The committee has submitted an 800-page report to minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju. The report makes several recommendations including cultural awareness about the region and inclusion of Northeast culture and history in textbooks. Drafted after consulting over 1,500 individuals, organizations and departments in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata, the report was submitted to the home ministry on July 11.
North East India Forum Against Racism (NEIFAR), the only non-government body that was co-opted in to the committee, said they are eagerly waiting for the report to be reviewed and publicized by the ministry.
A member of the committee said recruitment of people from Northeast in police is one of the most important integration strategies. "Meetings with the community revealed that having people from the Northeast in all services, particularly police, can help a lot. The DGP Chennai, Kolkata metropolitan police chief and Mumbai police chief also had the same views during meetings. Even Delhi municipal officials told us that having them in the corporation can help," the NEIFAR member said. The report calls for cooperation of various departments including the ministry of culture, labour department and tribal affairs department to initiate effort to integrate the community.
Members of NEIFAR claimed that "three members of the committee who are also legal experts recommended an anti-racial law but others were of the view that existing laws should be strengthened or amended. It is up to the ministry to decide this," he said. The committee, headed by MP Bezbaruah, former IAS officer and member of North Eastern Council, also recommended that labour laws be reviewed to address harassment of people from Northeast in the unorganized sector. "We have also suggested that the ministry of tribal affairs review its policies as their schemes are very traditional and meant only for people still living in remote parts of the Northeast. The SC and ST communities from Northeast have started moving to cities in large numbers, so they need policies to protect them here," said another member.
Members of NEIFAR said they were apprehensive that these recommendations may be ignored and the report itself may be "forgotten" like many other government reports. To address this, members have recommended that a standing committee be constituted by the home ministry immediately to oversee implementation.
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