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  Breaking into Muslim ghettos

It is widely agreed the alienation of a majority of India’s Muslims is because of the insignificant part they play in making and sharing the new economic pie. In the notoriously backward Kanpur - Lucknow belt of UP, Muslims toil away at low paying tannery and hand embroidery jobs. Keeping their women at home and off new opportunities through education is common. But here is a tiny new initiative trying to change that.

Rasheeda Bhagat reporting for BusinessLine says a series of courses run by Datamation Foundation is coaxing Muslim girls out of their conservative homes, giving them new skills and making them employable in the emerging new economy. Girls who can barely afford the Rs 40 per month fee for the courses are earning, after a year’s training, up to Rs 2,500 per month as office assistants, receptionists, beauticians and data entry operators. Two girls work at call centres earning Rs 8,000. Many of these are children of coolies, rickshaw pullers, hawkers and sweat shop workers. Full story