Al-Ameen Mission’s remarkable success story revealed at MECAPS’ function
By Pervez Bari
Bhopal: The amalgam of worldly knowledge in any stream with moral education backed by the religious scriptures is the need of the hour to uplift the new generation from the quagmire of moral turpitude, social upheaval and violence.
This was the common refrain of all the eminent speakers namely ex-chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities Wajahat Habibullah; Principal Secretary Culture and Religious Trust, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh Manoj Shrivastava; General Secretary, Al-Ameen Mission, Kolkata secretary Mohammad Nurul Islam and well-known Islamic scholar, Moulvi Mohammed Umar, who is a Lecturer of Arabic in HSZH Govt. Unani College of Medicine, while addressing students, parents and elite of the town in the annual 2017 function of MECAPS (Muslim Education and Career Promotion Society) here at Ravindra Bhavan auditorium.
The speakers were unanimous in their thought provoking speeches that humanity which is in the doldrums at present can be saved from further going down the drain when quality education is imparted to the upcoming generation in a manner which has a perfect balance between materialism and spirituality. Over emphasis on materialism while ignoring the spiritual aspect of human behaviour has led the world into turmoil, disharmony and absence of peace, both mental and physical all around, they observed.
Wajahat Habibullah, who was the chief guest of the function, while quoting the example of the atom bomb said that all major scientific inventions and discoveries were first used for destruction and then put to peaceful uses shows what knowledge sans the moralising influence of religion can do.
‘MECAPS Student of the Year’ title Awards
Meanwhile, Mohammad Mustafa of Bal Bhavan School and Aneera Anjum Beg of Carmel Convent School were cynosure of all eyes when they were honoured with the “MECAPS Student of the Year” titles in the Senior Category and Junior Category respectively. The auditorium reverberated with loud applause as they climbed up the stage to receive the honours. They were presented Mufti Mohammed Ismail Gold Medal and Iqbal Jafri Silver Medal along with cash award of Rs.8000/- (senior) and Rs.5000/- (junior) respectively. They were felicitated after securing the ranks in respective categories in the MECAPS Talent Search Examination 2016.
Zeba Khan of Ideal H.S. School and Mariyam Siddique of Holy Family Convent School got second and third ranks in senior category with cash award of Rs.6000/- and Rs.4000/- respectively. While Syed Ibrahim Arif of Billabong International School and Zoya Fatima of Carmel Convent School secured second & third ranks in junior category along with cash award of Rs.4000/- and Rs.3000/- respectively.
On the occasion Special Awards were conferred for achievements in various fields. Dr. Syed Mohammad Zaidi of local Unani Medical College was honoured with Maulana Barkatullah Bhopali Memorial Award for winning the Young Scientist Award from Ministry of Ayush, Govt. of India. Ms. Anushree Harold was honoured with Mulla Sajjad Hussain Memorial Award for winning Indira Gandhi NSS Sarwochya Puraskar 2016. Ms. Sheetal, Ms. Bala, Ms. Vidaya & Ms. Simran were felicitated with Sahibzada Rasheeduzzafar Khan Memorial Award for representing MP State in School National Floor Ball Hockey Tournament.
While meritorious students, who excelled scoring more than 90 per cent marks in the CBSE and MP Board of Secondary Education’s 2016 annual examination of Std. X & XII, were presented gold and silver medals along with cash awards to a few on the occasion.
Secretary Dr. Zafar Hasan welcomed the guests and presented the annual report of MECAPS wherein he stated among other things that scholarships of about Rs.24 lakhs were distributed to meritorious and needy students in last financial year. In all around 700 students benefited. Scholarships to nearly 500 students were also distributed on the occasion. Ahsan Aazmi conducted the proceedings of the function with aplomb.
It was a pity that the absence of MECAPS president Sagheer Baidaar, who is seriously ill, from the function cast a pal of gloom and Prof. Hasan Mas’ood, who is his very intimate colleague and a former president of MECAPS, while delivering his presidential address became emotional and his voice got choked. It may be stated here that now aging Baidaar has been the main moving spirit of MECAPS since its inception in 1985 and has virtually single-handedly nurtured the organisation with his sweat and blood for the last three decades. As such his absence on this important occasion was conspicuous and felt by one and all.
Prof. Mas’ood appealed to the parents to monitor the studies of their wards very closely. They should tell their children that they (parents) are responsible for all their needs and well being but not for their luxuries. The children should completely focus on their studies and think of enjoying luxuries in life when they start earning after completing their studies.
Continuing Wajahat Habibullah, who has also been Chief Information Commissioner of India, said that synergy between worldly and religious education is what the Muslims in India need today to shake them up from the reverie of their golden past. They can then retrieve themselves from the permanent curse of illiteracy and poverty which is pervading the Muslim Ummah for the last number of centuries. There was a time when Muslims were giver to society at large with their contributions in the field of Science & Technology, Art, Architecture, Environment & Infrastructure, Cuisine, Music, Language, Dress, Spirituality (Cultural Influences), Governance (Systems & Practices), Craftsmanship (Trade & Industry) etc.
He emphasised upon the students to arm themselves with the knowledge of English language and computers apart from their regular courses of their choice in order to excel in the present era.
In India there has been never a war on the basis of religion. It were the British who sowed the seeds of division between the Hindus and Muslims after they saw how India united behind the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar to take on them in 1857, the first war of freedom struggle, he pointed out.
Al-Ameen Mission’s Remarkable Success Story
Kolkata-based Al-Ameen Mission founder general secretary Mohammad Nurul Islam, who was the guest of honour on the occasion, in his speech shared the success story of his organisation which is worth emulating by one and all. Started in 1986-87 a Madrasa with 11 students in a remote corner of West Bengal the Al-Ameen Mission, a socio-economic organisation with a difference, he informed, has now 88 institutes. At present it has 26 Primary and Secondary schools with 5000 day scholars and 13,000 students in 62 residential campuses spread throughout West Bengal and neighbouring states of Assam and Jharkhand. Apart from this Al-Ameen Mission has spread its activities in three other states viz. Tripura, Bihar & Uttar Pradesh.
Nurul Islam revealed a startling fact that 30 years back when Al-Ameen Mission stepped in to uplift the literacy rate in Muslims then at that time there were just 1-2 per cent Muslim students in medical and engineering streams. Then in those days finding Muslim students in science stream was a rarity. However, persevering with all sincerity and purpose over the last three decades Al-Ameen Mission has been able to transform the scenario altogether and now there are 25-30 per cent Muslim students’ presence in all the government medical colleges of West Bengal. The crowning glory came in 2016 when in the Medical Entrance Test of West Bengal out of 4000 students who qualified for admission there were 1108 Muslims. This is 27.7 per cent and it correlates with the percentage of Muslims in West Bengal which is 27 per cent according to the 2011 Census report, he pointed out.
The audience burst into a loud applause after hearing Nurul Islam stating this remarkable feat of the West Bengal Muslims which is worth emulating. This is no a mean achievement which has been attained by shear dint of hard work by the team of the Al-Ameen Mission management to motivate the Muslim students to give their outstanding performance to be at par with other communities.
Thus, the Almighty has showered His choicest blessings on a group of people led by Nurul Islam who came together and dared to walk in an untravelled path. They wanted to transform the lacklustre minority community into a vibrant and throbbing one. They were absolutely certain that education was the only tool to uplift the morale of the whole community and make a turnaround. Thereby, Al-Ameen Mission came into being.
Nurul Islam said that the Mission has withstood many rough weathers and held its head high. More than 25,000 plus students have gone through the rigorous training of the Mission and so many of them are glorifying the society at present through their works and actions around the world including India. The Al-Ameen Mission initiated movement is spreading rapidly. People in large numbers are coming forward and offering lands to Al-Ameen Mission as a gift to expand its base, he added.
Manoj Shrivastava, also a guest of honour, shared his views on how Islam was once the torch bearer of education and it was integral part of their value system. However, Muslims seem to have gone astray and abandoned their strength by dropping education from their priority list. He pressed the need of better quality of education in India, and specially Muslims. He said he saw a ray of hope amongst Muslims with organizations like MECAPS and Al-Ameen Mission keen to bring about a sea change in the fortune of the community.
Moulvi Mohammad Umar, another guest of honour, spoke on the occasion on “Taaleem aur Tarbiyat” (Education & Grooming) and its role in building of men and women of good character for the betterment of community, society and the country at large. He painstakingly stressed on Muslims not to just read Quran but study it with meaning as to what Allah (S) is saying to people at large. This would lead to reformation in oneself from within and an ideal society will come into being where peace and tranquillity would prevail all around. Then everyone poor or rich would be happy and content with what the Almighty has granted them, he added.
[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He writes regularly for India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper “IndianMuslimObserver.com”. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org]