Minister for Water, Tourist, Culture, Arts & Languages and Gurudwara Elections in the Government of Delhi, speaks about the opportunities that are being created by the AAP towards the socially and economically backward people of Delhi. Read on...
In conversation with Franchise India, Rajendra Pal Gautam, lawyer and social worker by profession for the past 35 years, and now a senior leader with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as Minister for Water, Tourist, Culture, Arts & Languages and Gurudwara Elections in the Government of Delhi, speaks about the opportunities that are being created by the AAP towards the socially and economically backward people of Delhi.
He says, “Socially backward people have been barred by the caste system and they did not get enough natural resources to own and social status to better their lives, which is why we in AAP are trying to give them an equal scope to move forward in life with the help of education.”
Here are the excerpts from the conversation:
Challenges of the Socially Backward People
Education in India is being ruled by the private players and the socially backward people are pushed to the marginalized category by the society, whose lives depend on the daily wages that they earn. Their job security is another major concern for these people. This is one of the reasons that they are unable to educate their children enough to get a decent job or even start a business of their own.
The private education is very expensive for them, so they let their children go to government schools.
Government education in India is such, that after the ‘No detention’ policy has been regularized, the children could not learn much till class 8 and when they failed in class 9, they dropped out of schools. As the number of school dropouts increased, these students spoilt themselves by taking drugs and indulged themselves in chain snatching and smartphone snatching to keep the regular dose of drugs or to meet hunger needs.
Providing Educational and Entrepreneurial Opportunities
In order to make the education for the children of these socially backward people better, we have developed “Dr.Ambedkar pathshala”, which was earlier known as “Bhim pathshala” at the societal level to prepare the students for a competition ready. At the AAP government level, we are developing the government schools in Delhi. So far we have successfully opened 3 “Dr.Ambedkar pathshala”, and we are planning to open 14 more in the coming two months. We are planning to push the number further in the coming years.
Also, I serve for the Delhi SC/ST/OBC/Min. & Handicapped Finance & Development Corp. Ltd. (DSHFDCL), where we sanction loans and provide these socially and economically backward people a chance to become entrepreneurs. We have also tied up with National Skill Development Council (NSDC) and some other skill development companies to provide them with the desired skills they require to start their own venture. With this, they can take skill development training from the NSDC and take up loans from DSHFDCL and start their entrepreneurial journey, as well as provide employment to the people of their community.
When I was the chairman of the Delhi Jal Board, I initiated a couple of associations to eradicate manual scavenging in Delhi under the leadership of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. For cleaning the sewerage, the marginalized people did not have any safety or proper procedure to follow, which is why many people have lost their lives in the past and many have been left handicapped.
The work of associations that were formed was to get tenders of vehicles, which could cross the narrow lanes of the city in order to clean the sewerage tanks, to stop manual cleaning. And these tenders were made to be given to the marginalized labors. We have also initiated discussions with some banks to get their loans sanctioned easily.
For those who have lost their lives were given tenders for free of cost and for the rest, the tenders were given at a 10% margin. In November, we have issued 200 sewerage cleaning vehicles, which means 200 entrepreneurs from the socially and economically backward community.
Opportunities for the Educated yet Unemployed Youth
For the educated youth, who were unemployed, we provided them with job opportunities at the “Dr. Ambedkar Pathshaalas” as teachers to help the students in their studies. Other than that we are also working towards giving them the opportunity to go abroad and get higher education from Cambridge University, Columbia University, Harvard University and London School of Economics for their MBAs and PhDs, and the entire education cost will be provided by the Delhi Government.