Indore: Salman Khursheed, the
Union Minister of State for Corporate &
Minority Affairs (Independent Charge), has announced that from next
the Government of India's minority scholarships will be given to one
all who are eligible. The rules and regulations are being amended
and cent per cent minority scholarships will be distributed from
next academic session. The amount earmarked for the minorities as
such would not be allowed to relapse.
This announcement was made by Salman Khursheed in the opening
session on the last day of the two-day XVIII Annual International
Convention on Education & Gala Award Ceremony of the American
Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin, (AFMI), here in Indore, the
commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh, at Ravindra Natya Grah on
Over 100 meritorious students, who have achieved educational
excellence in Std. X and Std. XII Board examinations in 20 states
India, were felicitated with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals on the
occasion. The No.1 student to score over all others from across
India was Ayesha Haroon Rashid Tamboli who obtained 99.99% in the
Maharashtra Board Std. X examinations. Apart from the medals each
student received a scholarship of Rs. 5,000/- and in case of need
was assured for further scholarships.
The other achievers in the SSC (Grade 10) category were: 2. M.
Sumaiya Thasneem (98.20%),Tamil Nadu; 3. Sarwar Hasib (97.14%),
Orissa; 4. Hasnain Rangwala (96.40%) Madhya Pradesh and 5. Saleha
Iqbal Hussain (96.40%), Rajasthan.
The top five students in the HSC (Grade 12) category who were
felicitated included: 1. M. Syed Khaleel Awn (98.58%), Tamil Nadu;
2. Almas Nazim Sayed (98.50%), Maharashtra; 3. Sana Firdouse
(97.50%), Andhra Pradesh; 4. Nazrin P.S. (96.50%) Kerala and 5. C.M.
Akbar Ali (96%), Karnataka.
Expressing happiness Khursheed said it gives great pleasure to see
that in the pursuit of spreading education everywhere someone or the
other is doing his bit to ignite the light of knowledge. However, he
said, there still remains much to be done to extricate the Muslim
community from the quagmire of illiteracy and poverty. "We have
recognized our path on which we have to tread but the goal is still
far ahead", he remarked.
He made an appeal that Muslims should strive hard in every field
to excel in a big way to make a lasting impression in India as AFMI
has done in the USA and Canada. The aim of the Muslim youth should
not be just to enter into jobs but they run an extra mile to prove
their invincibility and make dedication, honesty and the will to
march ahead with time and succeed as their hallmark. There should be
no inferiority complex in Muslim youth, he cautioned.
When someone from the audience send a slip to remind Khursheed
that Govt. of India’s minority scholarship has not been distributed
by the Bharatiya Janata Party ruled Gujarat Government proclaiming
that it did not have funds to put in its share, he assured to find
some other ways to help the students of that state.
He revealed that after 90 districts with 25 per cent Muslim
population which have been earmarked for special development by
Government of India the next step would be to uplift the districts
with 15 per cent Muslim population.
He also revealed that amendment in the Central Waqf Act is in the
pipeline to streamline its management to boost income which is at
present in very bad state. The Waqf amendment bill has gone to the
Union Law Ministry to make it more stringent so that encroachers of
the property are unable to grab it and hold on to it in future. In
the National Minority Finance Corporation a Waqf development agency
is being created to develop Waqf properties freed from encroachers
on turnkey basis.
Khursheed informed that he has been interacting with the Union HRD
Minister Kapil Sibal and in two-three months time some good news
about the minority character of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia
Millia Islamia University is likely to emerge.
Prof. A. A. Abbasi, former Vice Chancellor of Indore University,
speaking on the occasion said that in cities awareness about
importance of education has increased and now time has come to turn
our attention and energies towards rural areas and open schools in
villages to educate Muslims there.
Mrs. Abida Inamdar of Azam Campus Pune, said action is needed and
not conferences, workshops, conventions, seminars etc. Our target
should be that in next five years no child is left out from being
imparted education. “Think globally but act locally”, she remarked.
Dr. Aslam Abdullah, Trustee AFMI and Director of Islamic Institute
of Las Vegas-Nevada-USA, who compeered the program, said the AFMI
people have come not to guide people here in India and what to do
and how to do but to unload their debt which the community had spend
on them when they were studying here. He said that 600 million
dollars are being spend on education in India by the NRIs from the
USA, Canada, Middle East, Australia etc. but its results are not
quite visible as they should have been. This is due to non
coordination and controversies which are the trademarks of Muslim
Dr. A. R. Nakadar, Trustee AFMI, said: “Jo Desh Apne Bachchon Ki
Tarbiyat Nahin Karta Who aage Nahin Badhta; Jo Samaj Apne bachchon
Ki Hosla Afzaee Nahi Karta padhayee Mein Woh Backward Rahta Hai Aur
Jo family Bachchon Ko Taleem Se Mahroom Rakhti Hai Woh Hamesha
Ghareeb Rahti Hai”.
DR. Nakadar, a cardiologist who hails from Gujarat but is settled in
the suburbs of Detroit-MI-USA, said the spectacular performance of
the students who were felicitated in the convention reveals that
there is a need to encourage and inspire the best and the brightest
students of the community. AFMI has been doing just that since the
inception of its awards program 19 years ago. When AFMI first sought
applications there were very few students who would cross the 80
percent mark. But 19 years later many students are not guaranteed a
medal even if they have scored more than 90 percent due to tough
competition from their colleagues.
Dr. Iqbal Ahmed from Cleveland area of Ohio in the USA, the incoming
president of AFMI for 2010 hailing from Malerkotla in Punjab,
defining\ Islam in a nutshell said it is the development of one’s
inner-self, under the guidance of Holy Qur’an and Hadith, and
exploration of the creation of the universe through education. He
said that when one is born one is illiterate and poor but has the
potential to acquire knowledge and thereby overcome one’s poverty.
Dr. Iqbal appreciated India’s “Sarva Shiksha Abhyan” (United
Education for All) and suggested that a board be formed for creating
awareness among Muslims towards various schemes conducted by the
Union and state governments for minorities.
Others who spoke on the occasion included law maker & ex-minister
Bala Bachchan, Justice (Retd.) A. G. Qureshi, Madhya Pradesh
Minorities Commission secretary O. F. Khatani, Madhya Pradesh Youth
Congress president Jeetu Patwari,
The two-day program was jointly hosted by Rahat Charitable Trust,
Khargone (M.P.) and Taleem Foundation of Madhya Pradesh. The next
AFMI convention i.e. the XIX edition will be held in Ahmadabad in
Delegates from the United States, Canada and all over India attended
the AFMI convention. The delegates reaffirmed their dedication to
the cause of education in India and promised to do their best in
furthering AFMI’s goal of bringing in the light of literacy to each
and every Muslim home in India.
At the outset Maulana Aqueel Shaikh recited verses from the Holy
Qur'an. The vote of thanks was proposed by Shakir Mukhi.
In the next session the former and present awardee students were
given an opportunity to exchange their views about educational and
career experiences. How were they motivated by the AFMI's
educational excellence programme?
On Saturday AFMI's Sir Syed Award 2009 for contributions to the
education of Indian Muslims was presented to Mumbai-based
educationist Mubarak Kapdi. While AFMI's Meer Taqi Meer Award 2009
which was to be presented to noted poet and littérateur Pt. Anand
Mohan Zutshi 'Gulzar' Dehlvi for contributions to Urdu literature
could not be given as he failed to be present on the occasion due to
ill health. The award shall be sent to his home. Both the awards
carried a citation, a crystal plaque, and 30,000
The AFMI, which is a philanthropic charity organization founded by
American Muslims of Indian Origin, has come a long way since its
inception in 1989. As a grass roots based organization it has been
working towards the goal of attaining 100 percent literacy and the
elimination of poverty in the Indian Muslim community.