New Agenda for Change

3rd South India Conference of NGOs Lays Out

By A Staff Writer
Bangalore:
The Third South India Conference of NGOs held here on March 9 and 10 drew 295 representatives from four major southern states and provided an opportunity for them to interact with each other and share their experiences. The Conference was held for the third consecutive year and brought activists running schools and orphanages, offering coaching to poor yet meritorious students, organizing vocational training for women, rescuing children from hovel workshops and imparting skills.
According to Conference convener Ameen e Mudassir, the conference is a platform to exchange experiences at various places and levels. It was jointly organized by Cigma and LEAD Trust and sponsored by several business and media groups.
Shariff Kottapurath
Secretary, LEAD Trust
LEAD Trust was formed in 2009 to identify meritorious students and coach them for courses in prestigious institutions. Sachar committee had reported Muslim representation in IITs at 3.3%, IIMs 1.3%, IAS 3% and IPS 4%. LEAD Trust launched Lead Talent Search examination in 2011 with a tie-up with Rahmani-30 tutorial from Patna. So far four students have cracked IIT-JEE and are now pursuing B.Tech courses in various IITs across the country. Similarly four students were successful in getting into National Institute of Technology at Surathkal in Karnataka. Lead Trust has also acted as supporting agency for selection of candidates for coaching for UPSC and KPSC candidates from Karnataka by the Directorate of Minorities, Government of Karnataka.
Benazeer Baig
Secretary, Raza Educational and Social Welfare Association
We have focused on rescuing children working in hotels, garages and have been enrolling them in our Excellent School during the last 18 years. This programme is funded by the Central Government. The school has nearly 800 kids on its rolls. Several companies such as Tech Mahindra, Sanchetana, Vivekananda Foundation, NIIT have been funding our activities through their CSR share. India has 17,000 companies on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) list who take out 2% of their annual profits for funding the NGOs in various sectors. Our vocational training centre has been able to get placements for 2,350 candidates, mainly women in various companies. Counselling plays very important role in getting people involved in training for productive skills.
Mohammad Mon Haji
Vice President, Mukkam Orphnage
We have 1,200 inmates on our rolls. It was started in 1956. Now we have 400 children from Bihar, Assam and Uttar Pradesh as our capacity exceeds the scope within Kerala. Our General Body has 100 members who elect a 21-member executive body to oversee the administration. Several of our inmates are now studying in Aligarh, Lucknow, Bangalore. We have recently signed an MoU with the Dubai Government under which Dubai Government would fund education of 500 students to the tune of Rs. 2,300 each. A former girl inmates could even compete for the IAs and is currently posted in Nagaland. We have been successful in employing several of our old inmates in our faculty. Thirty five of them are employed in TTI (technical school equivalent to ITI elsewhere.).
Sunder Raj
EZVidya, Chennai
Each day, we ask ourselves this question, “How have we contributed to bring a positive change in schools, today?” EZ Vidya (pronounced Easy Vidya) is India’s premier education research and innovation organization focused on delivering quality holistic education in Indian schools. It was founded in 2001. Owing to over a decade of sustained research on education and pedagogy by our internal R&D team and the remarkable transformation witnessed in the schools we have had interventions in, EZ Vidya is acknowledged as a ‘Thought Leader’ in education by regulatory bodies in the field of education such as CBSE, Ministry of Education in several states and our corporate partners like IBM, AIF, Dell and NOKIA. At EZ Vidya, we believe that quality education much more than just enhancing the performance of the students. Does education today nurture creation of good citizens? Does it promote a culture where students are encouraged to ‘think’ and ‘reflect’? Do the schools provide an emotionally safe learning environment? Is the educational system today designed to enable the child to develop essential skills for a career and life in the 21st century?
These are some of biggest ‘Challenges’ in education today that EZ Vidya addresses in all its initiatives!
Dr. Taha Matheen
Director, HBS Hospital, Bangalore
People running NGOs should have integrity, trust and transparency. They should work for the pleasure of God and not for empowerment of people. Professionalism does not mean being smartly dressed and travelling in air-conditioned vehicles. It means integrity, honesty and clearly defined objectives and goals. Most NGOs take mere ‘yes men’ or rich and influential people which does not create trust among people. If one is capable, he should take up responsible positions just as Prophet Yusuf presented his credentials before Egyptian emperor for the job of minister for finance, revenue and supplies.
Abdul Qadeer
Shaheen School, Bidar
We started Shaheen School on December 1, 1989. It is an Urdu medium school. We focused on serious studies and enabling environment. Today the school has 8,000 children. Intensive coaching at PUC level has enabled 79 students to get into the MBBS course and virtually hundreds of others into BE course. A student from the school is now pursuing higher studies in the United States. Another student did his MA in International Law in the United Kingdom and is employed with the Ministry for External Affairs. The institution was conferred with Rajyotsava Award in 2013 by Government of Karnataka in recognition of its services to the underdogs of the community.
Maqbool Ahmed Siraj
Journalist & social activist
Social work links the needy with the philanthropists, poor with the resourceful, untrained with the skilled, sick with the healers, unaware with the informed, delinquents with reformers, disablers with the enablers, abandoned with the caretakers, and the destitute with the godfathers. A massive shift has taken place in the recent centuries in the scope and dimension of social work as new demands are emerging every day. Counseling for would be spouses, post-marriage counseling, mediation between contending couples, counseling for dropout kids, street urchins, destitute and delinquent children, centres for uncared and aged people, counseling for gender sensitivity, rehabilitation of ex-convicts, centres for upbringing of children of convicts, rescuing women from red light districts, rehabilitation of widows, ageing spinsters etc are areas which need to be addressed to. Muslims have mainly taken up setting of mosques, madrassas, orphanages and organizing of Hajj camps and circumcision camps as social work. But society’s needs have expanded due to urbanization on an unprecedented scale. Brand-building in social work also helps in reaching the people in need of help at the spur of moments. YMCA, Cry, Helpage, Red Cross, Akshaya Patra, Cheshire Homes have established their credentials over the last few decades. A Muslim social worker and NGOs should dedicate themselves to the cause of helping with pleasure of Allah as the sole of objective.
Bakhtiyar Ali Khan
Deputy Director (Retd) of Women and Child Development,
Govt. of Karnataka
Social work should be aimed at helping the people to help themselves. We are now in an age when emphasis is shifting from welfare to development. Sympathy should be replaced by empathy which means feel what the other man (or sufferer) feels. NGOs are those organization which do not return profits to investors and work with a defined objective. They are self-governed.
The conference decided to hold the next conclave in Kerala in 2014.

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