Empowering People With Skills and Knowledge
Al-Aman Educational and Welfare Trust
A skill development centre located on the edge of a slum near Boopasandra in Bangalore has reached out to several hundred people since its launching last January.
An initiative of the Bangalore-based Al-Aman Educational and Welfare Trust headed by well-known social worker Dr. Mohammed Farooq, a skill development centre located on the edge of a slum near Boopasandra has reached out to several hundred people since its launching last January. Housed in a three-room basement, the centre helps people from economically vulnerable backgrounds with valuable life skills. The centre’s space is also used for Islamic and personality development talks and tutorial classes at the time of examinations.
Presently, the centre offers courses in computers (3 month basic computers course, 3 month tally course, and 6 month networking course), tailoring (one year course) and spoken English and Kannada (6 month course). All the courses are free of cost.
These courses, explains Amina Arshiya, the Trust’s General Secretary, are geared to help people obtain jobs and have a better income. The centre also offers separate English classes for imams and muezzins of mosques, which are conducted by an engineer who studied in an English-medium school and college and later became a scholar from a reputed Arabic college.
Till date, some 450 students have passed out from the centre. Presently, the centre has some 120 students. Around 70% of them are girls and women, and the rest boys. Students range from 16 years to 40 years, says Amina. Most students come from poor families. A few are SSLC pass, and some have received even less formal education.
Stepping into the centre, one is greeted with a very warm welcome. A batch of women is attending the tailoring class, which appears to be a big draw. In many families, only the husband is the bread earner, so it was thought that if the women could get tailoring skills, it would help the family and they could educate their children better. Some women who have done the course have starting stitching clothes at home. A few are working in a boutique and are earning roughly around Rs. 10,000 to 20,000 per month.
Elaborating on the vision behind the centre, Amina says, “Knowledge is the key. Why give a fish and feed someone for one day when we can teach them fishing and enable them to feed themselves for life? Allah has given education a lot of importance. If we can spread education for free, it will be counted in our good deeds because we are not taking a price for it in this world we may be rewarded for it in the Hereafter.”
“The rich and the poor have equal rights over knowledge,” Amina continues.”The underprivileged should not be deprived of knowledge because of lack of money. Seeking knowledge is an obligation on every Muslim. We believe we are just trying to make some Muslim’s obligation a little easier by conducting free courses. We pray that Allah accepts out efforts.”
Amina’s and Mohammed Farooq’s enthusiasm and dedication to the cause they and the other trustees of the Al-Aman Educational and Welfare Trust have taken up is palpable. If others would like to help out, they can do so in many different ways. For instance, they can understand the concept of spreading free education, help with the expenses of the centre and volunteer to teach there and donate sewing machines and computers, not only to the centre but to the beneficiaries as well.
(For more information, contact Mohammed Farooq on 9740125500, 9964908600 Email:[email protected])
(Report by Dolcy and Nigar)