“Have we ever wondered why all good projects start from South and why we in the North are lagging behind? Professor K.A. Siddique Hassan came from Kerala and established Al-Shifa Multispecialty Hospital in Delhi but why have we failed to do that? Why don’t we crave for quality education? Why South is ahead of us in educational sphere? It is high time to think that despite the emphasis and guidance for education and knowledge in the Qur’ān, why Muslims are far behind in education and other fields,” said former Chief Election Commissioner, Dr S.Y. Quraishi, while speaking as the chief guest at the Human Welfare Foundation’s Professor Siddique Hassan Memorial Scholarship Distribution Programme at India Islamic Cultural Centre in the capital on June 18.
Dr. Quraishi added, “Keeping all these in mind, I am thinking to write a piece on Islam versus Muslims to analyse why Muslims are far behind despite the best guidance available in the Qur’ān. Also, we should develop a mechanism or a platform where the expertise and the progress made in different fields in the South or elsewhere can be shared with others to bring desired changes. Quality education is the only way forward to empower the Muslim community.”
In his presidential remarks, Dr. Siraj Hussain, who has rendered his services as Joint Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution and Chairman and Managing Director of Food Corporation of India (FCI), Union Secretary in the Ministries of Food Processing Industries and Agriculture and presently serving as Chairman of Human Welfare Foundation (HWF), said while referring to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), a field-based survey report 2021 which is for the first time is surprising, that the number of students enrolled in government schools has increased but the number of students enrolled in private schools has decreased. It was because people could not afford the fees of private schools due to the pandemic.
The HWF chairman added, “It has happened after many decades because earlier we used to hear that percentage in government schools decreased but this time it has gone up. He asked the students to work hard despite the fact that the last two years, which passed in the pandemic, were very challenging and depressing. The digital divide is also a big challenge for all those who cannot afford smartphone and so on. As per ASER report, 40 per cent of students in class 1 and 2 did not have any access to smartphones. Only 20 per cent had regular access which means 80 per cent of students in class 1 and 2 had no full time access to smartphones. Students who are in graduation or pursuing post-graduation should start preparing for civil services now; those who are interested in journalism should start writing now while studying because true dedication is the only way to success.”
H. Abdur Raqeeb, an HWF Trustee, while delivering Prof. K.A. Siddique Hassan Memorial lecture, said, “I had the opportunity to work with Siddique Hassan for more than four decades. He was a visionary and always thought ahead of times. We should have personalities like him in every district and state for the growth and development of our people and the country. He played an instrumental role in shaping the foundation of many projects for human welfare which has so far served millions. He played a key role in the establishment of Madhyamam, Solidarity Youth Moment in Kerala, Human Welfare Foundation in 2006 and many more which are serving the people of the country.”
Abdul Jabbar Siddiqui, another HWF Trustee, , on this occasion announced the future projects of Vision 2026. He said, “15 years ago today, under the leadership of Prof. Siddique Hassan, the whole team worked. We have learned a lot. When we take a step, we either learn or win. We do not know how to lose. We can do this. Prof. Siddique Hassan diverted the resources of the South to the North to bring the desired change. He said that if North changes then India will change. He announced two new projects, ‘Best NGO and Best Social Engineer Award’ and ‘Academic Publication’ in the name of Prof Siddique Hassan.
The ‘Best NGO and Best Social Engineer Award’ will be given to an NGO or individual who is doing well in the field of human service. Those who have achieved some significant success during the last five years will be given `100,000 individually and `500,000 will be given to NGOs. The second is the project of ‘Academic Publication’. A programme has been made to write an article on the work done by Prof. Siddique Hassan Sahib so that the new generation can be guided by his life experiences.
Earlier, in a programme, 28 students in Kerala were provided scholarship of `30,000 along with certificates. Here in Delhi 37 students from different universities and institutions were provided scholarship to meritorious students from economically weaker sections.
On this occasion, the HWF CEO, PK Noufal presented the performance report of the Foundation. Dr. Rizwan Rafiqi delivered the welcome address. Dr. Arif Nadvi, Health Manager of the Foundation, moderated the programme and Salimullah Khan, Education Manager of the Foundation, extended thanks to all the participants.