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India 2047- Empowering The People

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The Major Task

Whenever a Muslim organization is newly formed, extensive discussions are held to decide what work they should do and the focus area. Articulate members will speak about every field of activity under the sun. Predictably, no headway is made, and generally, everything fizzles out, not with a bang but a whimper. It is astonishing that the community is still debating what is to be done, seven decades after our country attained independence.
These birth pangs of an organization can be easily avoided by referring to the book “India 2047- Empowering the people” published by Empower India Foundation (Second edition- 2017). Of course, many Committees have been formed in the past which have given exhaustive reports detailing Muslims and other minorities in India. They have suggested what steps could be taken to improve their lot. Such Committees were formed even before India attained independence. Viceroy Lord Mayo appointed a Committee headed by Sir William Hunter to study Muslims’ conditions in India and find out the reasons behind the resentment among the Muslims against the British government. The Committee submitted its report in 1871 titled ‘Our Indian Musalmans,” which highlighted the gross under-representation of Muslims in government jobs for the first time.
Most Muslim organizations quote the Committee reports extensively but fail to adopt the Road Map suggested therein. The book “India 2047- Empowering the people” can provide a direction to many NGOs and social service organizations to start an activity immediately since many options are laid bare. The book contains the recommendations of the Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee (2006), Justice Ranganath Misra Commission (2007), Post-Sachar Evaluation Committee (Prof. Amitabh Kundu Committee, 2014), and even the Prime Minister’s New 15 point programme for the welfare of the minorities (2006).Not just content with listing the recommendations of the various Committees, the book addresses the need to have a scientifically organized and methodically prepared project plan. The elements of the project frame are Vision, Mission, Focus area, Goal, Objectives, Initiatives, Action plan, and Time frame.
Each parameter is separately examined in detail by devoting a separate chapter to the critical issues identified. The problems are Governance, Economy, Education, Health, Media, Women, Children and Youth, Social Reform, Civil Rights, Broad-based Alliance, Culture, and Heritage. The complexity and diversity of the various issues and problems that the project aims to address reiterate the need to seek the cooperation of hundreds of functional organizations and NGOs, thousands of executives and volunteers, and innumerable beneficiaries across the length and breadth nation. The idea is to promote the project as an open gallery of endless opportunities wherein all the potential units of the community can come forward and contribute by leading or partnering with any element of the project.
Such a massive and ambitious programme has to rope in different organizations from across the country by creating awareness among the stakeholders, which the Empower India Foundation doesn’t seem to have achieved if I am not mistaken. The objective is indeed commendable. Many organizations which are dabbling with multiple programmes can pick up one activity and devote all their time, energy, and resources towards achieving the goals suggested for that particular activity. “Each one, address one programme” seems to be the motto. How sad that such a meticulously prepared guideline for ameliorating the living conditions of the Muslim community has not been utilized by the Muslim organizations extensively. This is particularly appalling when we go through the book’s Bibliography, which refers to a whopping 415 authentic sources. Such a painstakingly prepared book deserves better recognition.
“India 2047- Empowering the people” is not a book of the ordinary sort, but a document setting a vision and preparing a long-term action plan for empowering the Indian nation and the Muslim community. Its title signifies the end of a century of Independent India and the beginning of a new era. The book aims to suggest a planned and structured development model be implemented by the end of 2047. A dedicated group that prepared this project has striven for three years held personal discussions with scholars and researchers, attended various academic seminars and conferences, collected data from official sources, analyzed the study reports. They organized six national workshops and about 50 city get-together programmes in 15 states as part of the project preparation; The book contains plenty of Data tables on Population, Education, Economy, Health, and Governance.
Since the Affirmative action proposed is very vast, the project has been planned to be carried out in six phases of 5 years each. Phase 1 is from 2016 to 2020. Although the initial phase is preparatory period, seven Pilot projects were planned as follows:
1) Master Trainers Development Programme (Bangalore and Delhi)
2) Literacy programme (Full literacy in 25 villages of Bihar)
3) Poverty Eradication Drive (Women’s Self-Help Group Cluster- Uttar Pradesh)
4) Finishing School (Rajasthan)
5) D-Voter Issue: Legal Support System (Assam)
6) Drinking-Water Supply Project (West Bengal)
7) Sanitation Scheme (Providing Toilets- Tamil Nadu)
Since the five years is already completed, Empower India Foundation should come out with an Action Taken Report and should inform whether all such projects were successfully implemented or not. They should also tell what tasks have been taken up in the next five-year block period of 2021-2026. Information regarding the organizations that adopted the plan of action and goals suggested by Empower India Foundation in different States of the country will indicate the program’s success and will also indicate whether any corrective action is required.
The book requires to be translated into Urdu for achieving a wider reach. Since free distribution among different organizations and NGO’s of this expensively printed 256-page book is not feasible, the book could be downloaded by them from the Empower India Foundation website where it has been uploaded.