Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

December 2005
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Metro Mail

Karnataka Wakf Board's IT Ventures
By A Staff Writer

The Wakf Board is negotiating with several US based firms to get contracts for digitizing the libraries.

The Karnataka Board of Awqafs proposes to enter the Information Technology field to generate employment for the Muslim youth. This was indicated by the re-elected Chairman of the Board, Mr. Khalid Ahmed in a chat with Islamic Voice. Mr. Khalid said the Board is negotiating with several US based firms to get contracts for electronifying and digitizing the libraries, a simple transformation of books into computerised form, to begin with. He said he would consult with the newly constituted Board members before entering into such ventures.

He said Karnataka had 400 to 500 Wakf institutions which earn a revenue of Rs. one lakh and above per annum and can set up the Information Technology units. He said the objective was to enhance revenue of these institutions and employ the youth. Mr. Khalid Ahmed returned to the Wakf Board after getting elected by the 11-member Board in September 2005.

Ahmed said the Karnataka Board of Awqafs has been declared the number one in turning the Wakf properties into income-generating ventures by availing of the loans by the Central Wakf Council. (CWC). Nearly 60 per cent of the CWC loans had been secured by the State which has 75 ongoing projects employing Rs. 18 crore currently. He said the Board is currently helping construction of nearly 20 shadi mahals (marriage halls) in the state which has also secured assistance from Member of Parliament Local Area Development Funds (MPLAD) scheme. Even the Karnataka Government had extended an assistance of Rs. 5 lakh to each of such project.

Karnataka had 400 to 500 Wakf institutions which earn a revenue of Rs. one lakh and above per annum and can set up the Information Technology units. He said the objective was to enhance revenue of these institutions and employ the youth.

Ahmed informed that the Board has further identified 150 properties which could be developed into commercial complexes. He said during his past tenure i.e., 1999 to 2004, the Wakf Board revenue went up from Rs. 35 lakh to Rs. 95 lakh through seven per cent mandatory contribution by the individual Wakf institutions. He said, currently 300 institutions were contributing this percentage out of their revenue to the Board as per the law. He identified Muslim Orphanage, Dickenson Road and Hameedsha Complex in Nagrathpet, both in Bangalore as the top contributors to the Board. Madar Shah Complex and Anjuman Islam in Hubli and Belgaum were also contributing sizably to the Board.

Ahmed said the Board plans to put up hostels for working women and girl students in Bangalore and other towns. He indicated that the Board offices would move from the Darul Awqaf complex on Cunningham Road which is likely to be rented out to commercial firms. He said the entire revenue from the Darul Awqaf was being doled out to students under the Iqra Scholarship Scheme. Ahmed said the Board had identified 217 Wakf properties in the state which were under illegal encroachment and action would be initiated to get them vacated.

Hameedsha Complex Convention Centre.

Mr. Ahmed said the Hameedsha institution in Bangalore has already completed a Convention Centre with a 275-seat capacity which will be inaugurated soon. The complex will also take up development of a residential apartments with 50 flats. The Industrial Training Institute run by Hameedsha institution has added another four trades and nearly 100 students were enrolled under six trades, he added.

(Karnataka Wakf Board, Darul Awqaf No. 6, Cunningham Road, Bangalore - 52 Ph: 22264594)

Working Towards Progress
By K.Malikul Azeez

A two-day All-India Conference on Wakfs in Chennai focused on some path-breaking reforms to uplift the Muslim community.

It was first in the history of Wakfs in India and it is Tamilnadu which has taken the lead. A two-day all-India conference on Wakfs was held on 15th and 16th November 2005, to discuss various issues pertaining to Wakfs in the country. Around 22 delegates from across the country representing the Wakf Boards of different states and the Central Wakf Council converged on a common platform.

They discussed various issues like improving the economic conditions of the Muslim community, providing education to the underprivileged, taking care of health problems and establishing Baitul Mals, giving aid to the marriages of the poor Muslim girls, imparting technical education like computer training, tailoring, candle-making etc. The main thrust, however, was on the removal of encroachments and developing the Wakf properties in order to gain more revenue both for the Wakfs as well as the Wakf Boards.

The high-profile conference was inaugurated by J. Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, who had taken keen interest in organising this conference. She not only stressed on removing the encroachments, but also on the need to empower Muslim women both in education and economic fields. She said,” My vision is to build a modern Tamilnadu as a progressive, egalitarian society, providing space for all, irrespective of caste and creed. A sense of feeling of security should be reinforced among the minorities and Tamilnadu should stand out as a symbol of religious, cultural and linguistic harmony”. She called upon all State Wakf Boards to focus on expansion of literacy to the Muslim women. In the first ever commitment by any Chief Minister, she declared that her government would provide all necessary assistance to protect Wakf properties in Tamilnadu and would render all support to retrieve the encroached lands of Wakfs, so that the original charitable purposes of the Wakfs is fully realised.

Highlighting the welfare measures, Jayalalithaa said that Rs. 2.10 crores were sanctioned for renovating mosques, constructing compound walls and fencing around burial grounds. Added to this, Rs.1.20 crores have been sanctioned for building a new office for the State Wakf Board. The Board’s revenue target has been fixed at Rs. 1.60 crores. Among other welfare measures, she said that Rs. 6 lakhs were paid to the needy divorced Muslim women.

Under entrepreneurial development, 1000 Muslim youth would be given a loan upto Rs. 25,000 for self-employment ventures. A total of 121 Muslim youth were given loans to the tune of Rs.1.01 crores for purchasing auto-rickshaws. Mrs .Bader Sayeed, Chairperson of the Tamilnadu Wakf Board and the chief organiser of the conference in her speech, highlighted the achievements of the Board in the last four years.

(Wakf Board - Tamilnadu No. 7/4, 9th Cross Street, Indira Nagar, Adyar, Chennai - 20. Ph: 24423786)