Reservation has helped Dalits in southern states: Ramadoss

August 22nd, 2008 - 11:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) Praising the better socio-economic profile of Dalits in southern Indian states, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said Friday it was due to the social inclusion brought about by the “in-depth reservation policies” of the state governments.Speaking at a national-level meeting on ‘Dalits and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)’ organised by the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS) at the India Islamic Cultural Centre here, Ramadoss said the condition of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes in south Indian states was better.

“It is the fact of social inclusion brought through the in-depth reservation policies (in the states) that has brought about the development,” the minister said.

He also said that Dalit communities have a “better value for life” as is evident from the better sex ratio figures.

“In all health indicators such as Infant mortality rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Under-Nourishment, SCs, and STs fare very poorly. However, indicators with regard to sex ratio are much better in these deprived communities as there is better value for life,” Ramadoss said.

Housing and Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja, University Grants Commission chairman S.K. Thorat and general secretary of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) Paul Divakar were among the participants.

Pointing to the huge correlation between the low health indicators and the fact of social deprivation among the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes and minorities, Ramadoss said: “Development has to be an all-inclusive process, and without including deprived sections the growth cannot be real.”

The health minister also referred to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s emphasis on health, education and agriculture. He expressed satisfaction at the strides made by the National Rural Health Mission.

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