“Importance of NGOs for Socio-Economic development among Muslim minorities.” This is one of the most important topics that needed attention and had to be addressed. Who can do justice to it better than Syed Tahsin Ahmed? A lifelong bureaucrat who had the passion for keeping a watchful eye on the affairs of the community.
He always had his mindset on the social and economic issues of the Muslim minority. His observations are so close and intense that he often feels “subjected to” and “is part” of those issues. His impressions and explanations of the minority community give that “inside out” views of the issues. He bares, uncovers, reveals, and exposes the underbelly of the minority and society in general.
Poverty, failure in shouldering the social responsibilities, lack of interest and belief in education, real and virtual fear of discrimination in every field, improper association with wrong people, incompetent and nonconducive environment, etc., hold back the youth of minorities from progress. It also discourages youth from working hard and getting serious about the aims and goals in their lives.
You are correct in pointing out how we are not knowledgeable about what NGOs genuinely are, what they can do for the communities and societies. Governments have allocated funds for the improvement and betterment of minorities, entrusted and available through registered NGOs.
Govt funds are seen as free money. Most of the time, the funds get returned because of nonuse. This leads to the corruption in very few registered minority NGOs.
You have clearly and rightly pointed out the non-Muslim minorities who take good advantage of the funds providing many facilities through NGOs and many schemes. The huge difference here is the education and awareness among other minorities and Muslims.
As you mentioned, most of the so-called Muslim minority NGOs are disguised as social services or voluntary nondescriptive organizations, mainly dependent on private contributions. Why is this so lucrative? As Zakat is obligatory, Sadaqa, donations for a good cause, eternal spiritual rewards are lucrative and easier to collect. Collection on a personal level doesn’t have to have any transparency or auditing.
It is for non-registered NGOs to use a good part of the funds in the name of official, administrative and managing expenses. No questions asked. Reaching out to the community will be just for the namesake.
You have given an excellent example of an NGO by the name AASRA. An appropriate name for this particular NGO. Well recognized and acknowledged by the awards it received. Our community needs many more NGOs like these.
Doubling up the wakf institutions is a good suggestion. If it is put into action, it will help support and uplift the weaker sections of society and community.
You have ended the article with a positive note that some recognized NGOs are working with honesty and sincerity at the state and national levels. Surely may their tribe may increase. Aameen.
Qazi Minhaj Azher