Shillong: The Hynñiewtrep Youths’ Council (HYC) on Wednesday met with Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik, urging him to impress upon the Government of India to notify the “Khasi Indigenous Faith” as one of the minority communities in India.
According to HYC, the Government of India has notified six religious communities i.e. Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians and Jains as religious minorities in India under Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
Briefing the media, HYC general secretary Roy Kupar Synrem said they informed the Governor that there are nearly 3 lakh people from the Khasi and Jaintia communities residing in Meghalaya, Assam and other parts of the country, who are still practicing and professing the religion of “Indigenous Faith” or popularly known as “Niam Tynrai- Niam tre” in the country.
“As per our knowledge and information, the people who still belong to the “Indigenous Faith” are about 3 lakhs all over India and are also economically and socially backward, which requires more assistance and protection from the Government of India and respective state governments,” added Synrem.
The HYC is of the view that once the Khasi Indigenous Faith is recognised as one of the minority communities, those belonging to this faith would be able to get help under various schemes as per the Constitution.
“We know that the Seng Khasi or institution which looks after the Niam Tynrai… they have established various schools and projects meant for the welfare of the indigenous people of the state. We think it a fit case for them to be recognised. Once recognised, they will be able to perform a lot more social welfare activities in the state and also other parts of the country,” the HYC general secretary said.
He said the Governor has assured to intervene and take it up with the Union Home Ministry.
Help for farmers
The HYC also apprised the Governor about the plight of the farmers after the recent incessant rains in the state.
Synrem said heavy rainfall has severely affected the state’s farmers, particularly those who are cultivating potatoes and other vegetables. They have incurred huge losses.
The HYC has requested the Governor to intervene and advise the state government to provide immediate and meaningful relief to all the affected farmers.
They have also urged the Governor to direct the government for the implementation of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agricultural produce and agro-forest produce.
The HYC said despite making promises, the government hasn’t implemented it till date. “We have seen in last two years during the pandemic farmers have been the worst affected. They have to sell their produce at throwaway prices. We want MSP to be implemented so that the farmers are protected,” Synrem said.
The HYC has also requested the Governor for the implementation of the Meghalaya State Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020.
The government of Meghalaya had passed and notified the Act on June 1, 2020 with an objective to provide, inter-alia, for geographically restriction-free trade transaction of agricultural produce including livestock across the state and the country.
“The sad thing is that this Act has not been implemented till date. We have urged the Governor to take up this matter. What makes us happy is that the Governor has stated that this issue will be of importance to him. He has assured that he will take it up with the chief minister during his next meeting,” he added.
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