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News 2006
News ->First British Survey into Hindu Identity


FIRST BRITISH SURVEY INTO HINDU IDENTITY
(1 March 2006)

Hindu WomanThe Hindu Forum of Britain in partnership with the Runnymede Trust are conducting the first ever UK research project aimed at understanding the issues and aspirations of today's Hindu youth, women, elders and community organisations in areas including access to public services, education, health, employment, funding, regeneration, integration, cohesion and equal opportunities. Sponsored by the Home Office, the survey will also conduct research by into the question of the British Hindu identity.

The consultation will seek the views of Hindus from the South East, the Midlands and the North through eight focus group meetings, online questionnaires and phone surveys. The findings of the research will be released by the Home Office in Summer 2006 and distributed to public service agencies, Government Departments, Local Councils and other stakeholder groups to help them in planning community provision.

Hindu led voluntary and community organisations have struggled to deliver tailored services to the community and moreover, a legacy of inequality and stereotyping has left the Hindu community isolated and, with a limited capacity to engage with other communities or to address their own problems. As a result of this and the constant demand from Hindu organisations and community leaders from across the UK, the Home Office commissioned this project.

Areas of concern in the Hindu community surround:

* Issues of generational gaps which discourage young Hindus from playing an active role in voluntary organisations. There are also issues surrounding their identity, 'Britishness' and links to their countries of origin or those of their forebears.

* Issues surrounding women's health, careers, education, equal opportunities, domestic violence, divorce and single parent families need to be understood. Often community infrastructures do not exist to deal with many of these pressing concerns.

* Carers from the Hindu community face a number of myths and stereotypes about their roles within the family and patients and carers are not accommodated in the formal system of care because it is often felt that for Hindus. these services are either inaccessible or inappropriate to their culture specific needs.

* Voluntary organisations within the Hindu community are often the only source of support and provide extremely useful services to the community but they suffer from a lack of resources. As a result, Hindu groups often remain unable to participate in or influence decisions directly affecting them.

Ramesh Kallidai, Secretary General of the Hindu Forum of Britain said: "Although community organisations have an understanding of the range of issues and problems faced by Hindu, there has been no credible in-depth research conducted with a view to identifying priority areas for Government engagement. Unless, the Government has credible data and information collected and analysed about the community, giving due importance to regional variations and cultural diversity within the community itself, it will be difficult to allocate resources in the future in a manner that will be effective, productive and beneficial to the grassroots community."

The final report is expected to be completed by the Summer 2006.

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