Community News

MEF helps needy students to realise their educational dreams

New Delhi: Muslim Education Foundation (MEF) is a trust set up by Jamia Millia Islamia’s retired Deputy Registrar Zaffar Nawaz Hashmi in 2010 in Jamia Nagar Okhla’s Abul Fazal Enclave locality with the aim of providing ‘education to all’. Its mission is to collect funds through voluntary organisations, government agencies, philanthropists and the like to help students and youth who are unable to afford the cost of education. Two cases of such students are described here as an example. One Muhammad Zahid (18) of Mewat, after passing entrance examination in Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) found it difficult to pursue further education because his father had died only 3 weeks after he passed the entrance examination in 2012 which not only created the problem of survival of the family but also shattered his dream of acquiring further education. He sent an application to the then Vice Chancellor of Jamia, Najeeb Jung for waiver of his fees. Jung’s office sent his application to MEF (most of whose donors are Jamia’s ex-students, professors etc.) which, considering his financial constraints (his father was a Muazzin in a village mosque, earning Rs. 3000 a month) adopted him and took care of his education. He aspired to become a Chartered Accountant. The second example is that of (Ms) Payal Chakraborty from W. Bengal pursuing her masters in Fine Arts from JMI. She was in a dilemma after her father deserted the family. She applied to MEF which immediately accepted her application. She said that as long as her father’s support was there, she had no problems but after he deserted the family, trouble began for her and the family. She conceded that because of financial assistance by MEF she was able to realise her goal. She is now self-sufficient. The above two examples are not the only cases of MEF’s help to aspiring students / candidates. According to Zaffar Nawaz Hashmi, who is the founder-member of MEF, so far the Trust (MEF) has helped more than 350 students from different institutions. He says that the name of the foundation (with the prefix ‘Muslim’) creates confusion among many people (that it is for Muslims only) but it is open to all. Our aim is to help those who cannot afford to get education, irrespective of their religion. In fact, he says, one of the donors who pays or contributes more than a lakh rupees a year is a non-Muslim.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 July 2016 on page no. 15

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