By Kisho Kumari Sucedaram
KUALA LUMPUR: An academic has called on the Indian community to move away from the dependency culture and learn to be self-sufficient.
Prof Datuk Dr N. S. Rajendran, who is a professor of pedagogy and thinking skills at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris in Tanjong Malim, Perak, said Indians should wake up to the reality that they cannot go on depending on the government for aid and that they should come with their own strategies to improve their socio-economic status.
Commenting on the allocations provided by the government to help Indian families in the bottom 40 per cent household income group (B40), he said they should use the opportunities that have been made available to them to equip themselves with the necessary education and skills to start their own businesses and enhance their incomes.
“They must also do their part in order to complement the efforts of the government,” Rajendran, who is now on secondment to the Prime Minister’s Department, told Bernama.
Rajendran is director of the unit for the Socio-Economic Development of Indian Community (SEDIC), which was formed in May 2014 to ensure that funds provided by the government to the Indian community are governed efficiently and reach its target groups.
In a recent report by Bernama, he was quoted as saying that SEDIC had disbursed RM100 million in 2015 to various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private skills training institutes whose programmes have so far benefited some 160,000 people. This year’s allocation has been set at RM60 million.
BE MORE UNITED
Rajendran, who is also coordinator of the Tamil Schools Action Plan unit in the Prime Minister’s Department, said while the government was doing its part for the Indians through the various NGOs and other organisations, the onus was on the people to come up with self-sustaining initiatives or community-based programmes that would support them over the long term.
He also urged the civil society, as well as wealthy Indians, to support initiatives aimed at uplifting the educational and socio-economic status of needy Indians.