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An eye-opener for representatives of NGOs was the fact reflected in Mr. Nisar Ahmed’s presentation that there are many central and state government schemes available for all the minorities which they could avail of. Yet, many people are not even aware of these schemes and hence are not using them.

By A Staff Writer

Bengaluru: A one day seminar on ” A Road-Map for Community Development” was recently organized by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCRD), headed by U. Nisar Ahmed, former Inspector General of Police (Rtd) and Chairman, NCRD, on November 20 at Wonder Valley near Bannerghatta. It was a very good initiative by Nisar Ahmed, who invited representatives of various NGOs from many districts of Karnataka who are working for the welfare of society in different areas. A few delegates from NGOs in Tamil Nadu were also present.
Farooq Mahmood, Chairman and MD of Silverline Group, Khaja Akmaluddin Sheriff, Chairman, Network Homes, Bengaluru and many other social workers, human rights activists, madrasa scholars and journalists were part of this seminar.
With decades of hard work at the grassroots level, spending time walking through the slums of Bengaluru, specifically the D J Halli slum in the city, Mr. Nisar Ahmed shared his treasure of experiences of working towards uplifting the inhabitants in these areas, socially and economically. A brilliant presentation was made by him on the status of Muslims in India and the initiatives by his organization, NCRD. An eye-opener for many representatives of various NGOs was the fact reflected in Mr Nisar’s presentation, that there are many central and state government schemes available for all the minorities which they could avail of for education, food security and health. Yet, many people are not even aware of these schemes and hence are not using them. So, much socio-economic uplift work among Muslims by NGOs was being done depending only on community funds and donations.
“The poor need to be empowered by making them aware of the various schemes that the government is offering for their welfare. NGOs, need to work towards helping the poor get BPL (Below Poverty Line) cards, ration cards, health welfare card and senior citizens cards that will enable them to get free treatment in hospitals and discounts,” says Mr Nisar.
Giving examples from the practical work that his organization has been doing in this field, he said that a systematic approach to social work is very important, beginning first with surveys of the area, then getting to know their needs and going about the work in a very professional manner. A model district plan that the NCRD has made for Ballari district serves as a guideline to the NGOs.
One of the important focus of the guidelines was making the mosque as a centre also, that is, to wisely use the mosque premises as a means to do good social work for the community and society.
“We Muslims are ourselves responsible for the pathetic condition that we are in today””economically and socially. Rather than blame others, we need to reflect on what good we can do for humanity,” says Khalid Baig Nadwi, one of the core members of NCRD.
At the end of the seminar, participant from different districts shared the time bound-plan of action they might take in their districts and their area of work.
The National Centre for Research and Development has as its vision the Quranic statement: “Surely Allah will never change the condition of a people until they change it themselves.” NCRD’s basic objective is to understand socio-economic problems, to suggest directions on issues relating to education and health, to strive in alleviation of poverty, to suggest ways and schemes for good governance, to overcome communalism and gender discrimination and to work for ethics and morality.
The team works on social security schemes, housing scheme, interim relief, slum development and health schemes. NCRD also provides training to NGOs, university and college students, ulema and volunteers in the field of community development work, theory and practice including field work, identifying slums and backward areas.
(NCRD can be reached at :No 94/3, 2nd floor, Crescent Chambers, Infantry road, Bangalore. 080- 25550256. Email :[email protected] (www.ncrd.in)