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Meet the youths of a neglected city – Rich in ideas, committed to bring a change

Sunday February 5, 2017 1:04 AM, Faizee Zohair Mohmmad Safwan,

Qfest 2017
[Ismail Wafa, Saad Shaikh, Arshad Ansari and their team after prize distribution ceremony of Qfest 2017 organised on Sunday, January 29, 2017. The Quiz competition held on January 27, 2017 had attracted over 1250 students of Malegaon. ( photo)]

Ismail Wafa, Shaikh Saad and Ansari Arshad - the three young chaps of Malegaon seem to have very little in common. But, what binds them together is their desire to work for the Muslims and marginalized.

Ismail Wafa is a student of history whereas Shaikh Saad and Ansari Arshad are fresh engineering graduates. While Ismail is too busy with the studies, Saad and Arshad are hunting for jobs. Yet they are spending hours together planning how to train young students so that they successfully crack competitive exams.

“The ratio of Muslims in government jobs and private sector is alarmingly low. There are various reasons cited for this poor show. This is a serious issue. For, a huge population which could be used with little efforts for development of the country is going waste”, Ismail Wafa said while talking to
“It is hence, instead of harping on the causes, we work on a plan to prepare young students for competitive exams”, he added.

Ismail Wafa, currently doing masters in history, authored a quiz book when he was still an undergraduate. After completing graduation, Ismail grouped with Saad and Arshad, revamped his earlier book and together came with a new one which is focused more on Civil Services, MPSC, IIT JEE and other top competitive exams.

“The only way to successfully crack these supposedly tough competitive exams is focused study with expert guidelines and targeted study material. But, problem is that students appearing in such exams end up confused because of difficulty in accessing these primary requirements”, Ismail Wafa, who appeared for the UPSC Civil Services 2017 Prelim Exams, said.

“Of course there are coaching classes and also NGOs and institutions to help students, their access is limited only to privileged few.

“We can add more Muslims and marginalized to Civil Services, MPSCs, IITs and other such premium institutions only by increasing their appearance in the competitive exams. The pity is that we express concern over poor representation when results are out but are not ready to take efforts to increase their enrollments in exams”, he said.

Ismail, Saad and Arshad believe that if they are able to come out with a good study material then it will be instrumental in achieving this task.

“Backed by internet and availability of experts online, we can surely have amazing results if we could develop quality study material”, Saad Shaikh, an engineer, said.

“Then there are virtual classrooms through which we can fill the gaps if any and provide locally the kind of training the students could have got in big metros”, Arshad Ansari, who is also an engineer, said.

“By this way we can increase substantially the number of students appearing in competitive exams”, the three said.

Their endeavor does not end. Ismail also plan to pen the important facts and chronicle relating to post 1992-India which are published but are by and large ignored by the mainstream and thus not in the limelight.

“We have important research works and books written by many people. But unfortunately, they could not get wider publicity. They contain crucial facts on key issues. They could be helpful in the present volatile political situation if they are brought in the limelight”, Ismail said.

Like Ismail, Saad and Arshad are not the only young graduates trying to bring a change through “out of the box thinking”. Like them, Saifur Rehman, a young Computer Science graduate who also appeared for the UPSC Civil Services exams in 2016, teamed up with Noor Mohammad and Momin Naved Anjum to establish a platform to tackle unemployment, and provide career guidance and scholarships, conduct workshops to prepare students for Medical and Engineering Entrance exams.

They are also working as a bridge between the labourers and Malegaon’s textile industry, which is currently facing acute shortage of professionally trained labour force.

“Malegaon textile sector has a lot of potential. But, due to absence of professional training, to weavers and labourers both, the industry is not able to produce quality and defect-free garments. Through Right Way we are trying to address this key issue”, Momin Naved said.

“After a study we found that the industry just needs a little tweaking and a bit of training to come to the expectation of buyers. We are trying to help the weavers on this front”, he added.

The entire efforts of both the teams are free of cost. The question therefore is for how long they can carry on their efforts and get sustainable results in the absence of monetary support when they themselves have very little of their own, and without the needed support from within the community.

“Malegaon is going through - on all fronts including local textile industry, its worst phase since last two and half years. The demonetization imposed on the nation by the present dispensation has only added to the severe pain. The prevailing situation certainly demands some out of the box effort and remedy”, Aleem Faizee, General Secretary of Malegaon Industries & Manufacturers Association (MIMA), said.

“There is no denying that the city has always been neglected by successive governments – the state as well as the center. It is also a fact that the potential of the city is never realized. But, what about our own shortcomings and mistakes we committed and continue to commit never realizing the need to correct them?” Aleem Faizee asked.

“MIMA by its own efforts showed a working model - to the city in particular and the Muslim community across India in general, by establishing a textile park with modern and state of the art infrastructure and machineries.

“The young graduates too are trying to bring similar positive change, admirably while trying to build their own career. There are also some others who are working with the same mission. The prevailing situation demands from us to search for such local talent, acknowledge, support and invest in them”, Aleem Faizee said.


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