New Delhi Expressing concern at sections of minority communities continuing to suffer from poverty even today, President Pranab Mukherjee Monday said the government will spread modern and technical education among minority communities and launch a madrassa modernization programme.
Addressing a joint session of parliament, the president said: "It is unfortunate that even after several decades of independence, sections of minority communities continue to suffer from poverty, as benefits of government schemes do not reach them."
"My government is committed to making all minorities equal partners in India's progress. The government will especially strengthen measures to spread modern and technical education among minority communities and a National Madrassa Modernization Programme will be initiated," he said.
The Muslim community comprises around 14 percent of India's 1.2 billion population.
On the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and the weaker sections, he said the government "will take steps to create an enabling eco-system of equal opportunity in education, health and livelihood" for them.
"My government is committed to seeing that those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Other Backward classes are able to avail emerging opportunities. For the Scheduled Tribes, my government will launch a dedicated 'Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana'," he said.
"Electrification of tribal hamlets and connecting them with all-weather roads will be a priority area," the president added.
He said the welfare and rehabilitation of specially-abled people is integral to the government's vision of a caring society. "It will take steps to provide dignity of life to them by facilitating their participation in all walks of life. Steps will be taken to identify their special needs and to provide institutional care to them," he added.