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India's religious minorities need to be aware of rights

People need to know about various government schemes and plans meant for their welfare

India's religious minorities need to be aware of rights

Presentation Sister Anastasia Gill, the Christian member of Delhi Minority Commission, addresses a meeting of religious leaders on Aug. 28. ( photo) 


August 30, 2017

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Efforts need to be made to make India’s religious minorities aware of their rights, say a newly appointed member of the Delhi Minorities Commission.

The commission is a quasi-judicial authority to protect the interest of religious minorities.

"We should be aware of our rights and update ourselves about what is happening around us … to be in a better position to face the problem and solve it accordingly," Zafarul Islam Khan, the chairman of the commission said Aug. 28 while addressing a specially convened meeting of minority leaders in the national capital.

Khan is a Muslim leader who took over as chairman of the commission on July 20, joining two other appointed members from the Christian and Sikh communities.

Members initially serve for a period of three years, which then can be extended by another three years.

Khan told some 50 leaders — from Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Parsi, and Jain religions — that public awareness camps are planned in minority concentrated areas to help them understand the workings of the commission, and to tell them about various government schemes and plans meant for their welfare.

The commission having the powers of a civil court is mandated to safeguard the rights and interests of religious minorities. It is also a forum to redress grievances of minorities, such as threats or violence against their religious freedom.

Presentation Sister Anastasia Gill, another member of the commission and a Supreme Court lawyer, told that "most of the time our people are not sure of their rights because of a lack of awareness."

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