Kochi: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will convene a meeting of people's representatives and officials concerned to address various issues pertaining to the Anglo-Indian community in the state. The Chief Minister said this in the Assembly while replying to the calling attention motion by the lone Anglo-Indian MLA John Fernandez who pointed to the backwardness of the community which is a language minority. The 80,000-strong Anglo-Indian community is spread across Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kayamkulam,Mavelikkara, Klappana, Purakkad, Alappuzha, Fort Kochi and different parts of Ernakulam, Munnar, Kozhikode and Kannur.
Pinarayi said that the meeting would explore the possibilities to address backwardness of the community in sectors like education, labour and housing. Mr. Fernandez said that the community had not been granted reservation in UG and PG courses in arts and science colleges and also for medical PG courses. He also demanded to upgrade the high schools run by Anglo-Indians into higher secondary schools including the the Saudi Loretto Anglo Indian School and the 100 year-old Fort Kochi St Mary’s High School and the UP school at Kadukutty into a high school.
John Fernandez said that the previous commission reports on economic reservation had ignored the community. He demanded restoration of the lump sum grant for students in government and aided schools from Class I to XII. The MLA also demanded setting up of a heritage centre in association with the state government to protect the cultural peculiarities of the community. The demands include providing land and houses for those who are without it. He pointed out that land had been granted earlier in Perumbavoor, Vengola, Ernakulam and Chathyath. To enhance the labour skills of the youth, a separate course should be started and opportunity for the same should be provided in polytechnic colleges.