Ameen-e-Mudassar is a well-known career counselor, based in Bangalore and his journey, is a story that will inspire many youngsters to follow their dreams and also contribute to the good of humanity.
By Nigar Ataulla
Born on December 5, 1981 in Bangalore, Ameen-e-Mudassar, even today has retained his child-like innocence, as he speaks about his parents. “My mother was an Urdu lecturer and my dad was a demonstrator in Chemistry at the Islamia Institute of Technology,” he says.
Ameen-e-Mudassar is a well-known career counselor, based in Bangalore. As an Engineering Graduate from PESIT, Bangalore, and Certified Counselor from Christ University, he has conducted over 250 career guidance programs across 30 towns, cities and metros of India reaching more than 65,000 school and college students.
His journey to reach this level is a story that will inspire many youngsters to follow their dreams and also contribute to the good of humanity. After completing schooling, he took admission in PESIT, Bangalore, to study electronics communication. “My parents wanted me to be an engineer. After I joined the course, within six months, it dawned on me that I could never be a good engineer. The syllabus was something I just could not digest! But I dragged on!” recalls Ameen. “In 1991, I got so bugged with engineering studies, that I spontaneously began to do things that gave me inner joy and happiness… I began going to schools and teaching study skills to kids there”!
In the year 2000, with my friend Iftikhar, just after the Asr prayers, I noticed a poster outside a mosque. It said : “Do not keep books in your house as a decoration. Donate it to those who desire to read.” This inspired Ameen so much that immediately, with three other friends, Iftekhar, Habibullah and Allah Baksh, he put in the first step towards setting up the Muslim Students Book Bank. Ameen and his friends began their first NGO, Momeen Students Welfare Trust on April 7, 2001. Through this NGO, they initiated the Book Bank by lending books to needy students, and went about imparting motivational study skills in schools. This was all done out of pure passion, with no expectation of any penny for the pocket. During his last year of engineering course in 2002, Ameen organized the first “All Muslims Engineering Students Meet”, and his friends circle expanded further to include Mohammed Yakoob, Abdul Jabbar and Khaleelullah Khan.
In 2003, Ameen completed his engineering course and in 2004, joined a Call Centre as he needed the money. Working there for seven months, he still had his heart in career guidance and the Book Bank and wanted to reach out to more people and not just his mohalla.
In 2004, Ameen shared his vision of training boys in Java programme, with Ahmed Hassan, which took shape as mpower Labs. Ameen stayed as one of the directors here till 2007. He also was part of inikah.com portal, which closed later. Ameen quit mpower Labs and wrote his first book, “ Courses and Careers after 10th Standard” in April 2007, which became very popular. “ I was highly encouraged by the response to this book and set up Cigma Foundation independently. “ I just had Rs 500 with me that time, but I needed an office space and by God’s grace, Mrs Husna Shariff shared my vision and offered a fully furnished office for me on rent. With just one employee, I began work from this space and today, Cigma is buzzing with 10 more employees and many programmes for students,” says Ameen.
Cigma Foundation functions as a non-profit set-up, while Cigma India focuses on career guidance, and Cigma Info-Tech takes care of web-designing and data digitization programmes.
Ameen’s hard work paid rich dividends when in 2009, when he was invited by the Ministry of Minority Affairs to take care of the promotion of the central government educational schemes for minorities. In 2010, Ameen launched the Cigma Education and Career Employment Bulletin. This was a big hit as the colourful posters pasted outside mosques and other prominent places in the city drew tremendous response from the youth and their parents. The Bearys Group supported him in this venture for one full year by way of sponsorship.
“ I had my initiation into social work through my first NGO, the Momeen Students Welfare Trust, so I thought, networking of NGOs in South India would be worthwhile, that’s how the first conference of NGOs of South India was held in January 2012 and the second one was held just a few months ago in 2013. I believe in transparency and I think every NGO ought to be transparent about its work,” explains Ameen.
A visit to Dubai and Qatar in 2009 opened Ameen’s vision further, helping him bring in more professionalism into his work.
Working out from his office today which reflects a mark of professionalism and discipline, Ameen has set the trend for many youngsters today to use their talent to benefit the community and the society.
“ Believe in yourself, your inner strength, and do your best and leave the rest to God,” is his message for the younger generation.
(Ameen-e-Mudassar can be reached at CIGMA Foundation, No.29, R.V.Road, Opp. Vijaya College, Basavanagudi. Bangalore 560004. Ph +91-80-41554225
Career Helpline: +91-9241778866. Email: [email protected])