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Punjab Wakf Board: A Silver Lining in the Dark Clouds

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From colleges to hospitals, the Punjab Wakf Board has focused its initiative on truly constructive projects for the community.

All is not unwell. In the dark cloud of wakf corruption across the country, the Punjab Wakf Board is shining. Several truly constructive projects and programs on education for the Muslim community in the state have been organized by the board. The Punjab Wakf Board is running several schools under its direct management. It distributes scholarships among deserving students and also gives grants to some madrasas and maktabs. Besides, the board gives salaries to Imams of wakf mosques and it provides pension to widows, orphans and the destitutes. Over the last two years, it completed a well-equipped girls college and a multi-crore hospital, both in Malerkotla. These are the two latest additions to the already constructive programs of the wakf board,” says chairman of Punjab Wakf Board, Mohammad Izhar Alam, who is an IPS, DGP (Retd). The Islamia Girls College located in Malerkotla has been set up with the purpose of providing higher Education to girls not only from the Muslim community, but other communities as well. The college, which is  affiliated to the Punjabi University, Patiala, was founded by Izhar Alam when he assumed the office of the Chairman of the Punjab Wakf Board in 2010. The college offers both Arts and Science courses and the bachelor degree courses are available in English, Punjabi, Urdu, History, Political Science, Economics, Psychology and Physical Education. The college also offers computer courses like BCA and PGDCA.  The Hazrat Halima Maternity and General Hospital also has started functioning since 2010. Though the b u i l d i n g work was completed in 2003, it took seven years to equip it with state-of-the art instruments required in a hospital like digital x-ray m a c h i n e , u l t r a s o u n d with color doppler, beds with oxygen gas supply and ambulance vans with ventilators. With a team of 26 staff members, including doctors, nurses and others, the hospital is trying to provide good medical treatment to the residents of  Malerkotla and nearby areas at a reasonable cost. The Punjab Wakf Board came into existence in 2003. Several mosques, graveyards and dargahs are registered with the board in addition to the wakf properties which run into over 25,000 in number. About encroachment of wakf properties, board chairman, Izhar Alam says: “We are fighting 7300 cases in the court. Out of around 25000 wakf properties, we are getting income only from 3500 wakf properties and investing the income in constructive work particularly for the education of the Muslims”.On the future plans, Izhar Alam says that the board is already running two modern schools separately for boys and girls and there are 6000 students enrolled in those schools. A paramedical institute in Malerkotla is also being built and will be completed in five years.