DHU'L HAJJ - MUHARRAM 1424 H
Volume 17-02 No : 206
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The Gaya Muslim Orphanage which completed 86 years of existence recently, is a living testimony of how the Muslim community can achieve a lot with its own resources
By Andalib Akhter in Gaya
At the time when providing education has become just another business, some institutions
are still striving to light the candle of literacy selflessly. The Gaya Muslim Orphanage (GMO) at Cherki in Gaya district, Bihar is one of them. The institution recently completed 86 years of its existence. On December 16, 2003, the GMO celebrated its foundation Day with dignity and pledge for modernisation. Maulana Syed Rabey Hasani Nadwi, Chairman of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Rector of Nadwatul Ulama and Justice A M Ahmadi, former Chief Justice of India and Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, were among the guests who graced the occasion. Addressing the gathering, Maulana Nadwi extolled the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and said that the Prophet preached love, peace and humanity -the essence of Islam. "Jihad does not mean indulging into fights with non-believers all the time. Jihad, which also means removal of ignorance, can also be waged using the power of the pen and by spreading meaningful education among the illiterate, and ignorant masses," he stressed.
He also reminded that the first revelation to the Prophet (Pbuh) from Allah was focused on the importance of Iqra (reading).Justice A M Ahmadi, was all praise for the way the Orphanage was being managed and maintained. He said the need for the spread of education has grown even more, particularly when people were facing stiff challenges and competition. "Institutions like the Gaya Muslim Orphanage are in fact providing real service towards the spread of mass education besides caring for the destitute and orphans, which is becoming an uphill task for the society as such in these times," he said. Pointing out that the Muslims in the country are educationally backward, Justice Ahmadi said that the drop-out ratio in girls was 65 per cent while in the case of boys it was 50-55 per cent. "Islam has given importance on education. However, this does not mean that secular education be totally ignored at the expense of religious education," he said.
The Gaya Muslim Orphanage owes its existence to the munificence of Enayeth Khan, a great visionary. Being a dedicated worker and a great champion of social justice, the founder of the orphanage was pained to see the plight of orphan boys who were detested, rebuked and ill treated as if being bonded labourers or slaves of the feudal landlords. Thus, with a view to ameliorate the lot of the downtrodden and impoverished young orphans, the GMO was established in October 1917 by him. Initially the orphanage was put up in a rented thatched hutment for which the founder paid 50 paise only as monthly rent from his own pocket. Enayeth Khan, who was then a clerk, also worked as a hotel boy in Calcutta.
The institution today is vividly a potent symbol of communal amity amidst such a turbulent phase in our nation's life. It is no wonder then that while on the one hand, the establishment of the Orphanage had to face stiff resistance from the Muslim landlords of the area, a Rajput Hindu lady, Nainchali Devi of Rampur, Pargana-Manohra, displayed a remarkable sense of philanthropy and donated her share of two bighas of land by registered deed in 1941.
From the very first day of its establishment, the founder, Enayeth Khan was following the path shown by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. "We can't separate "Deen" (Religion) and "Duniya" (world) into two water-tight compartments", he used to say. One of the well managed institutions, the G M O has carved out a niche for itself in the whole of North India, particularly in the State of Bihar. However, when maintenance of such institutions (orphanages) rests entirely on public donations and charities alone, it becomes an uphill and arduous task for the GMO. That it has managed to survive for 86 long years, is almost miraculous and therefore worthy of applause. And all this has happened amidst the want of adequate state government support till date.
The Orphanage is registered under the Society's Registration Act 1860 and is a Muslim minority managed
institution. The GMO has also obtained FCRA vide Ministry of Home Affairs. Presently, the Orphanage is housed in a vast campus. It has two large double-storeyed concrete buildings having 55 big and well ventilated rooms. A middle school, a high school, an industrial training workshop, an imposing mosque, two lush green parks and a vast playground are also part of the GMO.
A separate GMO Technical Training Institute is also in the offing, the foundation of which has already been laid in 1994. The orphanage presents a rare combination of Islamic education and modern education, based on the Bihar Government syllabus. The GMO Urdu High School was started in 1983. This school is unparalleled at least in the district of Gaya. Ever since its establishment, the school has to its credit 96 to 100 per cent results at the Bihar Secondary School Examination Board. Danish Ahmad Khan, grandson of the founder said: "Even after 20 years, the GMO Urdu High School still awaits recognition by the state government. This is putting the students into great difficulty for appearing in the Matriculation examination and other educational facilities."
Dr Q H Khan, secretary of the GMO Managing Committee, says that the teachers who are rendering their services in this institution are paid a small salary as the GMO cannot afford to pay them at par with other schools. The Orphanage ismanaged out of donations/charities in cash and kind by Muslim Ummah which comes in the form of Fitra and Zakaat.
Maulana Syed Rabey Hasani Nadwi and Justice A.M.Ahmadi paid separate visits to the sister organisation of the GMO, the Gaya Muslim Girls Orphanage (GMGO) at the founder's native village Kolowna, which is located one km from Cherki. GMGO was established in 1986.
According to Dr Farasat Hussain, president of GMO, the orphans who reside in the Hostel are provided with food, clothes, medicines and books. The GMO also has its own library with a collection of nearly 5000 books and also has a five-bed First Aid Centre. The visitors to the Orphanage include several Islamic scholars, Presidents, Governors, Chief Ministers, Central Ministers, Judicial luminaries and Administrators. Today GMO is the oldest, biggest and one of the best managed institutions of its kind. It is a living testimony that the community can achieve a lot with its own resources.
SECRETARY, THE GAYA MUSLIM ORPHANAGE
Cherki - 824237 Distt: Gaya (Bihar) India, Bank A/c. No. 10581 U.B.I Gaya Branch)
Dr. Farasat Hussain, President
Dr. Q. H. Khan, Secretary.
(The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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