13 Sep :Hindus want European Union’s first Roma summit next Tuesday in Brussels to come up with concrete solutions to improve the plight of Roma people of Europe, who live in apartheid like conditions.
Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu and Indo-American statesman, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that this “EU Roma Summit” should come up with clear strategies to end the centuries of severe discrimination and abuse of Roma and achieve their social inclusion. It is simply immoral to let this around ten million population of Europe continually suffer and face human rights violations, he adds.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, points out that a comprehensive, uniform, sustainable, cohesive and integrated Europe-wide policy with strategic focus; supported by effective implantation, firm commitment and strong political will is needed to improve the Roma plight. Previous approaches to tackle Roma discrimination and exclusion have proved largely unsuccessful.
European Union and member countries should show more responsibility in handling complex Roma issues. Even the policies mentioned in EU legislation are not effectively implemented in the case of Roma. Constant discrimination of this most disadvantaged largest minority of Europe, both at institutional and individual level, and their social exclusion needs to be dealt with urgently, he says.
Their alarming condition is a social blight for Europe and the rest of the world as Roma reportedly regularly face racism, substandard education, hostility, social exclusion, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, unusually high unemployment rates, etc., Rajan Zed argues.
Rajan Zed says that Roma inclusion and integration programs need to immediately take off the ground providing them with better health and education avenues, higher economic opportunities, sources of empowerment and participation, etc.
It is like an undeclared apartheid, Zed stresses explaining the Roma situation, and adds that it is moral obligation of Europe to take care of its frequently maltreated population of Roma people.