SOCIO- ECONOMIC DISABILITY AND UNEMPLOYMENT PROBLEMS AMONG MUSLIMS
OF OTHER BACKWARD CLASSES
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT AND WELFARE SOCIETY
A-13, NIZAMUDDIN WEST, NEW DELHI-110013
Executive Summery 01 - 11
Introduction 12 - 15
Methodology and Objectives 16 - 20 OBC Muslims: Demography, Social Position 21 - 36
and Major Issues OBC Muslims: Economic Disability and Unemployment 37 - 62 Educational Backwardness of OBC Muslims 63 - 88 Conclusion 89 - 90 Annexure- I to Annexure - IV 91 – 104
Since independence, India has achieved significant growth and development. It has also been successful in reducing poverty and improving crucial human development indicators such as levels of literacy, education and health. There are indications however, that not all religious communities and social groups has shared equally the benefits of growth process. Among them, the OBC Muslims, constituting 6 % of the population, are seriously lagging behind in term of the most of the human development indicators. While the perception of deprivation is widespread among OBC Muslims, there have been no systematic efforts since independence to analyze their condition in the country.
Sachar Commission has done a laudable work in making in-depth study and highlighting the plight of Muslims. However, there is marked difference between Gen. Muslims and OBC Muslims. If analysis is made in regard to socio-economic, employment and educational level of Gen. Muslims and OBC Muslims separately, it will reveal that Gen. Muslims in general are not behind Non-Muslim OBCs, SCs and STs, but large sections of OBC Muslims certainly are. It is the latter who need special care, protection and promotion in economic and
educational fields. While certain schemes and programmes be devised for Muslims in general, the benefit of it, it should be ensured, should not be allowed to be usurped by well-off General Muslims only. The share of OBC Muslims must be ensured in such packages.
With this in view the study on “Socio Economic Disability & Unemployment Problems among Muslims of Other Backward Classes” becomes extremely important. Sachar Commission report has given vivid picture of socio-economic and educational backwardness of Muslim Community. However a few Muslim classes seem to be at par with Non-Muslim Communities. But large many of them have poor economic, educational and health conditions. Most of them belong to other backward classes Muslims. There is a need to work on most backward among Muslims, as they are much behind general Muslim classes/castes, as well as way behind other backward classes of Non-Muslims.
While the condition of SCs/STs is improving due to governmental measures, there are hardly any specific schemes for OBC Muslims. There are a few schemes for OBC categories. But these schemes benefit the forward among the Backwards. Muslim OBCs in general are not aware of schemes pertaining to them. If at all they know, they are not educated enough or wise enough to avail them.
Following objectives were earmarked for the study:
To study economic status of Muslim families in general and Muslims of OBC category in particular.
To study educational level of OBCs among Muslims vis-à-vis upper caste Muslims and non-Muslim backward classes.
To study Social taboos as hindrance in the social and educational growth of OBCs among Muslims.
To study Position of Woman and nature and size of Muslim OBC category of Muslim families.
To study awareness and expansion of government schemes to ameliorate the Conditions of OBC Muslim population.
To study the scope of modernizing the professions of OBC Muslims
7. To suggest remedial measures for the above problems.
The study went through following major steps before making of reports:-
Field Visit: Extensive field visits to collect primary inputs is essential. Our investigators and field staff visited 72 Villages in 24.blocks in three states. In Haryana they visited Faridabad District, its four blocks namely Faridabad, Ballabhgarh, Palwal, Hodel and its 12 villages, and 360 households, in Nooh district its four blocks namely Nooh, Hatheen, Nagina, Tavdu and its 12 villages and 360 households. Similarly four blocks each in Nainital district and Rudrapur district in Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh were visited. These are Nainital, Lalkuan, Kathgodam, Haldwani and Bhimtal blocks in Nainital district, in Rudrapur district Bajpur, Gadarpur, Rudrapur and Sitarganj blocks in Uttaranchal, Faridabad, Ballabhgarh, Palwal and Hodal in Faridabad district and Hatheen, Tavdu Nooh Nagina blocks in Nooh district of Haryana, Sohabal, Mausadha, Rudauli and Amaniganj blocks in Faizabad district and BilariyaGanj, Rani Ki Sarai, Tahbarpur and Mirzapur blocks in Azamgarh district of U.P.
Field officers deputed collected data from primary sources. They visited state extension departments, district and block officers and met citizens/villagers personally and collected information. They also collected information available in other reports and other field and research works.
Interviews: During field visits, local men, women, villagers and small entrepreneurs were interviewed which cleared our perception towards what is needed to increase the participation of Muslims of backward classes in main stream, what are constraints for it and how to formulate the action models to take down the planning at micro level and how can they play vital role in emancipation from poverty and illiteracy.
Major variable data collection through Questionnaire: For cross classification and analysis, we had provisionally evolved a comprehensive questionnaire of three sets. The same are attached as Annexure I. to Annexure III. The questionnaires encompass information regarding literacy, employment, age, marital status, caste, nature and size of family, nature of job, income, profession etc. of OBC Muslim households. The questionnaires were prepared carefully and got approved from Planning Commission.
Random sampling: Random sampling were did to get symbolic picture of a different region while questionnaire were prepared after consultation with social and educational experts and entrepreneurs’ opinion. Random sampling helped in counter checking information collected through Questionnaire and interviews as well as through secondary sources. There was random selection of villages with probability proportion to population. The collection of data were in two steps - first a specified numbers of Gram-Panchayats were chosen randomly and then specified numbers of villages were randomly chosen from each of the selected Panchayats. The probability for selecting a Panchayat were made proportional to the to the total number Muslim backward people under it.
Statistical Calculation: The data collected through the questionnaire and otherwise were classified and categorized to a meaningful study and analysis. The informations were analysed to give clear picture of OBC Muslims in various educational and economic group and the like to have comperative analysis. The data have been placed in tabular forms in regard to nature and family size, nature of professions, income level as per annual income, educational level i.e. primary, secondary, senior secondary and gradute levels as well as illiterate groups and nature of employment.
Literature and previous researches/reviews: We consulted different manuals, literatures, research papers and reports and tallied them with our findings so that error in findings can be minimized and untouched aspect can be included. Kolkar Committee reports, Mandal commission reports and Sachar
commission reports were thoroughly consulted which gave us clear vision of dimension of backwardness among OBC Muslim vis-à-vis general Muslims, OBC Hindus and others. Field study fully clarified the ground realties further.
Discussion with different research and financial institutions: These discussions gave us a preview as to what are the constraints in slow pace of growth of the section and what are the obstructions in crediting this section especially women to promote their participation.
Initial draft and discussion with local universities: We deduced an initial report based on our collected data and discussions and literature reviews. Then we discussed it with local and central agencies and other institutions on our findings and feasibility for proposed model on increase participation of this section. Hamdard University and Nadwa College, Lucknow have done some research work on Backwardness among Muslim which became handy for the study. K.R. Narayanan Centre for Dalit and Minorities studies of Jamia Millia Islamia and its Director Prof. Mujtaba Khan provided us valuable inputs specially in regard to data of Dalit Muslims and OBC Muslims. We also collected data from Backward Class Commission, Ministry of Minority Affairs and National Census Board etc.
On these findings, we initiated brainstorming discussions with different institutions. Thereafter, report has been carefully prepared for submission so that certain schemes and plans can be formulated to give impetus to trade and employment generation among backward class Muslims.
Area of Survey
Our study was extensive , but intensive study was done in three states only. Our sample design for selecting the sample for the study was as under: -
Haryana Nooh and Faridabad
Uttar Pradesh Azamgarh and Faizabad
Uttranchal Rudrapur and Nainital
Districts 2 x 3 = 06 (Each State two districts)
Blocks 4 x 6 = 24 (Each district four blocks)
Villages: 3 x 24 = 72
Households 30 x 72 = 2160
Systematic sample techniques were used for selecting sampling frames and separate formats were used for OBC Muslims and general category people. In fact it was desirable to have a comparative analysis between OBC Muslims and general category people in regard to their socio economic condition as well as between OBC Muslims vis-avis OBC non-Muslims and OBC Muslims and general Muslims. The same was kept in mind to find out level of disparity between OBC Muslims and various other categories of people. State wise compressive analyses of the above categories have been reflected to have broader view of the situation. The analysis does not encompass the figures of entire states, but two districts of each state. But it has been observed that the situations are almost same or identical in entire country.
We built up certain hypothesis for the study which were tested and found
correct by our study: These were as under:
OBC Muslims are developing in much slower rate than OBCs in non-Muslim category, as there is lack of awareness, leadership and education among the former.
Most of the OBC Muslims are engaged in manual and petty works with hardly any development in their skill or modernization of the professions.
Educationally Muslims are far behind and OBC Muslims are far behind others and even much behind OBCs of non Muslims categories.
d. Though OBC Muslims constitute 6% of our population, they have barely 1 to 2 % representation in government jobs.
e. There is hardly any social or economic mobility of OBC category of Muslims. They are bound by their profession and they train their children at an early age for the same at the cost of their possible education.
Education level among them is pitiable, due to economic compulsion, conservatism and attachment to their profession, high fertility rate and focus on mere madrassa studies.
There is growing disparity between OBC category and other category of Muslims, as well as increasing gap between OBCs among Muslims and Non-Muslims with former being unable to avail benefits of development, welfare and modernization.
Women among Backward class Muslims are the most backward among the national population due to conservatism, purdah system, large number of children, lack of education and economic dependence.
OBC MUSLIMS: DEMOGRAPHY AND MAJOR ISSUES
The OBCs among Muslims constitute two broad categories. The halalkhors, helas, lalbegis or bhangis (scavengers), dhobis (washer men) Nais or hajjams (barbers), chiks (butchers), faqirs (beggars) etc belonging to the ‘Arzals’ are the ‘untouchable converts’ to Islam that have found their way in the OBC list. The momins or julahas (weavers) darzi or idiris (tailors), rayeens or kunjaras (vegetable sellers) are Ajlafs or converts from ‘clean’ occupational castes. Thus, one can discern three groups among Muslims: (i) those without any social disabilities, the ashrafs; (ii) those equivalent to Hindu OBCs, the ajlafs, and (iii) those equivalent to Hindu SCs, the arzals, Those who are referred to as Muslim OBCs combine (ii) and (iii) categories.
Backward class category consists of various sub castes among Muslim community who professionally involve in manual work relating to butchery, extraction of oil, liquor making, carpentry, cutting of hair, weaving, animal care and milking, pottery making and supplying water to others etc. Many of them are landless labourers. These sections of the people are educationally, economically, socially and professionally extremely backward and are comparable with Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes. However, while SCs/STs have made some progress, OBC Muslims are still lagging far behind. While benefits are accruing to the SCs and STs in our society through governmental measures, there are hardly any benefits reaching out to this section among Muslims.
It is important to look into major issues concerning OBC Muslims. The issues that are examined are issues of identity, security, discrimination, health hazards, educational backwardness and its ramification, non-access to government schemes, population explosion, lack of infrastructure in Muslim concentrated areas, gender inequality etc. In regard to population explosion size of families and nature of families of OBC Muslim households have been analysis in tabular forms made out of our study in the three States.
84% of Hindus are either SC (22%), ST (9%) or OBC (42%) categories and they are entitled to special privileges and reservation in employment in government sector, which is the largest employer. 90% Buddhist are included in SC category and 54% of Sikhs are included in SC or OBC category. 54% Christians are ST, SC or OBC. In contrast, Muslims, who are the most backward community, have only 40% coverage under such privileges. Thus except Jain which otherwise is a rich class, it is Muslims who are much less privileged compared to all other religious groups in terms of reservation and privileges canjucted with such categorization. This is in contrast to the education and economic needs.
The average condition has been worked out as under:-
ECONOMIC AND EDUCATION CONDITIONS OF OBC MUSLIMS VIS-A- VIS OTHER CATEGORIES
(Aggregate deducted from stydies in the states of Haryana, Uttar pradesh and Uttaranchal)
The family size is larger in regard to OBC Muslims than in any other categories. In Haryana about 57% OBC Muslim adult parents have more then 5 Children, and about 14% having 4 children. The figure for the same is 49% and 25% in case of U.P. and 50% and 16% in Uttaranchal. OBC. Muslims having more than 5 children exceed general Muslims, OBC non-Muslims and general non-Muslims by 22%, 32%, 42% in Haryana, 12%,14% and 25% in U.P. 13%, 18% and 21% in Uttaranchal. Most Muslim OBC couples have 4 to 7 children, which is substantially higher than national average. In the area of study it is observed that 15% couple have four children and 52% of OBC Muslims have 5 or more children n the three distrcts taken together. They together account for 67%. Hardly any of these families practiced family planning specially in Nooh district of Haryana. Faridabad, Faizabad and Nainital district are slightly better in that order. Certain areas of Rudrapur, being a little developed area education is better with greater degree of response towards family planning. Apparently higher rate of illiteracy rate, high degree of poverty and lower degree of employability are related to higher degree of fertility ratio among OBC Muslims. The size of the family correspondingly increases with lesser degree of adoption of family planning. It is considered a taboo or an irreligious act. Only a few of them use contraceptives. Most of these do not have primary health care facilities within 5 k.m radius.Coupled with this is the problem of serious health hazards.
Their health condition is directly linked to poverty and the absence of basic services like clean drinking water and sanitation – leading to malnutrition, anemia, a variety of diseases and poor life expectancy. In conflict prone areas there is alarming evidence of a host of psychosocial problems, including stress, depression, and post traumatic disorders among women. The few health care centers staffed by women doctors are concentrated in urban areas, forcing rural populations to survive with virtually no public health care. The poor quality of drinking water and sanitation is a concern. Population control programmes and knowledge of contraceptive practices do not reach Muslim women effectively. In almost all the districts under survey reflect that average family has minimum of 5 to 6 children specially in Haryana and U.P. They are poorer and have more children. High rates of fertility among Muslims are partly due to lack of information and the non-availability of affordable health care facilities. Besides, women often do not go to health centers, which lack lady doctors.
In regard to illiteracy rate among OBC Muslims it is 53% in Haryana, 39% in U.P. and 44% in Uttaranchal, which reflects 50% illiteracy rate on an average for OBC Muslims taking three states in to consideration. For general Muslims it is 43%, for OBC Non-Muslims it is 42% and general for Gen. non-Muslims 30%. Thus OBC Muslims have more of illiteracy rate than Gen. Muslims, OBC Non-Muslims and Gen.non-Muslims to the tune of 7%, 8% and 20% respectively. The national average for literacy rate is 65%, which is 15% higher than the OBC Muslims, which is quite alarming.
In regard to higher education 3% OBC Muslims households have a graduate degree holder. This is 3.5% for Gen. Muslims, 4% for OBC non-Muslims and 5% for Gen. non-Muslims. Thus graduate degree percentage wise is 11% more in case of Gen-Muslims, 25% more in case of OBC Non-Muslims and 40% more in case of Gen. Non-Muslims. Similar trend is seen in case of secondary and senior secondary also. Education has a definite role to play in terms of quality of profession or occupation and increase in income of people. The illiteracy rate and lower level of education in regard to OBC Muslims has an important role in regard to larger family size, lower income level and employment of large scale OBC Muslims in unskilled manual workforce.
High dropout rates among OBC Muslim students are worrisome. The main reason for educational backwardness of Muslims is abject poverty due to which children are forced to drop out after the first few classes. Therefore there is sudden drop of primary school education of 27% to secondary education to 14% and further in senior secondary level to 7% and in gradutate level to 3% At every higher stage there is drop of 50%. This is particularly true for Muslims girls. Little children are expected to provide for their families by working in small workshops as domestic help or by looking after their siblings while their mothers go to work. The incidence of child labour was much higher among OBC Muslims as compared to other. The opportunity costs involved in sending children to school is too high, making it difficult for parents to do so.
Only a few good quality schools, especially Government schools, are found in Muslim areas. Schools beyond the primary level are few in Muslim localities. Exclusive ‘girls’ schools are fewer, and are usually at a distance from Muslim localities. Educations among OBC Muslims are much lower compared to general Muslims and general and non-general categories of Hindus. Government schools in Muslim neighborhoods are merely centers of low quality education for the poor and marginalized. The poor quality of teaching, learning, absentee teachers, in turn, necessitate high cost inputs like private tuitions, particularly in the case of first generation learners from the Muslim community specially the OBC Muslims. This has a negative impact on retention and school completion. Thus, poverty again has a causal link with access to education among Muslims. Many a time Madarsas are the only educational option available to OBC Muslim children, especially in areas where no schools have reached the Muslim masses.
The perception of being discriminated against is overpowering amongst a wide cross section of OBC Muslims. The sense of discrimination and insecurity has led to inferiority complex and resulting in to collective alienation. The most important factor for this dismal state of affairs of OBC Muslims is lack of education. Private minority institutions and Madarsas are seen as the only option available to the community for improving the educational status. As regards Minority institution of repute the same is Gen. Muslims dominated, they being socio-economically better off than OBC Muslims.
POVERTY AND UNEMLOYMENT
As regards annual income of OBC Muslims it is 56% in Haryana, 51% in Uttar pradesh and 49% in Uttaranchal whose annual income is upto Rs. 25,000/- per annum. This makes upt to 52% on an average. The figure for the same is 37% each for Gen. Muslims and OBC Non-Muslims and 27% for Gen. Non-Muslims on an average taking these three states into consideration. This reflects that OBC Muslims have got 15% more people in this category compared to Gen. Muslims and OBC Non-Muslims. In this category their share of percentage is double than the percentage figure of Gen Non-Muslims. Further in the category of income per annum above 1,00000/- the figures in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal are 3%, 6% and 5% respectively for OBC Muslims. This makes up to 5% on an average in this three states. As regards Gen Muslims and OBC Non-Muslims 9% in each category have income above 1 lakh per annum. Among Gen. Non-Muslims 18% of the households have above one lakh per annum income. Similarly 13%, 16%, 17% and 22% OBC Muslims, Gen-Muslims, OBC Non-Muslims and Gen. Non-Muslims earn 50,000/- to 1,00000/- per annum on an average in the three States taken together. Thus clearly OBC Muslims are far behind any other category in terms of annual income.
The configuration of occupational engament share is 50% of OBC Muslims as laboures, 10% as skilled workers, 10% as traders and shopkeepers, 21% as marginal farmers 6% having more than 3 acres of land and 2% engaged in government services. OBC Muslims engaged as labourer or helper earn barely minimum level of subsistence in comparison constituting 50% to 29% Gen. Muslims, 33% of OBC Non-Muslims and 20% of Gen. Non-Muslims that fall in this category. OBC Muslims working as skilled workers include drivers, carpenters, tailors etc. Their share as trader or shopkeeper is 10.5% as against 19% of Gen-Muslims, 12% of OBC Non-Muslims and 20% of Gen-Non Muslims. About 2% of them are engaged in Government service mostly as group ‘C’ and ‘D’ employees. The share of percentage among their counter part i.e. OBC Non-Muslims is 4% of their population.
As regards their engagement in farming as marginal farmers or large land holders their share is much less. In regard to large land holding 6% of them have more than 3 acres land. It is 8% for Gen. Muslims,14% for OBC Non-Muslims and 17% for Gen.Non-Muslims. The percentage of engagement as marginal farmers for OBC Muslims, Gen-Muslims, OBC Non-Muslims and Gen Non-Muslims is 21%,31%,31% and 25% respectively. Land holding in Nainital it is less and in Rudrapur district it is more, specially by Malik caste of OBC Muslim category. Camel Cart is popular in some areas specially in Mewat area in Haryana. Carrying of fodders in camel cart, making of bricks, breaking and carrying stones from stone mines, carpentry, beldari etc. are main work for daily labourers whereby they get on an average wages of Rs. 75/- per day. Muslim women generally work as daily labourers in either farm sectors or in brick bhattas
The amount received is too negligible for a family with an average of over 5-6 children. In Faizabad, Azamgarh and Rudrapur bullock cart is popular among OBC Muslim farmers. The skilled workers like saifi i.e carpenter, Hazzam i.e. barbers etc. earn Rs. 100/- per day, where as daily labourer earns about Rs. 80/- per day provided they get jobs, as many languish as unemployed. Thus in terms of occupations OBC Muslims are in far more disadvantaged position than all other categories.
As regard mode of transport 1.6% of the OBC Muslim households have four wheelers, as against 2.5% of both Gen-Muslims and OBC Non-Muslims and 3.5% among Gen. non-Muslim households. While 15% of OBC Muslim households have scooters or motorcycles, 20% of Gen.-Muslims, 23% of OBC Non-Muslims and 36% of Gen-Non Muslim households have two wheelers i.e. scooter and motorcycles. Logically the most affordable conveyance of OBC Muslims is Cycle, i.e. 56% households among OBC Muslims own the same. Yet 23% of OBC Non-Muslims have no conveyance at all, and commute by walking or public transport services, which is scanty in village areas.
Central government and State governments must have monitoring cells for coordinating and monitoring benefits accruing to OBC Muslims specially in regard to issuance of BPL card, effective implementation of NREG schemes, Jawahar Rojgar Yojna etc and its spread to reasonable number of OBC Muslims. State government must work out strategies to provide infrastructure in Muslim concentrated localities i.e., not merely in District and District Head Quarters as envisaged in programmes for ‘Minority Concentrated Districts’. The over all impact has to be there in Muslim areas, i.e. locality specific rather then region or district specific.
Employment and Economy
As regards creation of employment for OBC Muslims, certain percentages of reservation say 3% of 5% from among reservation for OBC i.e. 27% must be earmarked. The same formula be adopted in educational institutes as well. That would ensure at least some representation of OBC Muslims in government sector and in admission in educational institutes. Similar provision has been attempted in Andhra Pradesh. In order to ensure that no discrimination occur to the Muslims, OBC Muslims in every recruitment board conducting selection for the post of government job, OBC Muslim representation as a member ensured in the board.
Certain vocations of OBC Muslims need to be identified and modern professional courses on the trade need to be devised. In this connection ITIs and Small Scale Industrial units must be involved. This designed courses need to be used for training of OBC Muslims in respective profession. The trained persons be given bank facility and infrastructure facility in addition to the knowledge of technical know how.
Soft credit facility should be given by nationalized banks and certain amount to be fixed for the disbursement to this effect. Land be allotted for modernized traditional workmanship of OBC Muslims, such as embroidery work, weaving of carpets and saree, making of bangles, making of candles, brass work, making of locks etc. in addition to work relating to carpentry, iron smith, pottery, ornaments etc.
In rural sector OBC Muslims should be encouraged and given all out help and soft loans for modernization and expansion of agriculture and animal husbandry. Training /support also be given for food procesing, value addition and agro-industries such as making of chips, pickles, papad, juices, processing of leaves and roots of medicinal plants, making of perfumes, making milk products, tannery etc.
Thrust should be given for setting up of Secondary schools and professional institutes for targeting Muslims, specially OBC Muslims. OBC Muslims students be given scholarship in tune with SCs/STs in the country, as they represent one of most backward community in the country. Merit-cum means scholarship has recently been introduced. However, to have a broader scope only means to be seen, as in case of SC/STs, thereby encompassing large number of OBC Muslims students for scholarship.
There can be some short of guidelines to schools / colleges specially government aided institution for enrolment of certain percentage of OBC Muslims in their institutions.
Formal education should be linked with vocational education/ skill development to create education with employment/self employment. Educational loan funds for OBC Muslims can be created with no interest or soft interest rate for pursuing professional / higher education. A corpus fund can be created for the purpose and with no interest on loan to the needy students can be given.
Number of schools in minority concentration areas fall short of the requirement worked out according to the national norm in relation to the population. This results in over crowding in the existing schools, which adversely affects the standards of education and also the quality of learning acquired by students studying in these schools, a majority of whom are Muslims. It is imperative to develops adequate educational infrastructure in the areas of OBC Muslims.
The education programme be linked with vocational training so that it motivates enrolment. Hotel facilities in schools and colleges for OBC Muslims students be built up in large numbers, with subsidy for mess and other facilities. All school expertise like tuition fee, books and transportation etc as applicable be provided for OBC Muslims students . Such provisions be made in the Ministry of Minority Affairs through budget provision.
A strong monitoring of implementation of the schemes pertaining to OBC Muslims must be done through a special cell to be set up in the Department of Education/ Minority Affairs in each State which will also be required to send to the Centre quarterly reports on the progress on implementation of these schemes. This is necessitated as many useful programmes and schemes have been drawn up for the educational uplift of Muslims. Most of them have not materialized in the way these were visualized and have not benefited the educationally backward minorities especially Muslims, to the extent these were expected to do. It has rightly been pointed out that due to the federal structure of the Indian state, all schemes need approval and recommendation of the state governments. It has been observed in many cases that many proposals and schemes remain pending with the state governments for years together, without any serious effort to process and implement them. It is either lackadaisical or discriminatory approach of the State Government due to which many of these schemes have either failed to see the light of the day or if, at all, some of these have been implemented then, these have never been able to reach the goals these were expected to attain.
The other steps like association of representatives of educationally backward minorities with various education Boards and Advisory Committees at the Central and State levels and departmental review and evaluation by an outside agency of all minority education programmes every year have yet to be fully implemented.
Mother’s education and physical well-being has direct bearing on the children. Lack of education among Muslim women, specially OBC Muslims women is major cause of younger Muslim generation not doing well. The existing provision should be fully utilized and expanded specially in regard to Hostel facilities in order to provide sufficient infrastructure and good teaching-learning environment for Muslim girls particularly those who are coming to urban centers from rural areas to pursue higher education. For they are gong to be moters tomorrow.
For Muslim boys also, more secondary schools need to be opened in Muslim concentration areas to prepare them for higher and professional education particularly in science and commerce streams. Useful vocational courses suiting to the nature and type of the economic activities going on in the surrounding areas of the school should also be carefully planned and organized in secondary schools located in Muslim concentration areas so that Muslim students can also be trained for self employment and wage employment opportunities.
Instead of establishing new general or professional colleges by the community funds it should be directed towards establishing good quality secondary schools which should first help in building modern educational foundation of OBC Muslim students in gaining their entry into the premier educational institutions in the country like IITs, IIS, IIMs, etc. Since very few professional education institutions of Muslims exist in the Northern India, OBC Muslim students from this part of the country may be encouraged and substantially facilitated to join the Muslim professional education colleges in South India. Even in the general education colleges whether run for the government or by the community OBC Muslim students should be encouraged and assisted in joining value added courses.
At elementary stage of Madarsass, in addition to education in Islamic subjects, general education in science and Mathematics in the form of environmental studies and basic arithmetic and English or Hindi language may be imparted. The Madarsa education be designed in tune with CBSC for getting formal recognition. The Centre for Promotion of Science at Aligarh Muslim University has worked out a scheme for incorporating these subjects in Madarsass and has also developed abridged and simplified study material in science for Madarsas students. In some well-established Madarsass in the country few social scence subjects are already a part of their curriculum. Some Madarsass have also successfully experimented with teaching of useful crafts including computers to students without adversely affecting curriculum for religious studies. Both these elements viz modern or secular subjects and vocational courses, may be incorporated in the Madarsas curriculum after their due scrutiny. This modified curriculum will expectedly help produce more enlighten, socially aware and vocationally equipped students through the Madarsas system. Madarsas have been providing traditional education to large number of Muslims. It is vital to use their infrastructure for imparting modern education as well.
Concerted steps therefore be taken to reach out to these people for health care and small family norms. Public Health Centres with care for health and small family norm be set up in OBC Muslim concentrated areas. In addition, mobile medical van could be an added advantage.
Population explosion among OBC Muslims is much more than any other community and grouping. Because of illiteracy, lack of awareness and ‘perceived religious taboo’ OBC Muslims generally do not resort to family planning programmes. This is a major concern. OBC Muslim population growth amounts to few hands to work and more mouths to eat. In addition lack of nutritional support, poor health conditions and subjugation by diseases due to poor sanitation etc. cause further loss of OBC Muslims. Educating people about gender equality and special provision for schooling, hostel, scholarship etc. for Muslim girls in the pattern of SCs/STs students at various places is imperative to help eradiate illiteracy and school dropout among OBC Muslim girls.This will be surest way of conscious population control.
The study gives a broad picture of OBC Muslims, their population share, categories or caste combination, Muslims and their relative conditions vis-à-vis general Muslims, Non-Muslim OBCs and Gen Non-Muslim categories, educational and economic backwardness of the OBC Muslims and remedies thereof and makes it probably the first serious work on the issue. With clear picture of important issues concerning OBC Muslims, it would be easier to formulate strategies to integrate one of the most poverty stricken and educationally deprived section of the society into the national mainstream.