CHENNAI: Shahezadi Syed, Member of National Commission for Minorities (NCM), on Thursday alleged that divorce rate among Muslim women is high in Tamil Nadu. "I have asked the State government to take steps to provide self employment to divorced Muslim women and to provide skill development. Actually, there are very few centres to provide skill development to women and when it comes to women from minority communities there are no such centres," said Shahezadi.
Shahezadi was in the city for a two-day inspection in which she held three meetings, one with the members of Waqf Board, state Minorities Commission and the state Hajj committee.
Asked whether she has any data to substantiate her claims, she said that her observation was based on the feedback from the Muslim women and Islamic leaders who attended the meeting in Chennai. Those who attended the meeting informed that the divorce rate of Muslim women is high in the State and she has not heard such complaints in other parts of the country.
She further said that she has recommended the State government to provide alternate livelihood for divorced Muslim women. However, Shahezadi rued that despite her holding the rank of Minister of State was not provided facilities according to the protocol by the government. "It is not right on the part of the state government to deny facilities according to the protocol. I have informed this to state Minister for Minorities Gingee KS Mastan."
She also said that Buddhists in the State are not given minority certificates and though they along with Jains, Sikhs and Parsis are minorities in the state they do not derive any benefit. "Only Muslims and Christians are deriving the minority benefits and I have asked the concerned Minister to look into the issue," said Shahezadi.
When asked about the attack on Muslims and their properties in BJP ruled states such as Uttar Pradesh and the lack of action on the part of the commission, she replied that they did not get any complaints regarding the issue.
Asked why there was no suo moto action by the commission, the national commission member said that the need to take suo motto action was not arriving and maintained that no harm is done to the Muslims in India.