EXACTLY one week after she was told she could not wear a hijab during on-the-job training (OJT) at the Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College, Nafisah Nakhid was reassigned by the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprises Development. The ministry has responsibility for placing qualified individuals in vacant positions through the OJT programme.
Yesterday, Nakhid took up a new position at the Engineering unit of the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government at Kent House, Maraval. She was welcomed by Minister Kazim Hosein and acting permanent secretary Stara Ramlogan.
In a telephone interview, Nakhid said, “I am grateful to be here.”
She said she was pleasantly surprised last Friday, when she received a call from the OJT unit telling her of her new placement.
She said she was warmly greeted by members of staff when she reported for duty at Kent House.
“Everyone wanted to meet me,” she said, conceding that their curiosity may have been aroused by the national attention her refusal to remove her hijab has drawn in the last week.
Hosein, who was introduced to Nakhid by Ramlogan, said Nakhid reminded him of his daughter. He said he was very impressed with Nakhid who appeared to be very humble and bright.
“We have a lot of work to be done in the Mechanical Engineering department and she will be trained by our engineers. She will be going out to the 14 municipal corporations to get the experience she requires and, at the end of her training, if she chooses to continue working with us and there are vacancies, she can apply for one of the positions.”
A practicing Muslim, Hosein said people from all walks of life, races and religion work in harmony at his ministry.