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03 October 2011

Expats to support education initiative in northern India

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By Ghazanfar Ali Khan

Riyadh: A number of Indians working in Saudi Arabia pledged on Friday night to support a major educational initiative launched by Khalid Saifullah, a noted educationist and social worker in northern India.

The pledge was made during a seminar organized by the Riyadh-based Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association in honor of Saifullah.

Speaking on the occasion, Saifullah said: "There is an increasing realization in Muslim circles of the pressing need to focus on the economic and educational concerns of the community, but little has been done in this vital sector."

The chief of the New Delhi-based Al Ilm Education Society that owns and operates more than 50 schools for Muslim children in north India was speaking on the topic entitled "Educational Backwardness of Muslims in North India: Challenges and Our Responsibilities."

The event was attended by a large number of Indian expatriates, including businessmen, top executives and alumni of Jamia Millia. The seminar was addressed by Jamia President Murshid Kamal, senior Jamia alumnus Aftab Ali Nizami, founder members of the alumni association Shafatullah Khan and Mohammed Shahabuddin and Khurseed Alam, a former Jamia president.

Speaking about "the morass of educational degradation" in which north Indian Muslims have fallen, Saifullah said he was greatly concerned about the dismal conditions of the Muslim masses.

While thanking the support to be provided by Indian expatriates working in the Kingdom, he recounted practical difficulties being faced by educationists in India. He lambasted the lackluster support of the government agencies to the educational institutions owned and operated by Muslims.

Saifullah unveiled an ambitious plan to recruit and train a large pool of graduates of Islamic religious schools, whose potentials remain untapped even today in India. On the problems faced by minority students, Jamia President Kamal said: "Muslims ranked among the most marginalized communities in India today."

Another speaker, Shafatullah, said, "Numerous official surveys have admitted the worsening condition of the community, but the government and community leaders have done little to redress the situation."

(Courtesy: Arab News)

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