Muslim areas in Gujarat lag in basic amenities: Survey

Thursday, 19 December 2013 - 2:09pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

Muslim areas in the city and the state that boasts of vibrant development lags behind as far as basic amenities are concerned, this was found in a study carried out by an NGO Jan Vikas in 63 Muslim dominated areas of the state.

The study focused on basic amenities like drinking water, sanitation facilities, road connectivity, availability of anganwadi and schools, public health system and credit facility from banks among others.

The study found that muslim dominated areas in Ahmedbad and Kutch had the least developed internal and external roads. Giving an example it pointed out to Juhapura that had a population of four lakh Muslims but not one internal pucca road.

As far as banking and credit is concerned it found that except for Kutch and Mehsana banking facilities were fairly available in surveyed areas. But the picture changed drastically when  access to credit was analysed “We have found that Muslims do not have access to credit from main stream financial banks to start or expand their business,” said Vijay Parmar , CEO, Janvikas.

The report also recounted the experience of a Muslim businessman who was told by a formal financial institution that they did not lend to people from certain community as they do not repay the loan.

As far as Anganwadis and schools were concerned, it found that of the 11 areas that were surveyed in Ahmedabad had 28 Anganwadis. “For every 40 children there should be an anganwadi. Given this statistics the 28 Anganwadis in the 11 areas are woefully inadequate,” said Geeta Oza another official of Janvikas.

Speaking at a function held to celebrate World Minority Day, Parmar said that a lot of discrimination also stemmed from the poor representation of Muslims in the assembly and low education among them. “They do not have access to education the way others have. Muslim trust don’t get help by way of government grant even if they are allowed to open new schools. Private schools are not affordable for poor Muslims and there aren’t enough government schools in their areas,” said Parmar.

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