Ivan D’Souza demands Upgradation of Christian Development Council to a Corporation
Udupi: The chief whip of the government in the state legislative council, and also vice-president of The Christian Development council Ivan D’Souza urged the state government to convert the council into a corporation and earmark at least Rs 300 crore for the welfare of Christians in the state budget of 2017-18.
He was speaking at a press meet held at the Bishop’s House Udupi on March 3, there is a general lack of awareness about various development schemes formulated by the state government for Christians. After he was appointed as vice-president of the council, he has undertaken extensive tours of 24 districts with a sizeable Christian population. If a separate corporation is formed for Christians, it will help them get the benefits from the government, he added.
The state government had earmarked Rs. 125 crore in 2015-16 for the development of the community. However, most of the programmes using budgetary allocations were not reaching the people properly owing to lack of awareness and also a lack of interest of the officials.
He also demanded that the government establish Training, Employment and Placement centres in 4 regions of the state to help IAS, IPS, KAS, Banking and CET students to prepare for the exams. The council has also urged CM Siddaramaiah to set up a hostel for Christian students at the headquarters of 24 districts where the community is present in significant numbers and also, start skill development centres for the benefit of such students.
The population of the Christian community is over 30 lakh, constituting 1.8% of the overall population of the state. Other demands include financial aid for taking a holy land tour to Jerusalem on the lines of Andhra Pradesh, working hostels at divisional levels, Krista Bhavans in Mangaluru, Bengaluru, Kolar, Kalaburagi, Belagavi, Bidar and Uttara Kannada districts and improvement in basic amenities at Christian colonies in Karnataka.
Minority People from Udupi district has received a maximum number of benefits from Svavalambana, Shrama Shakti, Arivu, Gangakalyana, Kirusala and home loans, he added.
Council member Marcel Montiero, Zilla Panchayat member Wilson Rodrigues, Taluk Panchayat member Michael Ramesh D’Souza and others were present.