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.
MELAKA: MIC President Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam has called on members of non-governmental organisations to help unite the Indian community towards attaining greater economic development and educational excellence.
He said NGOs provided the best platform to bring the Indian community together regardless of their political affiliation and beliefs.
“NGO leaders in the Indian community are capable of bringing Indians together and strengthening them so that they’ll be able to face the various challenges in line with the country’s development,” he said at a dinner with NGOs in Melaka here Thursday.
He said the ‘One Voice Common Goal’ programme was implemented to forge cooperation among the various groups in the Indian community, especially the NGOs.
Through the programme, all levels of the Indian community, regardless of their political affiliation, could work together to improve their lot, he added.
Subramaniam, who is the Health Minister, said the two fields that should be emphasised in the Indian community were economic development and education.
The government, he said, had provided various platforms to improve the economy of the Indian community, including the setting up of the Secretariat for Empowerment of Indian Entrepreneurs (SEED) and the Socio Economic Development of Indian Community (SEDIC).
“Our hope is to produce more highly educated people and entrepreneurs in the Indian community,” he added.
IPOH – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has carried out various transformation initiatives to develop the economy and education of the Indian community in the country, said MIC deputy president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
Subramaniam, who is also the Health Minister, said via the transformation, many changes had taken place, to simultaneously place the Indian community at the front, together with the other communities in the national development.
“The transformation has taken the Indian community to a much better level and the emphasis on the two aspects has succeeded in bringing them out of economic and educational problems,” he said.
He said this to reporters at a dinner in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of Ipoh Barat MIC Division which was attended by about 1,000 people from 48 branches Sunday.
Dr Subramaniam said, prior to this, he had voiced out his views on the role of the Prime Minister from the perspective of the Indian community.