Bengal lauded over development activities for minorities

Bengal stands first in the country in providing scholarships to minority students, in disbursement of term loans and direct lending scheme under the multi-sectoral development programme (MSDP), said Praveen Davar, member, National Commission for Minorities.

Davar met senior officials of the Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education department, including Principal Secretary S Suresh Kumar and reviewed the schemes taken up by the state government. He also met members of the West Bengal Minorities’ Commission separately.

Davar expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the Bengal government in the last five years. He also lauded Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s efforts to take up issues of the minorities earnestly and sincerely implementing schemes to uplift their economic condition.

One such project, Kanyashree, has helped girl students – many belonging to minority communities – to pursue higher education and become self-reliant.


সংখ্যালঘু উন্নয়নে জাতীয় সংখ্যালঘু কমিশনের প্রশংসা পেল বাংলা

সংখ্যালঘু ছাত্রছাত্রীদের বৃত্তি প্রদানে দেশের মধ্যে প্রথম স্থান অধিকার করেছে বাংলা। প্রথম হয়েছে মেয়াদি ঋণ এবং এমএসডিপির অন্তর্গত সরাসরি ঋণ প্রদানে, জানালেন কেন্দ্রীয় সংখ্যালঘু কমিশনের সদস্য প্রবীণ দাবার।

এদিন রাজ্যের সংখ্যালঘু বিষয়ক ও মাদ্রাসা শিক্ষা দপ্তরের আধিকারিকদের সঙ্গে দেখা করেন কেন্দ্রীয় সংখ্যালঘু কমিশনের এই সদস্য এবং এই রাজ্যের সংখ্যালঘুদের জন্য প্রকল্পগুলি খতিয়ে দেখেন। রাজ্যের সংখ্যালঘু কমিশনের সদস্যদের সঙ্গেও কথা বলেন তিনি।

গত পাঁচ বছরে রাজ্যের সংখ্যালঘুদের উন্নয়নের জন্য যা পদক্ষেপ নেয়া হয়েছে, তাতে সন্তোষ প্রকাশ করেন কেন্দ্রীয় সংখ্যালঘু কমিশনের এই সদস্য। মুখ্যমন্ত্রী মমতা বন্দোপাধ্যায়ের প্রশংসা করে তিনি বলেন, সংখ্যালঘু সম্প্রদায়ের আর্থিক অবস্থার বিকাশের জন্য এই রাজ্য আন্তরিকভাবে নানা প্রকল্পগুলিকে বাস্তবায়িত করে চলেছে।

উল্লেখ্য, রাজ্যের কন্যাশ্রী প্রকল্প মেয়েদের , বিশেষ করে সংখ্যালঘু সম্প্রদায়ের ছাত্রীদের বিশেষ ভাবে সুবিধা করে দিয়েছে, যাতে তারা উচ্চশিক্ষালাভ করে নিজের পায়ে দাঁড়াতে পারে।

WB CM inaugurates ‘Minority Bhavan’ in Kolkata

Like every year the Kolkata Municipal Corporation organised ‘Dawat-E-Iftar’ at Park Circus Maidan, which was attended by West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee.

It is the pledge of the Ma Mati Manush government led by Mamata Banerjee to work for the development of minority community. An example of this is the four-fold increase in the budget of the minority development department.

Continuing the surge of development, WB CM today inaugurated a Minority Bhavan in Kolkata. It will provide pension, government grants, health insurance and other benefits to citizens of the minority community, like its counterparts in districts.


কলকাতায় ‘মাইনরিটি ভবন’ এর উদ্বোধন করলেন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী

প্রতি বছরের মত এবছরও পার্ক সার্কাস ময়দানে ইফতেহার পার্টির আয়োজন করেছে কলকাতা পুরসভা। মাননীয়া মুখ্যমন্ত্রী শ্রীমতী মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায় উপস্থিত ছিলেন এই অনুষ্ঠানে।

সংখ্যালঘু সম্প্রদায়ের উন্নয়নের জন্য কাজ করাই মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়ের নেতৃত্বাধীন মা মাটি মানুষ সরকারের অঙ্গীকার। সংখ্যালঘু সম্প্রদায়ের বাজেট চার গুন বৃদ্ধি এর একটি উদাহরণ।

আজ কলকাতায় ‘মাইনরিটি ভবন’ এর উদ্বোধন করেন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়। ৩২৭৮ স্কোয়্যার ফুট-এর এই অত্যাধুনিক কার্যালয়টি ১১/৩ ডাঃ বীরেশ গুহ স্ট্রীট, কলকাতা-১৭ তে অবস্থিত।

পশ্চিমবঙ্গের অন্যান্য জেলার মতই কলকাতার সংখ্যালঘু সম্প্রদায়ের জন্য পেনশন, সরকারী ভাতা, স্বাস্থ্যবিমা ছাড়া আরও অন্যান্য জরুরি পরিষেবা প্রদান করবে এই কার্যালয়টি। জীবনযাত্রার মান উন্নয়নের উদ্দেশ্যে সংখ্যালঘু সম্প্রদায়কে দ্রুত পরিষেবা দেওয়ার একটি ছোট প্রয়াস কলকাতা পুরসভার।

Nobody can dictate what to wear or eat: Mamata Banerjee at Furfura Sharif

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee today slammed the divisive forces in the country and the growing intolerance in India. She said no one has the right to dictate others what to eat or what to wear. Making a strong case for freedom of religion, she said that unity is strength and divisiveness spells doom.

Speaking at an event on the occasion of Minority Rights Day at Furfura Sharif, WB CM said under her government the budget of minority affairs department had increased five fold. “Few days ago a delegation of our MPs visited the Union Minister of Minority Affairs. They asked her to increase quota for scholarships,” she added.

WB CM announced the formation of Furfura Sharif Development Authority headed by Firhad Hakim. She allotted Rs 10 crore for the working of the board.

“Everybody has a right to religion. You can practice your faith freely. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isaai. Apas mein rehna bhai bhai,” the Chief Minister said.

Mamata Banerjee added: “We do not support Dadri killing. It is my right to eat fish. You can eat whichever meat you want. Some people wanted meat ban in Bengal during Durga Puja. I asked them will you ask a ban on fish? Don’t vegetables have life? Even plants have life. Will you ask people to stop eating vegetables? You eat what you want. Let others eat what they want.”

Vocally supporting the idea of ‘Sarva Dharma Samanyay’ she said, “Some people call their mother Ma, some call her Ammi. You cannot divide your mother. This is what Ramakrishna preached.”

In her speech, WB CM also listed the various initiatives by her government for minority development:

  • We have initiated several schemes worth Rs 75 crore at Furfura Sharif
  • We have increased budget for minority department five fold from Rs 470 Cr to Rs 2400 Cr
  • The Left distributed scholarships to 8 lakh minority students in last 4 years. We distributed scholarships to 84 lakh students
  • We have started Aliah University. Over 10000 people from Bengal went for Haj pilgrimage
  • We have introduced reservation for OBCs and minorities without touching general category
  • We have given computers to madrassahs. We are ready to recognise unaided madrassahs but we are unable to pay their salaries
  • Polytechnic colleges and ITIs are coming up. We are setting up Karma Tirthas where the youth will get jobs
  • We have built several hostels for students. We have built Minority Bhavan in 17 districts
  • We have given second language status to Urdu. We have set up Urdu Academy
  • We have instituted a Chair after Iqbal at Aliah University. He penned “Saare Jahaan Se Achha”

Sudip Bandyopadhyay raises demand for funds for minority development

Minorities in West Bengal form 28.1% of the total population, which roughly amounts to 2.57 crore. The present State government has increased the budgetary support for development of minorities fivefold from Rs 472 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 2383 crore during the current fiscal year.

We met honourable union minority affairs minister Najma Heptullah ji at her residence few days back with a delegation. We discussed several issues in details

1. Scholarships: During 2014-15, the Ministry approved 20 lakh applications. During 2015-16, a record 28.45 lakh students have applied for various scholarships.

MoMA is requested to sanction all the applications under different scholarship schemes for the current year.

2. MSDP (Multi- Sectoral Development Programme): During 2015-16, less than Rs 100 crore (Central share) has been released against proposals worth Rs 415 crore. It is requested that the balance may be released for smooth running of the scheme.

3. Clusters of Minority Concentrated Areas Outside MCBs: Proposals for approval of Minority Clusters under MSDP are still pending. Approval may be expedited.

4. Cybergram: The State has requested MoMA to sanction funds under this scheme of digital literacy in 372 uncovered madrasahs. So far, MoMA has sanctioned only 243 madrasahs out of 615 Government aided madrasahs. The balance may be releases as per the proposal.

 5. Skill Development Schemes: The State Government has undertaken a project of Skill Development Programme with a project cost of Rs 86.46 Crore under MSDP. As per the decision adopted in the 89th Meeting of the Empowered Committee. Rs 6.02 crore administrative cost, sanctioned for this purpose, has not yet been released by the Ministry. This requires to be looked into.

Sir, as one of the States with largest minority population in the country – Bengal has the third largest minority population after Jammu and Kashmir and Assam – I would appeal to the Central government extend full cooperation to the state government in the development of minorities.

Delegation of Trinamool MPs meet Union minister of Minority Affairs

A delegation of Trinamool MPs today met the Union minority affairs minister Najma Heptullah to raise various issues regarding the upliftment of the minority communities in Bengal.

Leader of the party in Lok Sabha, Sudip Bandopadhyay and Leader of the party in Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien led the delegation.

The delegation included Lok Sabha MPs Saugata Roy, Sisir Adhikari, Dinesh Trivedi, Idrish Ali, Ratna De Nag, Mumtaz Sanghamita, Pratima Mondal, Aparupa Poddar and Rajya Sabha MPs Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, and Nadimul Haque.

The meeting was cordial. The delegation brought the minister up to date with the developmental initiatives taken by West Bengal government for upliftment of minorities. They told the minister that Bengal is the best among states in minority development.

The minister assured that she will visit Bengal soon in the new year.


Key issues were raised in the meeting:

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No one can dictate to people what to wear or eat: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress Chairperson Ms Mamata Banerjee today expressed her concern over the rising incidents of intolerance in the country. She demanded to know from the party in power at the Centre how they can dictate to people what they can wear or eat.

Speaking of brotherhood and communal harmony at an event in Shahid Minar, WB CM said, “The Preamble of the Constitution states India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic. The Constitution champions the ideals of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, unity and integrity of the nation.”

Condemning all forms of terrorism, she said that terrorists have no religion and it would be wrong to brand certain communities as terrorists.

Slamming her detractors who were questioning why she was attending this event, she said that questions are not raised when attends functions of Ramakrishna Mission or Bharat Sevasram Sangha.

“I visit church on Christmas and also functions of Bharat Sevasram Sangha. I attend Guru Nanak’s birthday celebrations. Why cannot I attend a Muslim event?,” she remarked.


Highlighting the work done by her government for the development of minorities, WB CM said:

  • I had made a commitment of giving second language status to Urdu. We did that.
  • We have introduced reservation for minorities under the ambit of law without touching the general caste by increasing infrastructure.
  • Left Front gave scholarships to 4 lakh students in their last 4 yrs. We have given scholarships to 83 lakh students, highest in India.
  • The budget allotment for minority development during Left Front rule was Rs 400 Cr. We increased it to Rs 2400 Cr.
  • 115 hostels have been set up for students. A new campus of Aliah University is coming up.
  • 132 Karma Tirtha marketing hubs are coming up where our youth can set up shops.
  • We are giving cycles to over 40 lakh students irrespective of caste, creed, gender or religion.


She also slammed the Centre for the rising intolerance in the country. “On one hand they celebrate Constitution Day and on the other they profile people based on religion. This is unacceptable,” she said.

“Aamir Khan has said what he felt as an Indian. Who are you to tell him to leave the country? It belongs to everyone,” she added.

Mamata Banerjee said the Centre may unleash the CBI against her for attacking them, but her fight will continue as she does not fear death.