Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today asserted that the State Government would pursue grant of Scheduled Tribe status to Pahari speaking people by the Central Government with all seriousness even as she said all possible efforts would be made for the social and economic empowerment of the community.
Chairing a meeting of J&K State Advisory Board for Development of Pahari People here today, the Chief Minister said the State Government has already submitted an elaborate proposal to the Centre which reasons out the need for granting Scheduled Tribe status to the Pahari community. She assured the community members that her Government would also convey their concerns to the Centre in this regard.
The Chief Minister said Government would make efforts to put the development of Pahari community into focus. She said more hostels for the girls of the community and hospitals and schools in their area would be constructed. She asked the Education Department to undertake coaching of students in schools of Pahari areas for various competitive examinations. She said it is the agenda of her Government to develop all backward areas and people in the State and make them at par with other socially and economically empowered communities.
Mehbooba Mufti directed constitution of a committee by the Vice Chairman of the Board to look into the condition of the boys and girls hostels of the community set up in various areas of the State. She directed the committee to come up with a status report about these hostels and suggest measures about their proper maintenance and upkeep.
Mehbooba Mufti also directed construction of a Sarai at Kupwara for providing temporary shelter to members of Pahari community. She said sufficient funds would be earmarked for undertaking welfare programmes and schemes for the community.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh in his intervention sought consensus driven efforts for resolving the issues confronting the community. He said the present coalition government is committed to the welfare of the Pahari community.
Earlier, Vice Chairman, Pahari Board, Kuldeep Raj Gupta welcomed the participants of the meeting and outlined the activities of the Board.
Minister for R&B, Abdul Rehman Veeri; Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, Choudhary Zulfkar; Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Bhagat; Minister for Rural Development, Abdul Haq; Minister for Social Welfare, Sajad Ghani Lone; Minister for Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Abdul Ghani Kohli; Minister for PHE, Shyam Choudhary; Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar; Minister of State for Social Welfare, Asiea Naqash; several legislators, Chief Secretary, B. R. Sharma; administrative secretaries of various Departments and senior officers besides members of the board were present on the occasion.