A Father’s Dream Fulfilled

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Mukhtar Memorial Society is a nongovernmental organization and is named in the memory of my paternal grandfather Mukhtar Mohammad Khan. The NGO was founded in the year 2004 by my father Late Professor Abrar Hassan Khan.  In a tragic turn of events my father passed away in an accident in the year 2005, before the organization could start functioning. He was then the serving Controller of Examinations of the University of Kashmir.

It was after the death of my father that I planned to start this NGO just to fulfill his dream and carry on the work that he could not. The NGO was already registered and had a Managing Committee as well but that was limited to just paper work as till then there was no work to show on the ground.

Starting the NGO was not an easy task for me. I had to face huge criticism from relatives, friends and even my own family members. They wanted me to complete my studies first and then involve myself in this field. But the hope of making my father’s dream come true always gave me huge inner strength and support.

It was in January of 2006 after I gave my 10th class board exams I started working on the things that I needed to establish an efficient NGO.I used to keep searching the internet to gain as much knowledge as possible about the working of NGOs. I would ask advice from my cousin Wasim Bhat as well who worked for an international NGO. My family by now was a little bit more supportive of my ideas and interest as I had secured high percentage in my board exams and I convinced them that I would not let my studies suffer because of the engagements my social work would necessarily entail.

Soon after gaining adequate knowledge about the working of NGO’s, I started to complete all the pending paperwork that an NGO requires. This I managed to finish by the year 2007. I opened an NGO account, applied for antecedent certificate, got the copy of the bye laws, set up an office, a small one at my home in Saida Kadal, created a logo for the organization. All this I did using my own pocket money that I had collected over the years.

In the March of 2008 when Kashmir was in great turmoil and the people had to face continued inconvenience due to strikes and curfews I got to know of people who did not have anything to eat, their children were starving. Usually the lone bread earner was a labourer, a newspaper vendor or an auto driver who couldn’t venture out in those days to earn their daily bread.  It was then I started the “Financial Assistance Scheme for Poor & Disadvantaged People”. Today the Mukhtar Memorial Society is supporting 45 such families by the grace of Allah. This was also the time that I got great support from my family as well because I had performed  exceedingly well in my 12th class board exams.

Slowly but surely the organization has placed its feet firmly on the ground and was able to conduct many programs of social relevance on its own and some more in collaboration with other agencies.

Since 2007 the Society is running the Financial Assistance Scheme to help destitute families live a comfortable and peaceful life. The families who are supported belong to different areas of the Kashmir valley like the frontier district of Kupwara, Srinagar, Baramulla, Pulwama, Bandipore. 

The Society organized an awareness generation program directed at poor rural women in 2010 in collaboration with the Central Social Welfare Board. The main aim of this program was to sensitize the community on health and hygiene issues. The programme was organized at Ganderbal and Baramulla.

In the same year we organized a free First Aid Camp on the eve of the urs of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani [RA] at the Hazrat Peer Dastageer Sahib shrine at Khanyar. It was an attempt to provide free medical assistance to the common masses at the time of the annual urs when thousands of devotees come to seek blessings at the shrine.

In the year 2011 the Society organized 10 consecutive HIV/Aids Awareness Programmes in collaboration with J&K Aids Control & Prevention Society at Anantnag, Kangan, Kupwara, Ganderbal and Srinagar.

Then in the year 2012 we got an opportunity to serve the people with many more such programs like organizing a Rehabilitation Program to provide homes for the homeless poor families in Srinagar. We also had the opportunity to organize an awareness generation project on Female Foeticide and Adolescent Girl Education and Care at Srinagar in collaboration with the Central Social Welfare Board.

We also focused intensely on the menace of drug addiction and organized a series of Drug De Addiction Awareness Programs in different schools in Srinagar with an aim to create awareness among the youth about the ills of drug addiction and ways and means of preventing drug abuse and addiction. It was the first time in J&K that a Drug De Addiction Week was observed. Illustrative banners were hoisted at different place and pamphlets were distributed. The program was organized in collaboration with Central Reserve Police Force. Recently we organized a Free Medical Consultation Camp at Dardpora, Kupwara to provide free medical assistance and free medicine to peoplein need.

As recent as in the month of May 2013 we organized an Awareness Program on Female Foeticide at Tekipora, Kupwara. The programme focused on enlightening people about the various ills of female foeticide, ways to abolish this menace completely, the reasons of decline in the male to female sex ratio in J&K, and the strict laws against this cruel practice.

Today by the Grace of Almighty Allah the Mukhtar Memorial Society is operating successfully and generating benefits for those in need.  I am about to compete my Bachelors in Civil Engineering and I am looking forward to start a school and a hospital for those who cannot afford the fees of big private schools and hospitals. 

By doing this I keep the memory of my grandfather alive and fulfill the dreams and vision of my beloved father.

Author can be raeched at: faizanhk@yahoo.com

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