Hyderabad: Justice Sachar Committee, which went into the social and economic status of Muslims, has suggested creation of Indian Wakf Service on the lines of civil services to ensure protection of wakf properties in the country.
Dr Syed Zafar Mehmood, officer on special duty on Sachar panel, said the move would help in proper protection and maintenance of five lakh registered wakf properties all over the country. He said creation of Indian Wakf Service would ensure appointment of people with good knowledge of Islamic Shari’ah and this would help in the protection of wakf properties.
Mehmood, who is also president Zakat Foundation of India, was addressing a seminar on ‘Charitable institutions and challenges of modern times’ jointly organised by Zakat Foundation of India and Muslim Aid of UK, London on December 21.
According to him, there are 6 lakh acres of registered wakf land with a market value of Rs.6000 crore in the country but the annual income from these properties is only Rs.163 crore. Voicing concern over the encroachments of wakf properties and their poor maintenance, Mehmood said in many cases the state governments have encroached them.
He said if the vast wakf properties were developed and used properly they could help improve the educational and economic conditions of Muslims. There are 28 state wakf boards in the country.
While noting that some states had formed wakf development committees to develop wakf properties and increase income from them, Mehmood suggested that all states should have such committees.
“This move will help in increasing the assets of the community,” he said.
He felt that unless the community makes efforts on its own to improve their lot, nothing could ameliorate their conditions. He suggested that instead of fully banking on the government for economic and educational development, Muslims should make efforts on their own by taking help of the government wherever required.
Dr Jafer Qureshi, vice chairman, Muslim Aid, London, suggested to charity institutions to work on a variety of projects to ensure the community’s advancement in the various sectors. While advising them to focus on education, he said they could send their project reports to Muslim Aid. “There is no dearth of funds. Muslim Aid and several other institutions are ready to make funds available,” he said.
Dr Manzoor Ghouri, president, Indian Muslim Relief and Charities (IMRC), USA, said his organisation was working for the last 25 years for educational and economic development of the community. IMRC has 200 volunteers in USA and more than 1000 in India. It is providing education for 1.5 lakh students in 12 states in India. The organisation also conducted legal aid campaign to help victims of Gujarat riots. The campaign ‘Niagra’ was conducted in Ahmedabad, Anand, Sabrakantha and Kheda under the guidance of Harsh Mandar.
Dr Haider Khan, director, central committee, Islamic Development Bank, India, said the organisation was founded in 1984 and during the last six years it has spent 40 million dollars on educational development of Muslims.¨