11 lakh Muslims benefited from Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust
By Syed Khaled Shahbaaz
A whopping 11 lakh Muslims have benefitted from the Zakat and charitable contributions of the Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust based in Capital city of India’s youngest state Telangana. The collective Zakat system pioneered by the Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust (HZCT) aggregates Zakat and charities to the tune of crores of rupees every Ramadan, and have benefitted over 10,84,180 beneficiaries through its various schemes and projects for the Muslim community over the last 25 years.
Presenting the trust’s annual report in the presence of eminent bureaucrats and senior officials of the Telangana State Government at the HZCT and FEED Annual Meet 2017 HZCT Chairman Mr. Babukhan said “the trust has spent Rs. 11.85 crore rupees in 2016-17 alone benefitting 1,29,775 people through all its welfare, education and relief schemes with nearly 1.38 crores rupees worth of Ramadan relief, Iftar, food and clothing packs already distributed among the underprivileged students, orphans and widow families as part of its Ramadan 2017 project.”
He said, “Organized charity can make a stronger and constructive impact on the socio-economic status of Muslims.” Experts believe that a whopping 1000 crores worth of charity in the form of Zakat is distributed by Hyderabadi Muslims every year. “If this worth of Zakat could be properly channelled, the socio-economic status of the underprivileged will be ameliorated in no time”, he adds.
Founded by the millionaire family of Hyderabadi Philanthropist Ghiasuddin Babukhan, the Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust, as its name suggest has pioneered the concept of collective Zakat system in Hyderabad with the total Zakat amount grossing in crores and increasing with each Ramadan.
Zakat and charities donated by the wealthy families, affluent businessmen and non-resident Indians are pushed deep into the rural habitats of various districts where poor Muslims, underprivileged citizens – many even spiritually incognizant and tried by their daily ordeals reside. From 12,070 food packs including rice, pulses and prerequisites for Iftar to 3500 Eid Clothes packs comprising bare essentials like bedsheets, a pair of sarees, and clothes for orphan children and their mothers, have been distributed, and the number continues to rise.
But what is remarkable achievement for this philanthropic organization is that it is bringing about a revolution in Hyderabad with its Zakat and charity projects. Thousands of underprivileged families now send their children to local schools- many of whom are doctors, engineers and MBAs among others. They are provided clothing and strong guidance by the trust to benefit from government policies. Minority Affairs Advisor to Telangana State government A.K. Khan IPS (Retd.) in his address at the HZCT’s 2017 Annual Meet profusely appreciated the ‘grass-root charity’ mechanism of the trust.
He said “when the government planned to set up the Minority Residential Education schools across the State for the benefit of the Muslim community among others, the Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust and its sister concern FEED were instrumental in magnifying government’s efforts, so much to the extent that the now-thriving State’s Minority Residential Educational Schools would not have achieved its success if it had not worked with the HZCT.”
A major portion of their charity funds education through its sister concern FEED and welfare of underprivileged while organizing remarriage of young widows, and orphan education are also on its agenda. Over 24000 students, of which 70% are girls, study in 99 Urdu medium schools and 3 English Medium schools supported by this trust. The Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust has spent amount to the tune of Rs. 4.31 crores in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra states benefiting over 1995 students, through its scholarships programs.
Advocating the need to increase Muslim percentage in Civil Services, the trust regularly invites Muslim Civil Servants at its annual meet. This year, Telangana Civil Services topper Muzammil Khan IAS joined by proud father Mr. A.K.Khan IPS (Retd.) and young civil service achievers Minhaj Nizami (from UP) and Ashif (from Kerala) served motivation to the participating youth with their presence.
Interestingly, one of the first beneficiaries of the HZCT Amir Ullah Khan is a senior economist today and serves as the principal Policy Advisor at the prestigious Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. He spearheads the CSE Academy, and delivered a motivational speech. Many students from utterly poor families have successfully completed engineering, medicine and other professional courses with the assistance of the trust. And many more success stories are waiting to be told.
As HZCT trustee Abdul Aleem Khan had observed in his address: “We have ensured that we fulfill our responsibility of empowering people financially and socially through our organization, and it’s bringing about an unprecedented change”. Ahmed Sayeed, Maulana Mufti Mohammed Azam, Javed Hood and others were also present on this occasion.
Jalaluddin Akbar IFS admitted “that Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust under the chairmanship of Ghiasuddin Babukhan promptly supported the implementation of minority welfare schemes sponsored by the State government, to the extent of involving HZCT staff at the district level”.
While the month of fasting Ramadan has become synonymous with feasting for many, a larger chunk of underprivileged Muslims struggle for decent food. It is prerogative for oneself to partake in charitable and philanthropic activities and attain a spiritual decorum that remains unprecedented for the rest of the year.
Striking a chord with the poor, oft-neglected and weaker sections of the society, Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust – one of the oldest NGOs based in Hyderabad, has set an unprecedented benchmark for other philanthropic organizations, paving way for others to follow and has proved how Zakat in its collective form can change the life of millions, if properly channelled.
[Syed Khaled Shahbaaz is a Journalist with over 2500 articles under his pen. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or +91-9652828710]