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Ziauddin Khan School: dreams turning into reality
By Zafarul-Islam Khan

Miracles don’t happen these days. And if they do you had to be in Badharia, a small sleepy village in the eastern UP district of Azamgarh to watch it happen on 13 January. A multitude far outnumbering the village population was there for the occasion, the second annual function of the Ziauddin Khan Memorial School. They came not only from the adjacent villages but even from the city of Azamgarh, Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai and Aligarh. Some people of the area, settled abroad had travelled specially to be there on this historic day. 

Confident toddlers presented a plethora of performances ranging from mushairas to karate and health education programmes. All these were being conducted in chaste Urdu and fairly good English. This was happening in an area where even Urdu is not spoken. Ordinary people here speak Dehati which is a primitive dialect of Hindi. 

The programme announcer, a child called Umar of standard III, conducted the programme which ran for around four hours with total confidence and fearlessness.

This satisfying performance was matched by the school’s construction activity. Within 15 months the school has now 24 world-class classrooms which can match the best in any Delhi school. Teaching staff is mainly from south India and the principal is from Kerala. Chennai’s Dr Abdus Sattar has been painstakingly overseeing the academic side of the school while administration and construction is most ably taken care of by Dr Safi Ahmad Ansari of Azamgarh’s Shibli National College, who is volunteering with all his free time. The man behind this dream is an NRI, Shakil Ahmad Khan, whose roots belong to this village. It was his idea of inducing the members of his extended family to donate their lands for a grand educational institution which in due course of time will develop into an university, which according to Khan, will be as good as any western university.

1st row: part of school buildings ; Umar the function’s confident announcer;
2nd: part of the audience and a children’s programme showing a ‘doctor’;
3rd: Part of the audience and children’s programme demonstrating karate;
4th: Various children’s shows; middle pictures shows prizes distributed by Husain Ahmad Khan;
5th from left: Mr Abul Kalam, Principal Corouvella, Dr Safi Ahmad Ansari who is the moving force behind the school and the school founder Mr Shakil Ahmad Khan.


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