Christians deliberately kept in the dark about various schemes and benefits
On paper the publicity brochures released by the DoM Government of Karnakata make good reading but what is it on reality? This was the moot point of discussion among Christians of Karnataka including Karnataka Christhara Rakshana Vedike at a closed breakfast meeting on December 29, 2017 attended by 12 Christian activists representing different sections of the community. The discussion was moderated by Adv. Mathew convenor of Christian Community Coalition, Karnataka.
Jeevan Stephen, secretary, KCRV said that it is rather unfortunate that the Christian community which is in the forefront in the field of education finds its own community in the dark when it comes to the various minority benefits. At regular intervals full page news paper advertisements are released by the department patting their own back on their own achievements with figures of over 175 crores released exclusively for the development of Christians. There is a pattern employed by the authorities to deprive the needy Christians in the community. As a perfunctory exercise, the DoM releases these advertisements just a week before the last dates. The advertisements are not targeted to the needy community and it is lost in all the hype created about the benefits that exist only on paper. Jeevan went on to share how the DoM office is a forte of a particular community and the common Christian is shooed away by the people in the office when they approach them. He shared the classic example of how a Christian student had got all the papers ready and approached the department for a scholarship for a 1-year degree program. The student was told by one of the staff that this particular course is not eligible for scholarship from the current academic year, but the student mentioned that his friends had got the benefits the previous year for the same course. Thus the clerk in the DoM is the authority who will decide which course is eligible and which course is not eligible for Scholarships? What is interesting is that when this student was walking away, just outside of the DoM an agent approaches him and assures him that “I will take care of everything and will get the scholarship for you” but all for a percentage that is substantial. This is the only way how things work at the DoM which is infested with agents and not a single application by any student directly submitted will see the light of day. A catholic priest substantiated this off the record when he said that the applications for grant for his orphanage when applied directly did not move, but very soon agents contacted him with the deal that the funds will be released if he parts with 30% of the amount. The priest then rightly rejected the offer. Jeevan went on to say that he should not be mistaken and that no one is against any particular community but the official apathy and the indifference of the government is what is condemnable.
When asked by Adv. Mathew as to what the members of the Christian community on the Christian Development Council (CDC) which is a subset of DoM are doing? Agnel Rajendran, Christian activist, replied that you cannot expect anything good when the kind of people who are selected on these councils are of dubious characters. The CDC members do not disseminate the information to the community. The bottom line is that there is corruption in the implementation of all the schemes under DoM and it is a known fact but no one is ready to bell the cat.
Dalith Pastors John Chandru and Elisha Narayanan felt that there are a lot of needy poor in the community who do not benefit from any of the schemes. Every year when the funds for the community are not utilised, the CDC diverts the funds to Church renovations and community hall projects that are not a priority. It is in this diversion that there is lot of corruption. Across all the denominations every church is happy to get a few lakhs from the government turning a blind eye to corruption and feeding the sharks, they added.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
Jeevan Stephen, Secretary KCRV, can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com
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