Dr Jitendra Singh was speaking to a delegation of “Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangha”, a national organization of Gorkhas in India, who called on him here yesterday for redressal of their long pending issues and sought his intervention, particularly considering the fact that out of over one crore Gorkha population in whole of India today, the major portion of over 35 lakh lives in the North-Eastern region of the country.
The delegation, led by its National President Shri S.M. Moktan, held a detailed meeting with Dr Jitendra Singh, wherein they brought up the issue of proper documents being provided to the members of the community to certify that they are permanent residents of the region. In the absence of such documents, they complained, they are sometimes seen as foreigners or illegal settlers or non-locals. In many States, they complained, that lack of such documentation has also deprived them from being enlisted in voters list.
Demanding OBC (Other Backward Class) status for Gorkha community, the members of the delegation requested for fair share in various incentives and avenues. They also urged that the Gorkhas living in the Northeast States may be involved in the development and economic activity in the region. The other demands put forward by the delegation included the request to include Gorkha language in the Eighth Schedule of Constitution and introduce Nepali language as a vernacular subject in schools and colleges.
Dr Jitendra Singh gave a patient hearing to the delegation. He said, the Ministry of DoNER recognizes their sensitivities and added that many of the demands put forward by them do not strictly pertain to his Ministry and therefore he will forward them to the concerned Departments and Ministries.
Prominent among the delegation members included Shri V.B. Thupu from Uttar Pradesh, Shri D.C. Poudiyal and Shri P.P. Pradhan from West Bengal, Shri Guman Bhoj Limbo from New Delhi, Shri Jagannath Koirala from Meghalaya and Shri Bhupendra Adhikari from Uttarakhand.