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Published in the 1-15 December 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Survey of some Muslim mohallas in Faizabad

Faizabad: Darsgah-e-Islami society conducted a sample survey of a few Muslim Mohallahs in Ayodhya and Faizabad. The survey revealed that more than 50% of Muslims are illiterate and out of these 90% are women. More than half the Muslim population lives below the poverty line. Most of them live in small jhuggies similar to those seen in slum areas of metropolitan cities. Majority of Muslims in Faizabad and Ayodhya are either small shop-owners or labourers or are engaged in petty jobs as shoe-making, thela (hand-driven cart) pulling, rickshaw pullings, vendoring etc. 

For them education is a luxury. They cannot afford sending their wards to school. They send them to school till the age of 9-10. After that they are withdrawn from schools and engaged in family business so that they are not a burden on the parents but an earning and supportive member of the family. Dropout among the Muslims is maximum. They don’t realise or recognize the importance of education because they are themselves illiterate. As a result, they spoil not only the future of their own children but also the future of an entire community. Their position remains unchanged generation after generation. And to the sheer disappointment of the well-wishers of the Muslim Ummah, they are content with their present condition, retired to their fate. Poverty is the main cause of their lackadaisical approach towards education. Illiteracy and poverty rule the roost. 
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