By Syed Aamir Sharief Qadri
The world is growing fast. Every where there is noise of machines. This noise seems attractive as it generates income. It is a good sign of money making and should continue so. Beyond the noise made by machines there is another noise which we deliberately ignore. This is the noise of an orphan, widow, poor, destitute, and many more.
When we take a dig at current socio-economic situation in Kashmir we can see only little work has been done. We succeed only in establishing madrasas, maktabas and few orphanage centres throughout the vale of Kashmir. There is a need to establish Bait-ul-Maal at each village and at every mohalla. Most of the work is undone yet.
There are hundreds of sufi shrines in Kashmir which have a potential to run big institutions. People in Kashmir can forget paying zakat, ushur but they will never fail to give away ‘niyaz’. How many hospitals, schools, colleges, universities are run by these shrines? It is very unfortunate to say that revenue generating sources are many but they can’t get utilize in a proper way.
Majority of Non-Government Organisations(NGOs) are doing great work all over the world. In Kashmir so many NGOs are pursuing different goals. But this is not a job of one person or of few NGOs. As we know Kashmir is a conflict zone. Lives are lost here like trees shed their leaves in autumn season. One who lost life often leaves behind an orphan. There are many issues in society. Choose one and move forward. Put your soul into it and see results.
Youth play an important role in transforming society. But in Kashmir youth think differently. Working on common social issues is thought to be the responsibility of religious class. Kashmir conflict have made us mentally sick, our bodies numb. People are unable to think beyond politics. For more than seventy years we didn’t get any desired political result for Kashmir conflict. Instead if youth had focussed only for ten years on socio-economic problems the things could have been different now.
Most of the social activists in Kashmir focus on the religious institutions and raise funds for them. But this is not sufficient. Providing only religious education should not be our goal. We don’t fit in this post modern world. During medieval times equal attention was paid to other branches of education. One who studied religion was well trained in several languages also. After memorising Quran, they would go for the study of other subjects important in ones life.
We meet large number of people on roads crying for help. Most of us ignore them. Those who try to help them give few bucks and move on. Same thing is repeated every day. Nothing change, neither their life nor their thirst for collecting more and more money. In this materialistic world where everyone of us has become greedy there is a need for coming of ‘masehah’ to uplift these downtrodden people. As a Muslim we forget the teachings of Islam. We are much busy in personal affairs. That is why we don’t hear the cries from outside.
It is true people grow by applying new ideas. We can also help poor in new ways. Let us not give them cash. Listen to their soul. Give them new ideas so that they can transform their lives. Look for them suitable jobs.Everyone of them has a capacity to serve society in one way or other. Even poor handicapped can serve in multiple ways. Let me give you an example here. If we are really worried about someone, say for example widow with two children. Help her in opening a small shop. Talk for her to some wholesale dealers to deliver important items. Guide her for two or three months so that she can stand on her own.
If we are serious enough to help the needy we must go through following steps-
(a) Prepare a ground for mission to start.
- Use social networking platform and start #hashtags for the upliftment of poor and backward people. This is most powerful and easy way in helping society.
- There is a need to revolutionise this mission. We should act like missionaries. As a responsible citizen we should first motivate our self. Then go and expand this circle.
- Engage youth as they are very productive and helpful.
- Among all causes I think there is great need to make people aware. This can be done with the help of religious institutions. With their help we can mobilise people, organise seminars, hold convocations etc. This will help in two important ways…
First, we will get a popular support from all sections of society, and second, we will be able to generate much needed revenue.
- Hold meetings regularly, maintain a dairy of record, distribute pamphlets.
- Highlight your work by creating powerful slogans.
(b) Strengthening roots…
- Form small groups in your respective areas.
- Make different committees (each under particular head) for distribution of work.
- Hold a detailed survey of your area. Register people under different categories. For eg. Poor, orphan, widow, handicapped etc.
- Do not keep a detailed list but enrol few. Those who are enrolled in your list should not be left in the middle.
- Search for permanent solution. Help them by creating sources of revenue.
Keep serving and serve in a way so that we can’t find another person to enrol in our respective areas after few years of work. That is why I focus more on the formation of SMALL GROUPS than big NGOs.
The author can be reached at [email protected]