New Delhi: American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin’s Silver Jubilee convention held at the Kedar Nath Sahani Auditorium in New Delhi on December 31- January 1st celebrated the organization’s accomplishments and marked a milestone in the it’s history. The convention was held in co-ordination with the Delhi Youth Welfare Association.
More than 120 Muslim students from across India were awarded with gold, silver, and bronze for attaining meritorious distinction in the board exams.
In addition, the prestigious Sir Syed Ahmed Khan Award conferred on leading Mumbai philanthropist Dr. Abdul Kader Fazlani Sopariwala.
The Mir Taqi Mir Award was given to Sanjiv Saraf, founder of the popular web portal www.rekhta.org, for his contributions in promoting the Urdu language. The website now features more than 22,000 titles of Urdu books.
Excellence Awards were given to former Chief Electoral Commissioner S.Y.Quraishi and the historic Anglo Arabic Senior Secondary School.
In a first for AFMI convention, all the medallists were interviewed by Dr. Fazlani’s philanthropic organization and scholarships worth Rs.4 crore were pledged.
Awards to top students were given at the hands of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. He praised the work of AFMI and that more such efforts need to be undertaken to uplift the society. He mentioned that education remains the top priority of the Delhi government with as much as 25% of the state government’s budget dedicated to it.
AFMI’s flagship awards program has been instrumental in spreading awareness about educational excellence and empowerment across the country. Dr.A.R. Nakadar, AFMI’s founding trustee, said that the fruits sown by AFMI at its inception are now bearing fruit. He said that due to such efforts there has been a remarkable improvement in the educational scenario of Indian Muslims.
Citing the latest census reports, he stated that there has been a 98.8% increase in the number of Muslim graduates between 2001 and 2011. During the same period the Indian Muslim literacy rate has increased from 59.1% to 68.5%. He said that the day is not too far when, through the collective efforts of all, AFMI’s dream of 100% literacy will be realized.
Dr. Nakadar urged the students to not to rest on the laurels but to use the award as a motivational tool to attain even grater heights of educational excellence. He also asked them to not to forget those who have been left behind and to spread the message of educational empowerment everywhere.
AFMI’s incoming president Dr. Khutb Uddin, a practicing psychiatrist from Indiana, in his remarks applauded the students for their hard work. He urged them to not to be distracted by negative thoughts and to focus on their education. He also pointed out that everyone from the individual to the government should be involved in raising the quality of education in the country and that it should be everyone’s top most priority.
The inaugural session of the convention was addressed by Justice Rajinder Sachar, Anil Swarup, Secretary Education & Literacy (Government of India), Naseem Ahmad, Chairman of National Commission for Minorities, and convention chairman Mohammad Naeem, president of Delhi Youth Welfare Association. The session was ably moderated by AFMI Trustee and leading scholar Dr. Aslam Abdullah.
The convention was also addressed by Prof. Akhtarul Wasey (Vice Chancellor of Maulana Azad University, Jodhpur); Siraj Hussain, IAS, former VC Jamia Hamdard, Dr. S.Y. Qureshi (former Chief Election Commissioner), Justice Fakhruddin, Ali Quraishi (New Mexico), Tayeb Poonawala (New York), Siraj Thakore (Canada), Farhad Rahmani, Ayub Khan, Prof. Janaki Rajan, Dr. Shabistan Gaffar, Mohsin Siddiqui, Suhel Tirmizi (Editor, Gujarat Today), Dr. Husain Nagamia (Florida), Shafi Lokhandwala (Detroit), Khalil Ahmad and others.
The convention also featured an AFMI Alumni session in which previous year’s medalists spoke on their experiences after winning the award. They also offered their guidance for the students in choosing their career pathways. Among those who addressed this session include Dr Nurul Islam (pediatric cardiologist), Mrs. Darakshan Khan (IT consultant), Dr. Suhail Qureshi (oncologist), Dr. Naseem Ahmed (Orthopaedic surgeon), Dr. Nabeel A.K., Ms. Samreen Siddiqui, Uzair Khan, among others.
In his closing remarks Dr. Nakadar thanked all the organizers and volunteers of Delhi Youth Welfare Association, under the leadership of Mohammad Naeem, for organizing a very memorable convention.
A seventeen member delegation of the American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin, led by Dr. A.R.Nakadar, met the Vice President Hamid Ansari on January 2, 2017 and appraised him of AFMI’s activities. The Vice President appreciated the efforts of AFMI and the concerns, and care of NRIs for improving the quality of education in India.