Shun Those Short-Cuts To Heaven
Cities are expanding both vertically and horizontally. But ground is shrinking beneath the feet for the ever growing community of Muslim students. The youth who storm our cities with soaring marks lists at the onset of every monsoon, find the cities unfriendly, expensive and inhospitable. If rents are shooting through the skies, food, textbooks, transport, and cost of maintaining communication with parents back home is beyond their wallet in our super-scaled cities threatening to go the Dubai and Singapore way. Girls have to incur the additional element of unsafe living in hired private apartments.
Visionary ancestors built students’ hostels in each district headquarter and serais in principal cities of Karnataka. Gosha Hospitals in Bangalore and Chennai, Siddique Serai in Chennai, Saboo Siddique Serai in Mumbai were landmarks created out of their munificence. Mosques too hosted low-paying, temporary guests in some attached rooms. The Central Muslim Association maintained a hostel in downtown Bangalore. Its alumni now occupy high positions. But facilities have stayed at the past level, or have even declined. Number of districts have doubled, cities have assumed huge proportions. But young men and women plucked out of the comfort of homes in villages and small towns, find themselves in unwieldy urban wilderness shorn of any decent physical ambience. Tamil Nadu Haj House is adding an annex to its facility in Chennai. With Haj voyages having been decentralised, its Mumbai facility serves merely as a lodge now. Yet the people at the helms cannot conceive a more productive diversion of funds for creation of a hostel for Muslim students in Chennai which sorely lacks common facility centres such as working women’s hostels, book banks, media clubs, sports centres, gyms, swimming pools, et al. Several other communities have discovered their use in bringing about cohesion among themselves.
New philanthropy is very individually centred. Philanthropists have been persuaded to seek short-cut route to heaven by religious touts. So now financing Hajj-e-badal and Ramadan umrahs by professional moulvis, sacrifice of animals, marriage of poor girls top the agenda. Not the endowment of hard assets for the development of the community.
Visionary people think of integrating the generation next by passing on the benefits of their philanthropy to it. Myopic individuals only prepare rewards for their grave. Do we ever put our ears to the ground?