Books

A Guide for community empowerment

Original_mg253-a-guide
Book: A Guide To Uplift Minorities
revised 2nd edition- June 2010    
Compiled by Abdur Rasheed Agwan; edited by M. Gauhar Iqbal
Published by: Social Service Wing, Jamaat-e Islami Hind
D-317, Dawat Nagar, Abul Fazl Enc, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi-25
Price: Rs 150
Pages: 319

Mahtab Alam


The empowerment of Muslim community in India has become a major issue of debate ever since the famous Sachar Committee submitted its report, within both the circles: Government as well as Community.

The main reasons of backwardness of Muslim community in India are two fold: first and foremost is the government’s apathy towards the empowerment of the community and second, the lack of proper community initiatives.

Much can be said about the government’s apathy towards the uplift of the Muslim community. However, it would not be unfair to say that the community itself has failed to tap the government and non-government resources available for its development. The reason can be attributed to lack of information about the schemes, organisational setup and trained human resource, etc.    

In its fully revised edition, the present book A Guide to Uplift Minorities is a modest effort to fill this information gap. As the very name suggests, it is a guide aimed at providing information to the change-makers and other development professionals to enhance their skills and to work in a more focused, structured and systematic manner.

The book is divided into three major sections: establishing an NGO, its management and its funding. It starts with a gist of socio-economic and educational status of Muslims in India as an introduction.

Following the introduction are chapters with detailed information about how to establish or register an NGO, how to run it and how monetary aids can be obtained for it. Besides, it contains information about NGO formation, minorities’ schemes, general schemes and the schemes which are offered by international agencies. One of the chapters of this book has the details about a range of schemes of the government for minorities and some other general schemes which minorities can avail. A list of national and international funding agencies and the priorities they have while sanctioning funds is also included, which makes it a complete guide in itself.

As the chapters of this book comprehensively cover various aspects required for the upliftment of minorities from formation of an NGO, management of an NGO, capacity building of its staff members, general norms of government schemes to exclusive schemes for minorities, it fulfils one of its prime ideas of making the populace aware of the targeted beneficiaries of the various government schemes and grants. Information about general international as well as foreign Muslim funding agencies like Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and Muslim Aid, etc along with the procedure of obtaining grant or aid has also been explained in detail.

This book can be used not only as a guide but also as a reference material and is a must for libraries, social activists and community leaders as well as for heads of Muslim institutions. Grassroots activists can hardly afford to ignore it, especially those who are working for the empowerment of minorities in general and Muslims in particular. In a nutshell, it is an essential guide for empowerment of the community.

The reviewer is a civil rights’ activist and freelance Journalist. He may be reached at mdmahtabalam@gmail.com

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 August 2010 on page no. 27

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