Uttar Pradesh madrassas to offer job-linked courses for poor Muslim girls

July 9th, 2008 - 11:40 am ICT by IANS  

By Asit Srivastava
Lucknow, July 9 (IANS) Shedding their age-old image of imparting only religious teachings, madrassas in Uttar Pradesh are all set to introduce job-oriented courses exclusively aimed at making poor Muslim girls and women self-reliant. To generate self-employment for economically weak women and girls, the Uttar Pradesh Madrassa Board will open training centres at a cost of Rs.110 million in various seminaries across the state offering courses in tailoring, embroidery and other trades related to craft work.

“Our upcoming scheme intends to help poor Muslim girls and women stand on their own feet. Such vocational courses will immensely help the community’s girls to earn their livelihood,” board registrar Shoaib Ahmad told IANS.

The training centres would be set up in madrassas in over 30 districts in the state, he added.

Once these centres are established, around 3,000 girls and women would be trained in different madrassas of the state, officials said.

The maximum number of four training centres would be established in Kanpur district, followed by Lucknow, which will have three, board officials added.

Other training centres will come up in Aligarh, Balia, Pratapgarh, Kannauj, Ambedkar Nagar, Sitapur, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Kushinagar, Maharajganj, Balrampur, Barabanki and several other districts including in the Bundelkhand region, officials said.

The centres will be set up in a phased manner. The foremost criterion for establishing a centre will be the strength and status of poor Muslim girls in a district, officials added.

Initially, the training centres will open in those districts having a greater number of economically weak Muslim girls than other districts, officials said.

To gain first-hand information about the status and strength of Muslim girls, the board will soon initiate a survey in different districts of the state, officials added.

“We are in constant touch with the state government, to start the process of setting up the training centres at the earliest,” Ahmad said.

Uttar Pradesh has over 1,900 madrassas recognised by the Madrassa Education Board and where around 170,000 students - the highest among all Indian states - are enrolled.

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