A city-based group comprising members of different minority communities today announced to launch a campaign to press for its demand of setting up ministry of minority affairs in Gujarat. As part of its campaign, the group plans to send one lakh post cards to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani over the next one month. The group, Minority Co-ordination Committee, which was formed here last year and which comprises members of Muslim, Christian, Jain and Buddhist communities, said it would also demand setting up of a minority commission in Gujarat to improve the condition of the minorities. Group convener Mujahid Nafees told reporters here that in the absence a separate ministry and a commission, few government schemes meant for the minority communities were not being implemented. "We have no ministry of minority affairs in Gujarat. Neither any allocations are made in the state budget for the upliftment of minorities, nor any central schemes are implemented.
There is no grievance redressal mechanism for minorities in Gujarat in the form of a commission," Nafees claimed. "We will send one lakh postcards to the Chief Minister over the next one month to highlight the status of the minorities and to demand the formation of a ministry of minority affairs and a commission for the implementation of schemes and to address their issues," he said. A memorandum about the demands will also be handed over to the CM separately, Nafees said. Other key demands include setting up of higher secondary schools in the minority-dominated areas, recognition of certificates given by madrassas as equivalent to Gujarat State Board certificate, policy for rehabilitation of persons displaced due to natural disasters or communal violence, he said. According to the 2011 census data, minorities constitute 11.4 per cent of the total population of Gujarat with 9.7 per cent Muslims, followed by Jains, Christians, Buddhists and others at 1, 0.5, 0.1 and 0.1 per cent, respectively.