Islamic Voice
Shawwal/Zul-Qada 1422
January 2002
Volume 15-01 No:181

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Community Initiative

Leading a Dream Team!
Social Deprivation is Terrorism!

Leading a Dream Team!

With his zeal and hard work, Dr. Jamkhanawala has set the trend for ‘Education that Pays’ which has become a model to be emulated in Maharashtra.

Dr. Jhamkhanawala
Dr. Jhamkhanawala prefers to say away from politics

M. Haneef Lakdawala

It is generally believed that one of the most difficult task is to manage human resources effectively and without controversy. It takes grit and determination to be a “people’s person” and Dr Ishaq Jamkhanawala has proved it to the core!

Since 1983, when he was elected as the president of Anjuman-I-Islam, the popular educational institution in Mumbai, he has effectively managed 62 institutions and 23 Trusts. There are over 60,000 students on the rolls of Anjuman and out of this, nearly 18,000 are girls. With his zeal and hard work, he has set the trend for ‘Education that Pays’ which has become a sort of a model to be emulated in Maharashtra.

Born in 1930 at Belgaum, Dr Jamkhanawala commenced his practice as a general practitioner at Nagpada in 1958. Within a short span, he became one of the leading medical practitioners of south Mumbai. His colleagues fondly remember those days when in his dispensary, there were two separate queues for patients. One of the queues was for those patients who could not afford to pay.

“Dr Jamkhanawala used to always take extra care for the patient who could not afford to pay. Even medicines were dispensed free of cost to them,” says Dr J. A. Rehmany who had worked with him. Pained by the plight of the Muslims, who mainly consisted of petty labourers and the lower middle class

Dr Jamkhanawala sacrificed his lucrative practice and began to concentrate on uplifting the Muslims of the region. He concentrated on education and started work at the grass root level. Soon he became popular and was invited to contest the elections for the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from Nagpada. He was elected with a thumping majority and was inducted in the Maharashtra cabinet, as a minister of state for finance, Awkaf and urban development. “Plight of the community has shaken me. Their backwardness, unemployment and illiteracy compelled me to leave my practice and concentrate on redressing their grievances by presenting their cause before the local authority,” he says.Dr Jamkhanawala strongly believes that unless you have power in your hand, you cannot create any kind of change in society, and in the year 1986 as minister for urban development and Awkaf, he brought in sweeping changes in the administration of Awkaf. “I learnt that the trustees of various Awkaf properties with the help of few officials used to plunder the revenue. I initiated strict action against them and tried to streamline the administration of the Awkaf properties,” confesses Dr Jamkhanwala. “Sometimes one has to take decisions which change the course of life. I had two options. Full time politics and responsibility of Anjuman-I-Islam.Since Anjuman was growing, it required my total attention, hence I decided in favour of Anjuman,” he adds. Today’s politics does not suit Dr Jamkhanawala’s temperament. “In the current politics, talent is not taken into consideration. Sycophancy and nepotism and have got the major say. My conscience does not allow me to.

Dr Jamkhanawala strongly believes that unless you have power in your hand, you cannot create any kind of change in society, and in the year 1986 as minister for urban development and Awqaf, he brought in sweeping changes in the administration of Awqaf.

become a part of such system”, he admits. Anjuman-I-Islam was declared as the best administrated educational institution by the government of Maharashtra. Quiz him about the secret of his success and pat comes the reply: “Delegation of power is the most effective tool in my arsenal. I am a firm believer in sharing power with my colleagues. Because without team support, success can never be achieved. I am a benevolent dictator, when it comes to the interest of the community and of Anjuman, I do not hesitate to use the iron hand. I believe there is no substitute for personal attention and hard work. Motivation is my mantra to achieve growth.” One aspect of Dr Jamkhanawala’s style of functioning, which makes him popular, is his day to day interaction with the masses. Muslim parents, students officials and the common man on the street line up to meet him with their woes and he lends them a patient ear. His emphasis is on vocational training and professional courses. Today Anjuman offers medical, engineering, hotel management and many professional and vocational courses. “We at Anjuman emphasise on teaching human values with due importance to spiritual practices. I am a firm believer in destiny. You do your work sincerely, honestly and with firm commitment and leave the rest to the Almighty ”advises Dr Jamkhanawala.” Under his leadership, Anjuman-i-Islam has taken shape as a professional educational institution backed by a sincere cause for the upliftment of the community. But Dr Jamkhanawala does not want to rest on his laurels, he is all set to work towards the construction of a home for the destitute women.


Social Deprivation is Terrorism!

Let’s have a real war on the terrorism of hunger, poverty, and injustice.

By Hamid Golpira

Social deprivation producing hunger, poverty, and illiteracy, is terrorism, too. Racism and discrimination are also forms of terrorism. Now that the world has decided to wage war on terrorism, it is necessary to take a closer look at this phenomenon. Millions die needlessly in the Third World while people live comfortably in the West. Over 38,000 people die of hunger or poverty related illnesses every day, 30,000 of them children. Half the people on Earth live on less than two dollars a day with no access to adequate health care and essential drugs. Some 20% of the world’s people live in extreme poverty. A third of the world’s children are undernourished. Millions die of curable diseases every year. Injustice rules in this world.

People respond to injustice in different ways. Some resign themselves to it and do nothing. Some decide to become dedicated revolutionaries, fighting the real enemy, not civilians. Other people respond to injustice by striking out against civilians. This is terrorism. Revolutionaries are not terrorists, terrorists are not revolutionaries, even though some try to equate the two in order to cover up their own terrorism. It must never be forgotten that there are powers in the world that profit by hunger and war and keeping the world divided.

Nelson Mandela once said: “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” So, it all depends on one’s perspective. Globalisation and the neo-liberal economic system can also be regarded as a form of terrorism, since they enrich the few while impoverishing and oppressing the masses. Relief agencies and officials of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have often stated that the technology and money needed to eradicate poverty and hunger is available but the political will is lacking. FAO director Jacques Diouf recently said that about 824 million people go hungry every day. He also commented on the lack of political will to solve the problem. Leaving people in a state of abject poverty when the means to end their suffering exists is the most immoral form of terrorism. Westerners should reflect on this fact.

The masses obviously have legitimate grievances. These legitimate grievances must be addressed if there is ever to be a solution to this problem. In order to fight terrorism, the roots of terrorism must be identified. It can be said that one type of terrorism (hunger, poverty, injustice) is the root cause of another type of terrorism (attacks on civilians). Eliminating the first type of terrorism would help eliminate the second type of terrorism. Let’s have a real war on the terrorism of hunger, poverty, and injustice.


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