MULTAN   -   Punjab Minister for Human Rights Aijaz Alam Augustine has said disclosed that the government will establish two model villages for minorities every year.

“In first phase first model village will be set up in Yohannabad Lahore and Hindu Basti in Rahim Yar khan this year,” he added while speaking at a scholarship distribution ceremony here on Friday.

He said that this initiative was taken in view of backwardness of residential areas of the minorities. He said that whatever religion we belonged to, in first place we were Pakistanis.

He further revealed that the government is going to spend 50 percent of total funds allocated for the students of entire province on the students from South Punjab. He added that 95 minority students from South Punjab were given scholarships worth Rs2.5 million. “This all reflects that the PTI government is not only aware of the needs of people of South Punjab but also have deep interest in fulfilling these needs,” he added. He said that removal of sense of deprivation from South Punjab was the top priority of the Chief Minister.

The minister revealed that a total of eight thousand such minority students which could not continue their education after matriculation would be given technical training through Skill Development Council. “We will give skill training to five thousand boys and three thousand girls and then Rs500,000 grant will be given to each student for starting his or her own business,” he added.

He noted that literacy is a ladder for success and the government offered higher education opportunities to the minority students so that they could play role in development of their country.

He disclosed that changes were made in the syllabus of ethics subject and now a minority member had also been nominated in Punjab Text Book Board. 

Speaking on the occasion, Punjab minister for energy Dr Akhtar Malik said that protection of rights of minorities was our duty. He declared that the minority worship places would be given alternate power generation sources and solar systems would be given to them.

Provincial parliamentary secretary for human rights Sardar Mahindar Pal Singh also spoke on this occasion. Later on, scholarship cheques were distributed among students from matric to PhD levels.