Scheduled Caste Entrepreneurs Empowerment Forum
The newly launched outfit, Scheduled Caste Entrepreneurs Empowerment Forum (SCEEF) organized an awareness seminar “Opportunities for SC Entrepreneurs under the recently launched schemes of the Government of India” on September 19, 2017 inLudhiana. The seminar was hosted by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in cooperation with National Small Industries Corporation. It was a well attended and nicely organized programme. Social and community activist, Jiwan Singh ably conducted the seminar as Master of Ceremonies.
The inaugural session was opened with welcome remarks by Director (MSME) Major Singh. Prof. Akshay Kumar, General Secretary of the SCEE Forum presented a brief report on the first session of the SCEEF held on August 21, 2017 in Jalandhar. It is a good step and must be appreciated as it has been observed that generally no reports/minutes of such meetings are kept and things move on a ad-hoc basis. Prof. Akhsay Kumar raised very candid
queries about the social integration of dalits with the main stream of the society. Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, Working President of Forum of Scheduled Caste MPs and MLAs made an impressive speech and urged the young entrepreneurs to make concerted efforts to avail of the schemes of the government to start new ventures, strengthen the existing ones and empower themselves. An RSS activist and OSD to Health Minister J.P. Nadda, Dr. Varinder Garg briefed the audience about the SC Sub-plan and said that we must try and get the SC Sub-plan initiated, executed and delivered for the economic up-liftment of the weaker sections of the society. He said that reservation was not enough. All other avenues must be explored and exploited to strengthen the affirmative actions for empowerment of dalits. Senior RSS functionary, Banveer Singh was the Chief Guest at the function. In his sober and calculated remarks, Banveer Singh said that RSS was fully committed to go all the way to help the neglected and marginalized segments of the society to stand up as equals. He frankly admitted that he was aware that many of you still lack faith in RSS and added that it was due to propaganda by the vested interests. Banveer Singh further said that we have decided and undertaken projects to engage dalits with their activities to mutual advantage and nation building. Rajesh Bagha, Chairman of the Punjab SC Commission, who was the chief co-coordinator to host the seminar, spoke spiritedly and urged the audience to educate themselves and get ready to make full use of the liberal schemes of the government. He said we should not remain job seekers but should become job providers. The pleasant duty of presenting the Vote of Thanks fell on me which I performed hurriedly as we were running against time. I observed that it was gratifying to note that social outfits like RSS and economic and commercial entities like SCEE Forum were joining hands for empowerment of dalits. It would lead to the realization of lofty ideals of Babasaheb to transform our political democracy into social and economic democracy. I urged the aspiring SC entrepreneurs to gain a much needed sense of confidence and concluded with an Urdu couplet:
तू पहले बात फिर बात का अंदाज़ पैदा कर,
फिर तुजे दुनिआ में कोई नज़र अंदाज़ कर नहीं सकता !
The technical session was held after a brief lunch break. Deputy Director of MSME, Kamal Singh gave an overview of the special schemes of the government of India to help and facilitate the budding businessmen from the weaker sections of the society. The representatives of FCI, Bhakra-Beas Board, NSIC informed and briefed the audience about the avenues and possibilities to become suppliers of goods and services to their respective organizations under the procurement policies to help the SC suppliers. Coordinator of DICCI in Punjab, Shammi Kapoor briefed the participants about the procedure and process to obtain Business Aadhar registration with MSME and as a Vendor with NSIC. It was a good interactive session. Rajesh Bagha, Chairman of Punjab SC Commission intervened to assure the vocal and eager businessmen to be patient and approach the issues with understanding. He said that every effort will be made to streamline the advisory and facilitatory aspects of the SCEE Forum. I spoke briefly to rap-up the technical session and expressed satisfaction on the visible restiveness in the minds of young SC businessmen to do something. I advised the SCEE Forum to set up a cell in the organization to listen and redress the complaints and answer queries in consultation with MSME, NSIC, Banks and other concerned agencies. I also advised the SC business community, in its infancy, to hone-up their computer and English language skills to catch up with the overall business atmosphere. Appreciating their zeal to do something worthwhile, I concluded with yet another Urdu couplet:
कर खुदी को बुलंद इतना की हर तक़दीर से पहले;
खुदा बन्दे से खुद पूछे बता तेरी रज़ा क्या है !
Let me conclude this write up on SCEE Forum with a little explanatory addition. Rajesh Bagha, Chairman of Punjab SC Commission is a force behind this newly floated forum to help and empower the SC businessmen as it is evident from its name itself. He called me for a meeting and asked for my agreement to jointhem in this endeavor with my wide ranging experience, keeping in line with my thinking to pay back to the society. I agreed to his suggestion to associate myself with the outfit as its Chief Patron without any political baggage. I had a lingering understanding that Rajesh Bagha being affiliated to BJP and RSS must be acting on advice and direction from his political and cultural mentors. It was indeed so. The inaugural session of the Forum was held in Jalandhar on August 21, 2017. The RSS high-ups were not only present but were active. There interaction and speeches set the tone of the things to come. SC agenda, apparently, is high on their mind. They intend to rope SCs into their fold by owning the legacy of Babasaheb Ambedkar. My cursory analysis indicates that there is no harm. Let it be as long as my SC brethren gain out of the exercise. SCEE Forum will get all due support from the governmental agencies with regard to the empowerment of SC businessmen. RSS is harping on the Special Component Sub Plan for the SC which unfortunately remained on paper so far. We should take advantage of this. Moreover, it will be good for dalits to seek understanding rather than confrontation with the main stream of the society, to my mind. RSS, it seems, is fully aware of the fact that as of now dalits were skeptical and wary of the RSS and its Hindutava. They need to do something concrete to bring them along. Let them prove themselves. We have nothing to lose except our backwardness and poverty. That is why I am with SCEE Forum.
"When brothers live together; they solve the most difficult problems - Xiongli Tongxin Qili Duanjin"
A chinese saying