OBC panel recommends quota for orphans, transgenders & rickshaw-pullers
The National Commission for Backward Classes has sent its recommendation to the Central Government that orphans living in orphanages and transgender community should be included in the central list of OBCs for all states and Union Territories.
The commission in its advice sent in September 2016 has said it is of the opinion that orphans and destitute children deserve to be included in the central list of OBCs for all states as they constitute a socially and educationally backward class of people entitled to reservation.
The commission has also written to the central government that transgenders should be treated as socially and educationally backward class of citizens and all kinds of reservation in cases of admission to educational institutions and for public appointments be extended to them.
“We identified three-four groups, which could be included in backward class lists, and this included orphans and destitute children. Apart from orphans, we are mulling over inclusion of rickshaw pullers and transgender as backward class,” said Dr Shakeel uz-Zaman Ansari, member, NCBC.
Referring to a Supreme Court judgment, the commission held that the communities set out in the verdict are to be included in central list of Other Backward Classes. Meanwhile, the letter which carries commission’s advice on orphans states that the Government of India should include the orphans and destitute children who have lost their parents before reaching the age of 10, besides who have no one else to take care of them either by law or customs, and also who are admitted to any of the schools or orphanages run by the government or recognized by the government.
It all started with Tamil Nadu Backward Class Commission writing to the National Commission for Backward Classes on October 25, 2013 requesting NCBC to consider orphans and destitute children for their inclusion in the central lists of OBCs for purpose of reservation in civil posts and services and admissions to the central educational institutions.
There are two types of lists—central and state—for inclusion of a particular community or group in backward class. Apart from Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Telangana have also included orphans in the state list of Backward Classes.
The officials added that the commission arrived at the decision while keeping the verdict of Supreme Court in the Indira Sawhney case in mind wherein a social class could very well be identified as heterogeneous based on disability.
“Being an orphan is definitely a disability and NCBC is vested with duties and responsibilities towards their welfare, throughout the country and not restricted merely to two-three states which have included them in their state Backward Class lists. So, NCBC sent its advice to the Central Government to include orphans and destitute children in the central list of OBCs for all the states and UTs,” added Dr Ansari.
According to official estimates there were over 30 million orphans in the country in 2015. However, the commission has put a rider that orphans and destitute children who have lost their parents before reaching the age of 10 and are also admitted into any of the schools or orphanages run by the government or recognised by the government should be given the backward class status.