New York, Jul 5: Union Steel Minister and Lok Jan Shakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan began the Fifth International Convention of 'Dalit and Minorities' Seminar in New York on Friday, July 4.
Paswan is the Chairman of the Dalit and Minorities International Forum (DMIF). In his inaugural address, Paswan called for empowering the socially deprived through education and employment. "Till the time the minorities do not have self confidence, India cannot progress. We need to facilitate this," said Paswan. Many delegates at the conference called for affirmative action. Syed Shahabuddin, a minority leader said that funds earmarked for the deprived do not percolate down to them due to the prevailing bureaucratic set up in India.
"Give money directly to the poor, give them pension as per the per capital pension. It is only then that the scheduled caste, tribe and the Muslims will prosper in our country," said Shahabuddin. Organised by the American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI), the convention highlighted the problems faced by India's marginalisedommunities and sought practical solutions.
The main focus of the convention is how to empower the downtrodden sections of the society by providing them with better education.