Equipping 12,000 Muslim Girls To Stand On Their Feet

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New Delhi, July 3 (UNI) Hunur, a programme to equip 12,000 muslim girls in Bihar with skills and tools to help them stand on their own feet-- is to be taken up around the nation, it was announced this evening.

The announcement by Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh came at a function presided over by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

The programme in collaboration with the National Institute of Open Schooling was launched in Bihar yesterday but declared open by Singh on a national level today.

Bihar has also decided to waive fees charged to scheduled caste and tribe students enrolled with the Open School and reimburse such fees taken last year, Kumar told audience.

Singh assured that the centre would do everything in its power to make a success of the Hunur programme.

Calling this an era of knowledge explosion, the HRD Minister said the future would belong to societies which use knowledge for advancement of its people.

Speaking of Hunur, the Chief Minister narrated the enormous response evoked by the State's advertisement about the programme-- as many as 13,000 girls applying in just eight days, 12,000 of whom fulfilled the requirements.

Kumar said his administration was so heartened by the response that it has decided to enroll up to 50,000 girls next year.

Once girls qualify they will also be equipped with tools of the respective trade to truly help them to stand on their own feet, Kumar said, adding how a girl learning to sew, for instance, may be entitled to a sewing machine and so on.

The skills on offer: Gram Sakhi, Jute Production, Cutting and Tailoring, Early Childhood Care and Education, Basic Technology and Beauty Culture.

The Bihar government's initiative was hailed by speakers on the occasion who included Minister of State for HRD M A A Fatmi, School Education Secretary A K Rath and Maulana Wali Rahmani of Rahmani Foundation.

But Rahmani wondered why it took the Bihar government a year to process the 13,000 applications the girls took a week to submit.

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