Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — HCM City has promised to improve the spiritual and material life of the ethnic minority community in the city, the head of the city’s Việt Nam Fatherland Front Committee said at a meeting on Thursday.
Tô Thị Bích Châu said that she appreciated the tremendous contributions and significant achievements of ethnic minority groups in all fields last year.
More than 450,000 people of various ethnic minorities live in the city, or 5.66 per cent of its population, with the Hoa, Khmer and Chăm accounting for the largest numbers.
“The lives of ethnic minorities in the city have significantly improved over the years,” she said.
Last year, the city spent more than VNĐ2 billion (US$86,000) to support hundreds of poor, near-poor and disadvantaged ethnic minority students.
More than 1,700 Chăm and Khmer students from pre-school to high school in the city enjoyed tuition fee exemptions last year.
Chinese, Chăm, Khmer languages are now heard on the Voice of HCM City People (VOH), and Chinese on HCM City Television (HTV).
The city has held many conferences to disseminate Party and State policies and directions, and instructions on the socio-economic situation, national defence and security matters related to ethnic minorities.
A training course providing basic defence and security was organised for 130 outstanding people from ethnic groups.
Cultural centres and architectural works were upgraded, and religious events, cultural festivals and traditional customs of ethnic communities have been preserved and promoted.
Ethnic minorities actively participated in campaigns to build new rural areas, prioritise Vietnamese products, and protect the country’s seas and islands.
The city covers 30 per cent of health insurance costs for poor ethnic minority families, and regularly provides free examinations and medicine for disadvantaged ethnic minorities.
It has also created favourable conditions for outstanding individuals from ethnic minority groups to visit Cao Bằng and Quảng Bình provinces and Cambodia.
Lư Chấn Lợi, a representative of the Hoa ethnic people in HCM City, said that more than 390,000 Hoa are living and working in the city.
Hoa people are contributing to the city’s economic growth, with famous brands and good products.
The Hoa community has donated billions of đồng for cultural, artistic, sporting and charitable activities in the city.
Phú Văn Hẳn, vice chairman of the Southern Institute of Social Sciences, which represents ethnic Chăm in the city, said the city should continue to create the best conditions for ethnic people to study, work and practice religious festivals and activities.
“Chăm people’s living conditions have improved thanks to the city’s preferential policies,” he said.
More interaction between the city leaders and ethnic groups is also needed, he added. — VNS