By A Mirsab, TwoCircles.net,
Aurangabad: During the day, for five days a week, the life of Waseem Siddique, 28, a young software developer from Aurangabad, Maharashtra is no different from thousands of other techies in the country. He barely gets to sleep on these days, so it is fair to believe that on weekends, like most in his profession, he too hopes to catch some sleep. Except, that unlike others, Siddique finds solace in spending whatever spare time he has on serving his community by offering his knowledge, experience, expertise in his capacity to others.
Waseem Siddiqui speaking at an international IT conference
Siddique works with MAN Diesel & Turbo India Limited at Aurangabad as a Software Engineer. He has been in this industry for the past five years, but his journey towards social service began much before his professional life.
“I am been in social services since my childhood. I clearly remember one of my social assignments was to successfully organise and arrange medical help for a little girl who was fighting a deadly disease. Eventually, by the grace of Almighty Allah, she was cured and is now living a happy life”, Siddique recalls his first social activity.
Meeting to discuss issues faced by minority students
That was the beginning for Siddique, which was followed by actively participating in various blood donation camps at Maulana Azad College in Aurangabad, eye checkup camps, prize distribution & certificate distribution to SSC & HSC Students along with signature campaign to save religious places from the Master plan of the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation by collecting record 10,000 signatures of the citizens.
With the aim of working for economically backward people of Maharashtra and Muslim students, he founded ‘Azad Yuva Brigade’ along with his friends. Currently he is the vice president of the organisation and uses it as a platform to address various issues encountered by students in regards with scholarships and other schemes.
Waseem Siddiqui speaking in a conference for students on distance education
In 2013, he helped in founding ‘Aligarh Muslim University Aurangabad Action Committee’ with the intention to create awareness and fuel the movement for the establishment of Aligarh Muslim University Sub-Center in Aurangabad. He then ran a membership drive for this committee and registered members from different areas of the society and from many other social and political organisations.
“We started to submit memorandums and raised voice for the establishment of AMU Sub-Center in Aurangabad. To create awareness, I also wrote articles regarding this topic in the local newspapers, submitted RTIs to many government departments. I am still continuing my fight in this regard, but it lacks support for others,” Siddique said, expressing his concern.
In 2014, he organized Aadhar Card Camp and recorded 180 registrations in a single day and followed it up until delivery of the Aadhar Card to the respective card holders. This year he also organised ‘Aadhar – Election card linking’ camp serving more than 200 people.
Aadhar – Election Card linking camp at the office of Waseem Siddiqui
Bur for Siddique, the main focus area continues to be the problems faced by students. This year minority students faced a lot of problems due to new guidelines and procedures required to be followed in availing scholarships. Students required giving their bank account but bank branches were not opening free bank accounts.
Siddique raised this issue with city’s collector and also sent memorandum to the minority ministry and undertook a campaign to open free bank accounts for minority students in different banks as per the guidelines of RBI that forced banks to open 5000 bank accounts free of cost for minority students.
Simultaneously, he also campaigned to increase scholarship applications for availing benefits of post- & pre-matriculation scholarships for minorities and this resulted in an increase of 12,000 students from the state applying for the same. He has acquired good knowledge on the schemes meant for minority students and how to resolve problems faced by students in availing them.
Azad Yuva Brigade members meeting
It is no wonder, then, that Siddique’s work has earned him immense respect from members of the community. Abdul Hameed, 38, a contractor from the city, says, “I have seen him at midnight in hospitals helping patients, other times I have seen him with students at school and colleges discussing their problems. He is doing more than any person might do at his age.”
“He, along with his friends, keeps writing memorandums to authorities and highlight problems faced by people. Their work recently helped students in opening free bank accounts, else they would have been compelled to pay Rs1,100 each for opening one,” Hameed added.
When asked how he manages social activities along with his professional life, he said, “My job is something I do for myself, but I ought to do service of the community through whatever I posses. Being educated brings this responsibility to educate others, not only in terms of education but also in terms of awareness and better opportunities that are there for them.”
Waseem Siddiqui and members of Azad Yuva Brigade submitting a memorandum to the CEO of Wakf board of Maharashtra
‘It is hard to concentrate on these activities during week days but as I am involved into many activities I have to continuously take follow-ups and keep an eye on current affairs, so no sooner I get time out of my job I look into the notes for my social assignments”, he says with cheerful face.
His passion for social activities does not stop him from pursuing professional goal. He is a committed software developer and due to his excellent performance, was sent to Europe twice on deputation by his company. He is so tempted towards students’ welfare that he says, “When I was in Germany, I saw students’ demonstration. I joined them and on their request delivered a short speech”.
As of now his activities are restricted to Aurangabad city, but he wishes to work on bigger forums. He says no one has come forward to take over works that he is following and unless somebody takes responsibilities of these activities, he would be unable to move on to bigger roles.