June 19, 2014
Minorities should be made a part of development: WB CM
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. MamataBanerjee was attended a programme organized by the Department of MinorityDevelopment, West Bengal Government, at Netaji Indoor Stadium. She felicitatedthe students who had topped the Alimand the Fazil examinations. She alsohanded over scholarships to the minority students.
Excerptsfrom the Chief Minister`s speech:
We have created a separate department for tribaldevelopment, which I monitor myself. Recently I held a meeting of thisdepartment in North Bengal. We will celebrate 14th August as Kanyashree Dibas in every block of thestate and also in Kolkata. Around 9 lakh girls have been registered for Kanyashree scheme; our target for theyear is 16 lakh. We have received around 13.5 lakh applications and on August 14all the benefits will be released online.
The minority community in West Bengalincludes our Muslim brothers and sisters, our Christian brothers and sisters, ourbrothers and sisters from the Hills, the Buddhist, and the Jains. The Departmentof Minority Development is responsible for helping schools, colleges and madrassahs.
There are people who indulge divisivepolitics. Swami Vivekananda said that one day people from the lowest section ofthe society will lead the country. If one section of the society needs to beuplifted, the other sections need to come forward to help them. There is noplace for violence in democracy. There is no place for conspiracy indevelopment. Let there be development for everybody. It is our responsibilityto help the downtrodden.
Some people get charged up on hearing theword minority. I don`t understand why. I am a Bengali. I am minority in Assam.A Bengali is a minority in Assam or Maharashtra. Everybody will belong to theminority community in some place or the other. This must be accepted. It is theduty of the majority to come forward for the development of the minority. Thisis how a bridge of trust is built. There should be competition on the basis ofthe development works done, not by being jealous. We are working for anyone whoneeds development. Helping them, standing beside them is our moralresponsibility.
I am against riots. I abhor the idea ofinciting communal tension. Criminals are criminals. Even for petty cases liketheft some sections search for communal links. We should not bring religionhere. Criminals do not have any caste, creed or religion. Those guilty ofcrimes will be punished according to the law.
We have distributed scholarships to 57 lakhminority students. This is the highest ever. Minorities should be allowed tobecome a part of the mainstream. They must be a part of development. We will bedistributing cycles to more than 2 lakh girls this year. More than 60000 tribalstudents will receive cycles. We are setting up 500 marketing hubs where womenof various self-help groups can get employment. We will inaugurate 50 marketinghubs out of the 500 very soon.
Some people accuse that I do not work forHindus. They should open their eyes and ears. I work for all, it is myconstitutional duty. We have set up 8 new universities in Bengal. 45 newcolleges are coming up. We will set up ITIs in every block and polytechniccolleges in every sub-division. We have started Muktir Aalo – a rehabilitation scheme for sex-workers. Nobody hadcared for them.
DurgaPujo is a few months away. Ramzan month will begin soon. My greetings are with all. Avoidcommunal tension. Let the soil of Bengal not be blackened by religiousviolence. Stay well, stay safe.