Sunday, July 23, 2017

My Beed Education Mission

Beed Education Mission
– Syyed Mansoor Agha
Beed is a district and a township of central Maharashtra. Beed is the biggest town of the district with a population of around 1.5 lac, comprising 31% Muslims. This town came first on the education map in 1921 when the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan established a “Multipurpose High School” here. It has since been ruined due to neglect and presents a look of garbage dump-yard. Literacy rate of 89% (male 94 %, female 83%) is higher than national and state average. But there is alarming decline in female population. The adults the sex ratio was 933 / 1000 in last census but now In children (below 7 years) girls ratio is just 843. Public and private schools and colleges exist all over the urban and rural areas. Marathi, Urdu and English are the mediums of instructions. Muslim populace is generally economically and educationally weak. However “Milliya Campus”, run by Anjuman Ishat-e-Taleem, Beed with the motto: ‘to mold the students into good human beings as well as globally competent’, is distinct. Founded in 1959 by Maulvi Mir Raunaque Ali, Ahmad bin Abood Chaoosh and others. Beed campus which houses Arts, Science and the Management Science Colleges is considered reputed one with courses up-to PG and PhD. The Anjuman is running several of schools in different localities of the district. All are doing well.
Several other NGOs and activists are running recognized Minority schools and colleges. Salam Educational and Welfare Society (SEWS) is one such NGO which is running several schools under the guidance of Janab Mohd Ibrahim Anwary. His sons Aslam Anwary, Safi Anwary and Mr. Mohsin Anwary are also associated with the education mission. Under an ambitious plan to expend its network and help establish another 200 Maktabs in the Beed and adjoining districts of Aurangabad and Osmanabad, the SEWS, with sister NGOs organized a ten days “Educational Caravan” with the slogan: “Quality Education and Communal harmony”, from 21st April to 1st May 2016. AIEM assisted the mission. It was my pleasure to join and spread the core massage of AIEM “Social reforms through quality education.”
This is a four pronged massage: (a) Eradication of illiteracy and promotion of formal and moral education (b) awareness against ill-founded conceptions and practices in the society and their eradication (c) reforms in living style through health and hygiene consciousness (d) stress upon communal harmony and good neighborly relations with the adherents of other faiths irrespective of their cast and creed.
In fact it was a Mini Caravan comprising the convener Mr. Safi Anwary, myself from AIEM, a friend of mine Dr. A. Samad Sheikh from Pune and Mr. Momin Ejaz, a teaching staff of SEWS, who derived us thousands Km in very harsh, hot, dusty and dry climate. The inaugural function was held in the campus of “His Holiness Hazrat Mansoor Shah Wali Urdu High School” under SEWS. Students, especially girls presented impressive demonstration of Quranic and Arabic lessons taught under the guidance of Maulana Ilyas Patel with a new technique. The course is designed by “Understand Al-Quran Academy, Hyderabad” headed by Dr. Abdul Aziz Abdur Rahim who holds a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering from Oklahoma University (1994).
In the same building of the school, situated in a moderate locality, courses of adult education and job oriented skill development programme are also run. Surprisingly large number of women attended the function with great discipline. Several locals addressed the gathering. Besides complete eradication of illiteracy, comprehensive education and training, I focused upon health, hygiene, cleanliness of self and around as I noticed lack of natural glow on the faces. This needs awareness about balanced, low-cost healthy diet and life style. The Principle of the School Mr. Safi Anwary told in his thanksgiving speech that women congregation is a regular activity and encouragement for social reforms is the part of mission. Medical check-ups of students is also done. He assured more attention on health issues. Mr. Ibrahim Anwary presided over. He briefly but impressively spoke on simple but principled living and importance of acquiring useful knowledge.
Next day we visited the campus of Alhuda Urdu High School run by Noor Education Society Beed. In-spite of summer vacations, the school organizes booster classes and bridge courses for admission seekers in class ninth. The girl students outnumbered the boys in these especial classes. During interaction with the students, I asked why boys are few and the girls are in large number? The answer was straight, “If we (girls) did not perform well, parents “ham ko ghar bitha lenge” (parents will make us to sit in the home and will not permit to continue.) I urged the teachers and the parents to take more care of the boy students. Our society is facing a huge problem of educationally equitable matches for our daughters. We need to bridge the fast widening gap. Here too issue of health, hygiene and balanced diet was part of conversation. To my surprise many students skip morning bath and proper breakfast. Reason? Going late to sleep and rising late till it is time to run for school.  During the day we interacted with Dr. Ilyas Fazil, Principle of Milliya Senior College and other staff members to understand the social and educational scenario.
Next day we visited Darul Uloom Ibrahim Shaheed, at village Neknoor. The residential school is located at a distance from the nearest village, in walled compound of Ibrahim Shaheed Tomb. The performance of Kurta, Pyjama clad students in Arabic, English, Urdu, Marathi, Mathematics and Social Sciences, was excellent. Maulvi Syed Noor is the soul of the institution. At the fall of night we reached the under construction campus of another SEWS school, 27 Km. from Beed and 2 Km from Neknoor.
Our 25th our destination was Fatehabad/ Dharoor, known for silver ornament industry and ruins of Kaij Fort which housed coin minting facility of Hyderabad State. Before fall of Nizam State, Fatehabad was a Muslim dominated town but now it is a communally sensitive one. Syed Shakir Ali hosted a meeting. Some non-Muslims also participated. Here “communal harmony, mutual understanding, tolerance and importance of peace and tranquility for the nation” was our focus. I urged them to stay away from all provocations and concentrate on education and harmony. The meeting started at somewhat cold note but ended at warmth, high tea and rich dinner.  
On 28th April, we traveled to Mominabad/ Ambajogai. A meaningful meeting was held in Milliya Primary School with large numbers of teachers and students in attendance. In my address, I briefly dwelt on the “State of Muslim education since pre-colonial era to post-independence”. After British take-over our community was not live to the changing demands. Our traditional education system continued with old curriculum. Now we have to prepare our progeny to see in the eye of the world. Adorn them with best education and high moral character. Universal literacy is first step. Identify talented students and develop a mechanism for their grooming. I urged the teachers community to make the teaching their passion and promotion of education their mission. I warned them against communal and internal biases and dogmatic religiosity. Steer clear from illusionary traps in the name of religion and traditions. For purity in vision and true morality connect with the Quran and Seerat-e-Rasool directly. I concluded with “be confident, and inculcate confidence with clear vision in your youngsters.” I also asked girl students to care for the studies of their brothers, and enhance the chance of well-educated wives for them.” The disposition was well received and appreciated.
Most impressive meeting was held on 30th April, in the ground of Zila Parishad School of Majlegaon. Large number of teachers and students of schools and Madarsas, professionals and general public remain attentive for over hours. Here in detail I explained the approach of UPRC and AIEM for “Reforming the Muslim Society through promotion of Education.” All four points were explained in detail. To begin with I congratulated the locals for the newly built huge mosque, where we offered our Maghrib Salat. It was full to the capacity. The Imam’s recitation was great. I said it means our brothers in Majelgaon have great sense of their duty towards Allah. But our Deen demands something else. Presence of the baggers at the gates is a shame. History of early era is witness that when Islam came in the lives, poverty and ill traditions were eliminated. Our Deen demands that nobody should sleep hungry and no one remains illiterate and ignorant. To acquire and spread “Ilm e nafe” (useful knowledge) is also our duty. This is the only way of our true uplift. Use the infrastructure available as Mosques as centers of learning.
Br. Safi Anwary explained the mission and vision of SEWS. Prof. Samad stressed upon science education. The meeting was chaired by Janab Nisar Khan, former Principle of Bukhari High School. He recalled the mission of Janab Saiyid Hamid and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and congratulated the AIEM for carrying their mission. It was followed by Prof. Zarrah Khan’s motivational discourse.

We also visited Osmanabad (27th April) and Aurnagabad (25th April). In Osmanabad, Prof. Qazi Zarrah has instituted an ideal “Awreness Group” and “IAS Mission School”, to groom students for civil services. In Shamsul Uloom College we attended a meeting with the management and the staff members. In Aurangabad. We had useful interaction with the Principle of Iqra Girls Urdu High School, Iqra Urdu Primary School in Aurangabad, and Al-Irfan Residential (Boys) School Khuldabad. The mission concluded in spite of very harsh, hot and dry climate. Urdu Newspapers gave good coverage. This helped to spread the message of AIEM to wider sections. +
(April - May 2016)

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