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Stating that the literacy percentage among Muslims in Gujarat increased from 74.5 per cent in 2001 to 80.80 per cent in 2011, State Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said here on Saturday that the sharp increase in literacy among Muslims was the result of the enrolment drive initiated by the state government when Narendra Modi, now Prime Minister, was the state chief minister.
Speaking at a felicitation function organised by the Gujarat State Wakf Board for 11 Muslim students having won gold medals in their respective examinations conducted by the Gujarat University in 2015-16, Chudasama said that the students worked hard to win the gold medals. He added that the state government’s policy of ensuring 100 per cent enrolment in schools raised the literacy percentage among Muslims too and motivated these students to work hard and win the gold medals.
“These gold medalists have not brought pride to their community only. They are a pride to the entire state also,” said the minister.
Referring to the approval of a government senior secondary school in an area with 99 per cent Muslim population in Surat a week ago, he said: “We as BJP leaders believe in sabka saath, sabka vikas slogan given by Narendrabhai”. Chudasama said that any citizen of the state irrespective of his/her religion had equal right to admission to any school.
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“No school can deny admission to any student on the basis of caste, creed or religion. Please report to me if anyone is denied admission on the ground of he/she being a Muslim. I will never allow it,” said Chudasama.
Quoting from government statistics, he said that the employment percentage of Muslims in government department had also gone up from 7.1 per cent in 2011 to 7.8 per cent in 2011. “We believe in merit and no other consideration in recruitment,” said the minister.
Claiming that the prosperity among Muslims have also increased during this period, he said that a total of 4,354 Muslims from the state performed Haj in 2003 and 7,400 in 2016. “And as many as 57,000 Muslims have applied for Haj in 2017, indicating that the financial status of the community has improved significantly and more and more people are now in a position to bear Haj expenses,” said the minister. Average expenses incurred on Haj per person is about Rs 2 lakh.
The gold medalists felicitated on the occasion included Hunaiza Kureishi (who secured nine gold medals in law), Dr Sahil Raees Patel (five gold medals in medicine), Hanan Masood Ahmed Kagzi (three gold medals in Arts), Rasheeda Khazema Bootwala (two gold medals in management), Burhana Malik (two gold medal in Arts), Sayma Fatima Abdul Qayyum one gold medal in management), Shaleena Ghulam Muzaffar Sheikh (one gold medal in commerce), Saiyed Tahera Mohammed Hanif (one gold medal in science), Sana Usmanbhai Baletrewala (one gold medal in computers), Aziz Fatima Khan Munawwar Khan (one gold medal in medicine) and Dr Shagufta Sheikh (one gold medal in medicine).