Does it matter whether records show that you’re Hindu, Jain, Muslim or other?
Some members of our community have complained that we cannot obtain grants to help members of the Jain community because the bodies that offer the grants are not convinced that there are many of us in the UK.
When we request for Jainism to be taught on the Religious Education curriculum we are told that it’s not necessary as there are very few of us.
When we ask for a Jain chaplain in hospitals, it seems that we are asking a lot for a minuscule number of the population.
Why do various organisations think there aren’t many Jains in the UK?
If you are Jain do you do the following?
When you fill out a job application form and you are asked to describe your religion do you tick ‘other’ and write Jain there?
When you fill out a form because you are a patient at a hospital and you are asked to describe your religion do you tick ‘other’ and write Jain there?
When you fill join a GP or dental surgery do you tick ‘other’ and write Jain there?
If you complete a benefit form do you describe your religion do you tick ‘other’ and write Jain there?
There are so many opportunities to highlight Jainism. This will help us gather statistics, obtain grants and raise awareness about our needs.
Here’s what I did. I went to the website that allows patients to leave an opinion and I wrote a few words asking why Jainism isn’t listed as a faith. Have a look at what I wrote. Could you do something similar? http://www.patientopinion.org.uk/opinion.aspx?opinionID=13838
I also went to http://www.writetothem.com/ typed in my postcode and clicked on write to all MP’s/Counsellors. I sent one message to all of them asking the same question. Here’s one of the replies that I received.
….My office has spoken to the Department of Health regarding your query about Jainism’s inclusion on their list of faith options. We were informed that due to practical reasons, the list that the Department of Health uses includes only the most common religions in the United Kingdom based on statistical data. They have informed me that there is a space in which patients can write in their religion if it is not included on the list. If you are not satisfied with this answer could I suggest that you write to the Secretary of State for Health who is the Rt Hon. Alan Johnson MP. He can be contacted at: Department of Health, Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SW1A 2NS.
Conservative MEP for London
We can make a difference.
We can create positive change.