15 August 2018: Chennai reported by Senior Journalist Mr. Parvez bari
IMDAD India, an ambitious Nationwide Network of Information & Service Centres connecting the deprived to the Government was launched here on India’s 72nd Independence Day. The IMDAD India was launched under the aegis of India 2047 Project of Empower India Foundation, (EIF).
Dr. J. Sadakathullah, the former Regional Director of Reserve Bank of India, Chennai graced the inaugural ceremony as chief guest while EIF chairman EM Abdul Rahiman presided over the function. Vice chairman Prof. Nishath Khalida Parveen and general secretary Anis Ahmed of EIF; executive secretary India-2047 Muhammad Raphey, OMA Salam, vice chairman of Popular Front of India; and other dignitaries were present on the auspicious occasion.
Dr. J. Sadakathullah appreciated the efforts of EIF and especially the initiative of launching of IMDAD India which is the need of the hour. He lauded EIF’s project document “India 2047: Empowering the People”. India-2047 is not just a Vision Document, but a Vision-to-Action Project. It has been planned nationally but action has to be taken locally which thereby will empower Muslims and other backward communities in near future, he added.
It may be recalled here that late Justice Rajindar Sachar, retired judge of High Court, Delhi, on the occasion of India’s 70th Independence Day had released the historic “India 2047:Empowering the People” Project Document of EIF in New Delhi. Speaking after releasing the about 250 pages document Justice Sachar had said that EIF has done such a stupendous job which the governments of the day could not do in the last 70 years of Independence. “India 2047” project is like taking up the cudgels to empower Muslims and other marginalized communities of India, he then said.
Ahmad Kutty, Head of Relations, India-2047, while making PPT presentation on IMDAD India said it is the Information and Service Centre Network which is a part of India-2047 initiative promoted by Empower India Foundation. IMDAD aims to provide assistance to get information and to avail services on various government schemes. It also provides support to empowerment initiatives related to education, health and economy. The services are of two types. One is providing information to the client and other is delivering services in the said categories. The centres shall be located centrally in the habitation for ease of access and regular connectivity.
Kutty informed about the objectives of IMDAD India which are:
- Provide information on all government schemes and welfare programs to deserving people;
- Ensure all eligible citizens have government issued identity documents;
- Ensure all eligible citizens have access to government benefits;
- Provide information on higher education institutions, admission and scholarships to the target group;
- Notifications on job openings in government and private sector, ensure that all eligible youth applies for it and assist them to process the documentation.
- Ensure every eligible student receives scholarship.
Within a period of 10 years, the project should be able to elevate the community to a status wherein, more than 90 per cent of the eligible members are using available welfare schemes and tapping empowerment opportunities delivered through various government departments. The results are expected to reflect in the improvement in educational enrolment, reduction in unemployment, increase in the utilisation of government welfare schemes and eradication of poverty, he claimed.
The Scope of IMDAD India will be:
- Assistance to get civic documents;
- Educational information and services;
- Employment information and assistance;
- Health services;
- Welfare schemes facilitation and
- Value added services
Kutty said social awareness is a consciousness within a society on social welfare, change and social justice. Making the people aware of their rights is a collective responsibility of the concerned citizens. Successive state and central governments design welfare programmes for the weaker sections and try to deliver it through different channels. However, these programmes are rarely delivered to the right hands. The awareness and utilisation of government schemes are minimal and the allocated fund mostly bounces back. Setting up a Centre to provide information and services on various government schemes to the poor will lead to long lasting impact and help the empowerment of the backward and marginalised sections.
EIF chairman EM Abdul Rahiman in his presidential speech said that presently India is at crossroads as Constitutional rights are being challenged wherein equal civil rights are being denied to minorities especially to Muslims. The rise of Right wing communal politics and their control of government institutions including soft Hindutva of secular parties and their governments are also targeting Muslims.
He pointed out that public perceptions built against Muslims with the help of biased media which brands Muslim movement as terror promoters, citizenship being denied in Assam following NRC row while Citizenship Act is being amended etc. With such a scenario prevailing in the country the need for empowerment of Muslims becomes a necessity as it is part of nation building. Muslims have to swim against the adverse tide to be hopeful of a better bright future, he added.
He said that Empower India Foundation, (EIF), is a voluntary platform which focuses on providing conceptual, intellectual and motivational support for empowering weaker sections of the Indian society. EIF has started working on the idea of formulating a vision and mission at the beginning of the year 2014, tto take the backward minority community of Muslims towards the dawn of the second century of our Independence – 2047.
He said there no doubt India is developing and the wealth of this nation is growing. However, growth and development at the cost of social justice is a real challenge. The gap between the privileged and marginalised sections is also growing. Along with Tribals and Dalits, the Muslims are the victims of this unethical and unbalanced growth. He said: “Our dream is of a strong India. Strength of the people is the real strength of the nation. Our vision is of an all inclusive just India as the nation will remain handicapped till all sections are equally empowered. The Project Document “India 2047: Empowering the People” is a community centred project, but not a communal project and is also a national project, he stressed.
Abdul Rahiman pointed out that alliance building with other classes and communities is a pre-requisite for the empowerment of a particular community in a plural society like India. Responsibility lies at the top and bottom levels. At the top are the duties of the governments of the day while at the bottom are the duties of concerned communities. This task cannot be accomplished by any single group, institution and organization. “Let us act as Agents of Change – volunteering, networking, micro-planning, execution, grass-root level system building etc.”, he exhorted.
Muhammad Raphy, executive secretary India-2047, through a PPT presentation briefed the assemblage about the progress of Pilot Projects undertaken by EIF under its India-2047 Project.
Raphy informed that 11 Focus Areas were identified and separate teams were constituted to collect data, conduct research and suggest possible initiatives to be undertaken. These 11 Focus Areas included:
- Children & Youth;
- Civil Rights;
- Broad based Alliance;
- Social Reformation &
- Culture & Heritage.
Three Support Areas viz.
- Human Resource Department,
- Finance & Marketing and
were also identified for the successful implementation of the project. About three years of arduous task culminated in the final draft of the Project report which was completed in June 2016. This Project Document was released on the occasion of India’s 70th Independence Day i.e. on 15th August 2016 in New Delhi, he added.
While presenting the Project activities report, he recalled that as the first step of the initiative a concept paper was prepared and presented in November 2013. Later on brainstorming sessions were held during January-August 2014 on plans to empower the Muslim community in all spheres of life by 2047 – the dawn of the second century of India’s Independence. Six national seminars, more than 50 cities get-together programmes across 15 states of India, consultation with eminent experts in social development etc. followed.
Meanwhile, the second edition of the India-2047 Project Document of Empower India Foundation was released by Ms Qurrath, Chairperson Seethakathi Trust on the occasion. She handed over the document to Journalist Pervez Bari of Bhopal.
O. M. A. Salam, National chairman of Popular Front of India, Journalist Pervez Bari, M. Mohammed Ismail, TN president of PFI; K.K.S.M. Dehlan Baaqavi, National vice president of Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI); Afzal Chandrankandi, secretary Rehab India Foundation; Dr. C. K. Abdullah, NRI representative; amongst others also spoke on the occasion.
At the outset Anis Ahmad, general secretary of EIF, welcomed the guests. While Nainar Sultan, TN state executive member of PFI proposed a vote of thanks. A large number of representatives from various fields participated in the function.