By TCN News,
Hyderabad: Madrassa students wearing hard hat along with traditional ‘topi’ (skull cap) handling heavy machinery, it is not an ordinary scene, but when it comes to the new age charitable projects of SEED nothing is traditional and nothing is ordinary.
This new project of Support for Educational and Economic Development (SEED), a US based aid group, aims to knock down many vices and stereotypes of Indian Muslims in one blow.
In partnership with Hyderabad based Ashraful Madaris Educational Society, SEED has launched its ambitious vocational training institute ‘National Institute of Technical Training’ aiming to provide vocational training leading to employment opportunities for unemployed and undereducated poor youth.
“The whole idea behind this technical institute is to help unemployed and undereducated Muslim youth to get decent jobs so they can live a life of dignity,” said Syed Mazheruddin Hussaini, Executive Director of SEED.
This institute is strategically located at Pahadishareef road near Shaheen Nagar, one of the fastest growing stretches but at the same time consist of most distressed Muslim localities in Hyderabad. Here at roadside it is a common site of children and teenagers alike indulging in menial jobs.
The institute was inaugurated on March 6, 2016 by M. J. Akbar, Director Minority Welfare Department of Telengana State. Dirasath Qureshi, Vice President of SEED (USA) and a resident of Chicago (USA) also attended the ceremony.
At the inauguration ceremony of the institute Hussaini said, “It is better to do hard work than begging. Hard work opens new avenues.” He also shared his strong belief that, “Indian Muslim community should stand on its own feet, community has enough resources for self support and the only challenge is to channelize those untapped resources.”
Dr. M.M. Anwar, President of Ashraf ul Madaris Educational Society said poor and unemployed young Muslims are easily getting lured towards anti-social activities. He pleaded, “Community as a whole need to ponder over and address this issue, and NITT here is a minute but effective step towards addressing this socio-economic problem.”
Hussaini said that the plan is to target school dropouts and Madrassa students to provide them with technical skills so they can get decent jobs in the market. ” NITT will try to provide moral education also in order to make them responsible and good human beings”.
According to Hussaini establishing technical institute was a storming task but the main challenge will be to reach out to the deserving. He said, “Enrollment of students from Muslim dominated poor localities is a huge challenge as most of the school dropout teenagers are involved in unorganized labor, in order to support their families. For those teenagers at present the earnings will be sufficient for survival but they don’t realize in future as their needs will increase they will still be stuck with low-pay jobs, then the vicious cycle of backwardness, crime and persecution continues.”
So to attract the students for enrollment SEED has come up with a wise plan to provide stipend in the form of travel and stationary allowance of Rs. 200 per week (Rupees 800 per month) for the duration of whole course period. The plan seems to have worked out well as in the first week itself NITT witnessed 56 enrollments of teenagers from socio-economically deprived background.
Like 16 year old Abdul Hadi, a madrassa drop out who has now enrolled in automobile mechanics course at NITT. As most of the teenagers of his locality in Shaheen nagar he wasn’t lucky enough to have a formal education, he is under pressure to earn some money to support his family. Hadi said he joined NITT with a hope that technical education will prepare him and will give him an edge to compete for jobs in the organized sector.
Before NITT was established under-educated youngsters like Hadi were facing enormous troubles for getting vocational training, as all the vocational technical institutes in the state has a rider of a compulsory matriculation certificate in order to get an admission.
Now what keeps NITT different from the rest of the Vocational Training Institutes is, apart from offering hassle free admission and incentive allowance, the mandatory matriculation certificate is removed from admission process there by encouraging many young school dropouts to enroll.
But at the same time to fill the void of formal education, NITT will also offer free tuition to students to encourage them to appear for matriculation examination.
Currently NITT is offering three vocational courses – Electrician (Appliance repair) & Refrigerator and Air conditioning with academic period of 6 months. The third main course of the NITT is Automobile Mechanics with tenure of one academic year. At the end of the course passing out trainees will be given Certificate approved by Government.
NITT also has a media room to make the students apt with modern day technological progress. Media room is having a 46 inch screen connected to internet which will provide visual classes on current trends in technology market especially in Automobile industry.
And when the first batch of students from NITT will be ready to compete in the technical market, they won’t need to worry about the capital and logistics support. According to SEED, it is planning to cap the role of venture capitalist to support passing out students in their business plans, “This way we will promote entrepreneurship and help transform NITT from just a technical institute to technology incubator,” Hussaini said.
SEED is hopeful that NITT will create a benchmark in galvanizing community resources to create solutions for the tribulations of Indian Muslim community.