Hyderabad: The Telangana Government has time and again tried to give a fillip to Urdu. From declaring it as the second official language of the state to appointing Urdu officers across departments so as to disseminate information it has been taking some notable steps. But, the scenario seems quite different in terms of what the state has done for the promotion of the language. Functioning under the Minorities Welfare Department’s, The Urdu Academy, which promotes the language has seen little spending of budgetary allocations.
As per the RTI query filed by city-based activist Karim Ansari from the NGO Yugantar the information has laid bare the state of affairs of the Urdu Academy and its tardy efforts to keep the language alive.
The most striking aspect is the non-utilisation of budget. In FY 2019-20, the state government cleared a budgetary allocation of Rs. 8 crore. Out of this, an abysmal Rs. 90 lakh was spent.
This Rs. 90 lakh expenditure includes monies towards awards for writers, assistance to Urdu periodicals, Urdu libraries and other heads of account.
“The Telangana government has said that it is serious about Urdu’s promotion. Our Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao speaks fluent Urdu. We are happy with this. But actual, concerted efforts to promote Urdu at the grassroots level is lacking. I had filed the RTI after which I got the information in September. There has been little change since then. The expenditure in 2016-17 was good – approximately Rs. 16.5 crore, so what has changed now? What is the reason that both allocation and expenditure are low?” the RTI activist asked.
Ansari said that the Urdu Academy used to run computer centres where vocational training was given. But task has been given to the Telangana State Minorities Finance Corporation for the past two or three years. Other allocations include those for construction of Urdu Ghar and Shadikhanas.
“There is no Director at the Urdu Academy. The Minorities Welfare Department should take note of this and put a file up before the CM,” he said.