimes had adopted the policy of offering some small favours to get their votes. “But our government is planning for a permanent solution to the problems faced by the minorities and bring about a qualitative change in their lives through education,” he said.
Pointing out that no other State government in the country had ever taken such steps for minorities welfare, the Chief Minister said that for the first time, the government had introduced Overseas Scholarship Scheme for minorities’ students pursuing education abroad. “Last year, under this scheme, 463 students were given Rs 10 lakh scholarship each besides providing their airfare. This year we have increased the scholarship amount from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 Lakh,” he said.
Besides this, the government had also given pre-matric scholarship to 89,000 minorities’ students costing Rs 35 crore, he said.
Stating that Telangana State was known for its harmony and peaceful co-existence, and its belief in “Ganga-Jamuna Tehjeeb,” the Chief Minister said this spirit took a beating during the undivided Andhra Pradesh era. “Several attempts were made to break the fabric of unity among the people. The minorities were subjected to discrimination and total neglect, and this can be gauged from the fact that consecutive budgetary allocations for minorities were abysmal,” he said, adding that in 1995-96, a mere Rs 1.20 crore was allocated for the minorities!
Stating that this discrimination had led to socio-political and economic backwardness and oppression over the years, he said the Telangana Rashtra Samithi after coming to power had allocated Rs 1,030 crore for the minorities in its very first budget which was increased to Rs 1,204 crore the same year. “This was the first time in the annals of history that minorities, who constitute 14.24 per cent of the State’s total population, got such huge allocations,” he said, adding that these efforts were made to remove the feeling of insecurity among the minorities.