Union Minister urges to drop caste-based surnames

Union Minister urges to drop caste-based surnames
Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishore. Source: IANS

New Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS) Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishore on Monday said that the surnames with caste tag should be removed from one's name, saying though it's hard for many, at least those who believe in the ideology of Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar should start the practice.

The Minister, while addressing the Mahaparinirvan Divas programme at Dr Ambedkar International Centre said, he has already put a proposal in this regard before the Parliament.

"People who honour Baba Saheb don't judge others on the basis of caste and colour," he said.

Babasaheb was regarded as a Buddhist guru because of his great influence in India to eradicate the social scourge of untouchability. Ambedkar's admirers and followers believe he was as influential as Lord Buddha, which is why his death anniversary is celebrated as Mahaparinirvana Divas, he said.

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr Virendra Kumar, the Chief Guest at the programme, launched a special book, published by Dr Ambedkar Foundation, named "Social Justice and Empowerment: Reflections from Dr Ambedkar Chairs".

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared five important places related to Babasaheb's life as Panchteerth, highlighting the importance of these five places, a documentary film has been produced by Dr Ambedkar Foundation which will be displayed on the occasion of Mahaparinirvan Divas at Dr Ambedkar International Centre as well as other places," Dr Kumar said.

He also released a brochure on Dr Ambedkar's Panchteerthas and schemes and scholarships for Scheduled Caste students by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

In the next 5 years, the Ministry has decided to extend support to 24,800 meritorious Scheduled Caste students, incurring a cost of around Rs 300 crore for providing them quality residential education from class 9 to 12 in reputed private residential schools in aspirational districts identified by the NITI Aayog, in educationally backward districts, and districts having a population of SC community at the national average.

Dr Virendra Kumar also launched Fellowship Management and Grievance redressal Portal software with a view to enabling an area-based development approach. The initiative aims at integrated development of Scheduled Castes majority villages.