By Shafee Ahmed Ko, TwoCircles.net,
Chennai: While studying the role and activities of Muslim Women’s Aid Society (MWAS) in Tamil Nadu this correspondent came into contact with Mrs. Umai Banu, Honorary Secretary of Salem District’s MWAS. Mrs. Banu was a source of not only information but also inspiration.
Speaking to TCN on the sidelines of a recent Chennai function of Federation of Muslim Women’s Aid Society, she feels happy that she has formed MWAS by consecrated conscience of duty and a social obligation. This burqa clad Umai with her face unveiled is daring and a model for other Muslim women.
“We are backward, of course - our India has such pitiable things but that cannot be wiped off by simple talks with no efforts to alleviate poverty, distress and disease. I am educated and I utilize not only education but also sense of humour to tackle problems. If sun shines, it expels the misty clouds. Although there are some schemes from the governments, there is no awareness about them among the Muslim community especially among Muslim women,” says Umai.
She observes lack of education among Muslims. She feels that children of tender age are sent to menial works for petty earnings. “We are backward and the education is the torch light and that alone will dissipate the ignorance from our community; all such wretchedness, causes of such pain should be rooted out to the last vestige” said Umai.
A positively poised Umai felt that there are good people in the community, there are multiple schemes from the government, and only lack of guidance and failure to knock the exact doors are stumbling blocks that one has to overcome.
District collector J.Chandirakumar distributing the Sewing Machines
She is proud because she has established MWAS in Salem and she explains the services that Salem District MWAS is rendering one after the other. They are: 1. Vocational Training 2.Sewing textile garments 3.Women’s Beauty Parlour 4.Driving School 5. Silk Embroidering 6. Trading 7.Destitute widows pension 8.Financial Aid to disabled persons 9. Home for Muslim deserted women 10. Free medical Service.
Asked if she achieved the success alone and without any invincible efforts, she replied,” My friends Habeeba Nasreen, Sabiha Rafeeque Sultana Rasheed, Aman, Khader Husain, Basheer and Ansar Basha are untiring, firm, steadfast and uncompromising campanions. They are stalwart supporters of MWAS. Can you call a single tree a garden, Sir?”
When TCN asked her that a sum of Rs. one lakh and odd is stuck in official red tapes, how she could find source for accomplishment of social objectives. She replied, “We all stood with the purpose, goal and target with an indomitable will and we raised the funds, and this is a small achievements.”
Umai recounts her activities during the year 2008 and 2009:
1. Free Distribution of sewing machine for 37 women members through the District Collector on April 21, 2008.
2. Interest free loan Rs.25, 000 (Rs. Twenty Five Thousand) each for 40 members.
3. Presenting Merit Certificate for the successful members who underwent training in Embroidery, Sewing skills, Beautician Course, computer education, driving license all in aggregation of 300 backward Muslims women. The function was presided and certificates given by District Collector on 21 October 2008,
4. We helped 40 widows, few deserted senior citizens, and differently disabled persons. These are tapping the different schemes available from the government.
5. There are about 80 Muslims voluntary organizations; we availed loans to the tune of Rs.60, 000 each for 64 organizations; it works out total Rs.3.84 crores.
6. In the presence of the Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi on 20 August 2010, we distributed sewing machines to the 17 needy women.
7. A successful project Insha Allah will be launched soon to establish Minority Muslims’ Auto Society to avail Bank loans for 100 auto rickshaws in lowest interest possible.
Mrs. Umai and her friends deserve accolades and they have an apt claim in society for further accession of public support by way of institutional donations and individual charity. Her team has a wild call for all philanthropists.
The District Collector Thiru J.Chandirakumar is the authorised account holder of Salem MWAS’s bank account.
Office Bearers of Salem District MWAS:
J.Chandirakumar: District Collector President
V.Iyyappan : Officer Women’s Welfare Scheme Vice-President
M.Saroja : Director: District Backward and Minority’s Welfare
K.M.Umai Banu Honorary Secretary
Habeeba Nasreen Honorary Joint Secretary
S.Sabiha Rafeeque Honorary Asst.Secretary
M.Saleem Executive Member
S.Sultana Rasheed Executive Member
Naser Khan (a) Aman Honorary Member
(Muthavalli: MB.Pura Mosque) Honorary Member
Line Medu Mosque) Honorary Member
(Politician: IUML) Honorary Member
Bankers: Indian Bank
Fort, Salem 636 601
Account No: 8122 34 335
In Favour: SD”MWAS” SALEM.
Contact: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Persons: Mrs. Umai Banu: +91 99443 00296
Mrs.Sabiha Rafeeque; +91 90033 44475
Salem District “MWAS”
81 Periar Street, Mohammadpura
Salem 636 601 Tamil Nadu