Category Archives: Community Involvement / Social Issues

Prince of Arcot elected prez of MEASI

Chennai, TAMIL NADU :


The Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, has been elected unopposed as president of Muslim Educational Association of Southern India (MEASI), the parent body of New College (autonomous), Royapettah.

The Prince, who was elected during the 115th annual general body meeting of MEASI, will serve as president for three years.

Abdul Ali succeeded U M Khalilullah, a senior chartered accountant who served MEASI as its honorary secretary and president for two terms.

Apart from New College, MEASI also administers MEASI Academy of Architecture, Institute of Management, Institute of Information Technology and College of Education and Chartered Accountant Academy among others. MEASI, a pioneer educational Institution in Tamil Nadu, has a strength of 6,000 members on its roll.

T Rafeeq Ahmed, an educationist and a businessman, and Elias Sait, a chartered accountant, were elected honorary secretary and treasurer respectively, along with other office-bearers and executive committee members. tnn

source: / The Times of India / News / TNN / September 20th, 2017

A man who represented Kalaburgi six times in State assembly

Kalaburagi, KARNATAKA :

A file photo of Quamar Ul Islam with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement
A file photo of Quamar Ul Islam with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Quamar Ul Islam, senior Muslim Congress leader from Hyderabad-Karnataka, passed away in Bengaluru on Monday

Quamar Ul Islam, a young engineer, started his political career in the 1970s as a leader of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Kalaburagi. He won the assembly polls, defeating veteran Congress leader Mohammad Ali in 1978. He continued in IUML and won again in 1989. Later, he joined the Congress and won in 1994.

In 1996, he resigned and join the Janata Dal for a short time to enter the Lok Sabha on a Janata Dal ticket. He quit his Parliament membership to contest the assembly polls again and became a minister for housing in S.M. Krishna’s cabinet.

Considered the senior-most Muslim leader from Hyderabad-Karnataka, he represented Kalaburgi six times in the State assembly. He is the only Muslim leader after Aziz Sait from Karnataka to be continuously elected.

He held the municipal administration and Waqf portfolio for three years in the Siddharamaiah cabinet, and was the first chairman of the Hyderabad-Karnataka Regional Development Board, and has served as chairman of Karnataka Housing Board, Karnataka Minority Commission and Karnataka Slum Board in the past.

He had long lasting relationships with senior leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, N. Dharam Singh and Mallikarjun Kharge.

He founded the Al-Quamar Educational and Charitable Trust, that runs the KCT engineering college, pharmacy and diploma colleges in Kalaburg.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> State> Karnataka / by Special Correspondent / Belagavi – September 18th, 2017

Qamarul Islam, prominent Muslim leader from Hyderabad-Karnataka region, passes away

Kalaburagi, KARNATAKA :

Qamarul Islam was a former Congress minister and prominent Muslim leader from the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. | Photo Credit: File Photo
Qamarul Islam was a former Congress minister and prominent Muslim leader from the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. | Photo Credit: File Photo

Qamarul Islam, former Congress minister and prominent Muslim leader from the Hyderabad-Karnataka region, passed away following a brief illness in the city on Monday. He was 69.

Qamarul Islam was admitted to hospital 11 days ago for cellulitis of the leg and poor cardiac function. Dr. Shivaprasad, Senior Consultant and In-charge of Medical ICU, Department of Critical Care at Narayana Health told The Hindu that he had hypertension, diabetes and was also under treatment for Myasthenia Gravis, a neuromuscular disorder. He died of cardiogenic shock and multi organ failure in the hospital at noon on Monday, the doctor said.

Qamarul Islam had a long political career. He represented Kalaburagi (North) constituency and was Walf Minister in Siddaramaih cabinet. But, he was dropped from the cabinet in last year’s reshuffle.

As a mark of respect to the departed leader, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has cancelled all its scheduled programmes on Monday. A half-day holiday has been declared for all government offices, schools and colleges in Kalaburagi district.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, KPCC president G. Parameshwara, working president Dinesh Gundu Rao, Water Resource Minister M.B. Patil, BJP State president B.S. Yeddyurappa and several other top politicians have condoled the death.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Special Correspondent / Bengaluru – September 18th, 2017

It’s official, LDF to field Basheer in Vengara



IUML’s K.P.A. Majeed not to contest

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has decided to field P.P. Basheer as the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate for the Vengara Assembly byelections. However, the selection process in the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), which is to contest for the United Democratic Front (UDF), was not as calm as in the CPI(M), with its State general secretary K.P.A. Majeed deciding to keep off the electoral fray.

The CPI(M)’s decision was announced by party State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan here. The CPI(M) leadership chose to stick to a party man contrary to expectations that it might experiment with an independent candidate as it had done in Tanur in the 2016 election.

Mr. Basheer had lost to IUML strongman P.K. Kunhalikutty by over 35,000 votes in Vengara in the 2016 polls. The decision to field Mr. Basheer once again was taken after the Malappuram district committee and Secretariat approved his candidature. Mr. Basheer expressed confidence in securing the seat for the LDF.

Mr. Majeed announced his decision to keep off the electoral fray in an interview to a private television channel. He said he had informed IUML president Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal about his decision not to contest.

The decision appears to have been prompted by strong opposition from the younger elements in the party and the Youth League. But Mr. Majeed maintained that he had take the decision since the party was in the midst of its organisational election process.

With Mr. Majeed deciding to pull out of the fray, the IUML leadership will announce its candidate on Monday itself, instead of the earlier deadline of September 20. It is obvious that had Mr. Majeed decided otherwise, the party leadership would have had a tough time in deciding to exclude an old warhorse.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Kerala / by Special Correspondent / Thiruvananthapuram  – September 17th, 2017

This Woman Was a Pavement Dweller, Today She Runs a Sanitary Pad Manufacturing Unit!


With low levels of formal employment in slum communities, Myna employs women and trains them to be entrepreneurs who run franchisee businesses for women’s products.

In 2008 when the jhopadpattis on the pavements of Sewri were demolished, Parveen Sheikh sat by the footpath with her friend Kanta Nada mourning her lost home.
Out of 680 homes, according the 1995 election rules, only 280 homes were rehabilitated — Parveen’s home was not on the list. The BMC assured the angered pavement dwellers to not lose hope, it was just the first phase of rehabilitation.

A 12-year-old boy ran to Parveen and said, “Aunty, they have come with weapons to kill you, run away.”


Running at a distance towards her was a crowd of people with every weapon she had possibly seen— knives, bamboos, sticks alike, bloodthirsty for a certain Mahila Milan leader responsible for their lost homes. Zia bhai, one of Parveen’s neighbour rushed with his wife’s burqa, she donned it and hid in the blue water drum in a neighbour’s movers and packers truck.

She remembers staying in hiding with her family for a month in a room in Mankhurd. A few days later, the same phone calls made their way back again. This time apologizing for their misunderstanding. Parveen Sheikh had had enough, she would give up social work. But she realised, it was perhaps their homelessness that led to their reckless actions. She crusaded for their rehabilitation again. Within a week after that, 122 more homes were passed and people thanked the same Mahila Milan leader again.

Who is Parveen Sheikh?


Parveen Sheikh, 48, member of Mahila Milan and NSDF (National Slum Dwellers Federation) for the past 20 years, was born on the footpath and lived most of her life on it. To be homeless plus a woman was nothing short of daunting. Everything she ate was measured to avoid the embarrassment of open defecating on the Sewri railway tracks.

“Sitting near the tracks was frightening because trains would pass regularly. And going in the night was unsafe for the fear of physical or sexual assault,” she recalls.

“So, when I opened the door to my new home in Govandi, I did not look left or right. The first thing I saw was the toilet. And the realisation that I owned this toilet and I could use it as many times as I wanted was empowering. My food intake no longer needed measurement,” she smiles.

”  Recalling the days she spent as a pavement dweller in Sewri, she says, “When we went to banks earlier, they would ask for residential proof and a guarantor who had an account in that bank. We did not have a roof over our head, where would we get residential proof from? In 2007, I connected to Mahila Milan, a saving unit where savings started from smaller amounts like Rs 5 and we did not need a guarantor. That one decision changed my life beyond words.  ”

Started in 1986, Mahila Milan is a decentralised network of poor women’s collectives that manage credit and savings activities in their communities. It currently operates as a savings co-operative for women slum dwellers across Mumbai. From micro door-to- door savings of less than Rs 5 per day in the 90s to the current day scenario, Mahila Milan today has become a self-sufficient unit of saving women.

Myna Mahila Foundation


Today, Parveen heads the Mahila Milan Sanghatan at Govandi, and also runs a local sanitary pad manufacturing unit under the Myna Mahila Foundation that works in association with Mahila Milan. With low levels of formal employment in slum communities, especially among young women, Myna employs women and trains them to be entrepreneurs who can run franchisee businesses for women’s products.

They make sanitary products, such as sanitary and maternity pads to improve women’s health, at subsidized costs.

Women sell the pads door-to-door, in public toilets, balwadis, clinics and local NGOs, to other women who are bound by the societal taboo of leaving their homes to purchase sanitary pads. The company was established in June 2015 by Suhani Jalota and is run by Parveen with two other highly experienced women from the slums of Mumbai, Meena Ramani and Malati Ambre.

“  We started with a mere group of five women, today we have 20 women working with Myna. The road was rocky at the start, it almost took a month to train women to master the entire process of making a pad. We ourselves used to be shy about the kind of product we were making and promoting. Suhani spoke to us about how this was a natural process that we shouldn’t be ashamed of discussing. We felt empowered understanding the importance of menstruation to a woman’s fertility. Today when we have meetings, and there are men, we speak to them about it and encourage them to take sanitary products home,” says Malati Ambre  .”

Myna runs a factory in a slum redeveloped colony in Shivaji Nagar to provide employment to local women to make low-cost, high quality sanitary products that can be used locally.


“Our central aim was to create awareness about menstrual hygiene and encourage women to discard their old practices of using cloth and use sanitary pads instead. We never wanted to make a luxury product or collaborate with a brand name. The idea was clear, we wanted a simple and basic product –– made by women, for women and sold by women. We conducted extensive surveys and arrived at the result that 90% women in our slums used cloth. We spoke to experts and in turn showed women videos and conducted workshops to create awareness about the hazards of unhygienic menstrual practices,” shares Meena Ramani.

“ People were not ready to turn away from practices they had followed for generations. It took more than a year for our women to create that kind of awareness. When women went from door-to-door selling, people would turn their backs and mock them saying, “Aren’t you ashamed. Why are you selling this?” says Parveen.  “

Today 80% women are using pads. Donning goggles and patiyala suits, these women have trained their younger generations to ride the pink Myna auto rickshaw that is used for transportation too. They call it their ‘Myna sawaari.’

While Myna Pads are manufactured, and sold door to door to women, Myna Maternity pads are sold to local clinics and hospitals. “From the day we started till date, the cost of one packet of Myna, which consists of 8 pieces, is Rs. 25. While leading branded pads weigh 6-7 grams per piece, our pad weighs 11 grams,” she adds.

While Bombay Hospital is one of their most loyal customers with a prescription of 500 maternity pad packets per month, KEM orders 350.

On an average, Myna Pads sell 9,000 to 10,000 packets per month.


With newer demands and increase in usage of sanitary pads and feedback from users, Myna has also started manufacturing sanitary pads with wings. While the packet is priced at Rs. 40, they sell 3 packets on a subsidized rate of Rs.100 in slums. The women engage the users in a complete demo of 3 to 4 minutes where instructions from opening the pad, to using and disposing of it are covered. The packets bear their contact numbers for home deliveries.

For families with five to six women and girl children, packets are loaned that can be repaid once financially viable.

Connect to Myna Mahila foundation here. Write to them at
The low cost sanitary pads can be ordered on the following numbers:
+91 98-70-504589 / +91 98-70-661620

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source: / The Better India / Home> Lede> Mumbai> Sanitation / by Jovita Aranha / July 2017

This Indian Muslim will fast to protect cows

Kudbay Village (Nakhtrana Taluka), Kutch , GUJARAT :

Jabbar Jat
Jabbar Jat

 Jabbar is a cattle-breeder and owns 16 cows and nine buffaloes. And he loves them.

In the last three years since the BJP government came to power, according to one estimate, 90 lynching incidents have taken place because of alleged beef dealing and cow slaughter. Quite often there has been severe beatings for even transporting cattle. The cause of the cow is seen as dividing communities, especially Hindus and Muslims.

And Jabbar Jat, 27, a Muslim from Kudbay village of Nakhtrana taluka in Kutch, in a great reversal of roles, is at the forefront of a movement to protect cows, reports the Times of India.

Jabbar is a cattle-breeder and owns 16 cows and nine buffaloes. And he loves them. So much so, last week he wrote a letter to the district collector, suggesting each district in Kutch should allocate grazing land for cattle.

To reinforce his demands Jabbar would be going on a fast for 48 hours, beginning July 20 at the Kutch district collectorate.

Jabbar says it is not enough that the government make noises about cattle protection. To become proactive in this matter, he suggests that the administration could begin allotting two buffaloes to each farmer. He also says the state government should bear 50 per cent cost of each gaushala (cow shelter) and it must buy back fertiliser made of cow urine and cow dung from the farmers. These measures, he believes, would be far more effective than just saying cow is sacred.

“In the last two to three years, cow has become a tool to spread hatred, which is hitting the business. Besides, no gau rakshak (cow vigilante) himself rears a cow and merely indulges in hooliganism in the name of cow protection. So, I decided to take up the cause. I would like to tell gau rakshaks that let us sit together for the cause of the cow because killing in the name of cow will lead us to a barbaric society, which will never serve the true purpose,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

The local cow protectors, though a little flummoxed, are in support of Jabbar’s views. Jabbar has invited people from all communities to join him for the fast.

In response, Vallabh Kathiria, chairman of Gujarat State Cow Welfare Board said: “The state government will make efforts to increase economic viability of cows so that people will not let their bovines loose in the city. Once they start earning more from cow dung and cow urine, they will keep their cows at home instead of letting them stray on the roads.”

source: / Khaleej Times / Home> International> India / by C.P. Surendran, New Delhi / July 17th, 2017

Mangaluru : While on this bus , learn how to file IT returns

Mangaluru, KARNATAKA :

Ibrahim Thabreez, 23, has equipped his bus with WiFi and offers free tax consultation
Ibrahim Thabreez, 23, has equipped his bus with WiFi and offers free tax consultation

Owner of a private bus in Mangaluru encourages people to file IT returns by offering information and free consultation

After offering free Wi-Fi services on a private city bus, a Golden Line bus that runs between Mangaluru city (State Bank of India Bus Stand) and Hoo Hakuvakallu near Konaje will offer free consultancy services on several issues such as GST, linking PAN with Aadhaar, filing IT returns and how to go about it.

Ibrahim Thabreez, a 23-year-old MBA graduate working as an export executive at Sharief Marine Product Private Limited decided to spread awareness on the subject. Thabreez‘s family is into transport business and they own about three city buses.

Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, Thabreez said, “People panic when they hear the word tax. Now, with GST, the panic has only increased. I am campaigning so that people come forward and file their returns. I explain to them the benefits of filing returns and how to go about it. For this, I have pasted posters inside the bus. I thought this is the right time to spread awareness as there are few days left to file returns for the last financial year. I addition, I am helping people with getting a PAN card, as well as linking it to their Aadhaar cards and bank accounts,” he said.

The non-salaried class often try to avoid filing returns. “I have provided my mobile number on the posters on the bus. While I guide them for free, in case they want me to take it further and get them a PAN card, I will do so only by charging a fee prescribed by the government. Regarding IT returns, I can guide them on the taxable amount and how to go about filing e-returns. In case they insist that I file it for them, I can provide the services at my office at a reasonable fee,” he said.

When JIOFi was launched earlier this year, Thabreez saw to it that a device was placed inside the bus so that people could use WiFi for free. Though the free offer has ended, they use upto 5 GB data in the bus every day.

source: / Bangalore Mirror / Home> News> State / by Deepthi Sanjiv, Bangalore Mirror Bureau / July 27th, 2017

Valpoi gets new deputy chairperson

Valpoi, GOA :


Sayyed Sarfaraj has been elected as the new deputy chairperson of Valpoi municipal council (VMC), the polls for which were held on Wednesday. The post had fallen vacant after former sarpanch Shehnij Shaikh resigned on June 12.

In the absence of any other nomination, Sarfaraj was elected unanimously.

Shripad Arlekar was the presiding officer for the polls, while chairperson Parvin Shaikh, and councillors Akhtar Shaha, Ramdas Shirodkar, Anil Katkar, Parveen Khan, Anjali Chari, Shehnij Shaikh were among those present.

Sarfaraj said he will work with others under the guidance of health minister Vishwajit Rane.

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Goa News / TNN / July 07th, 2017

Repackaging 1,000-yr-old ideas to revive a system of medicine

Malegaon (Mumbai) , MAHARASHTRA :

The system’s beginnings can be traced to the teachings of ancient Greek physicians like Hippocrates, and its principle revolves around strengthening the ‘Quwwat-e-Mudabbira-e-Badan’ (immunity).

Dr Yusuf Ansari has authored over two dozen books which are used by Unani and MBBS students across India. Mayur Bargaje
Dr Yusuf Ansari has authored over two dozen books which are used by Unani and MBBS students across India. Mayur Bargaje

The Unani system of medicine, which was introduced by the Arabs and Persians sometime in the 11th century, is said to be dying a slow death. Though India is still one of the leading countries in Unani medicine today, with the largest number of educational, research and healthcare institutions, the number of Unani practitioners here is far less than what it was in the past. In Maharashtra, a doctor has been making efforts to make Unani medicine system more relevant and accessible in contemporary India. Dr Yusuf Ansari, a 62-year-old resident of Malegaon, has authored over two dozen books in the past two decades which are used by Unani students across the country. The books are based on the Unani medical curricula laid down by the government, but some of them, like the ones on physiology, surgery and pathology, are also referred by MBBS students.

The system’s beginnings can be traced to the teachings of ancient Greek physicians like Hippocrates, and its principle revolves around strengthening the ‘Quwwat-e-Mudabbira-e-Badan’ (immunity). The foremost book on Unani — ‘The Canon of Medicine’ — was written by Avicenna in the ninth century. While Avicenna’s works were followed by other writers as well, the content and language of these books made them a bit difficult for students to follow. “All these books are scholarly pieces, but seeing that many students found these books a little difficult to follow, I attempted to write a book which would be in tune with the contemporary times and would be lucid and understandable for students as well,” said Ansari.

Ansari’s first attempt was a book called ‘Tahafuzz-e-Tibb’, or preventive and social medicine. “The idea was to link the concept of Unani medicine with contemporary medical problems. I wrote the book to make this effective medical form understandable and more relevant. The book, however, was published only in 1996 after which I was asked to write more on the subject,” said Ansari.

Interestingly, Ansari’s primary degree has not been in Unani medicine. Coming from a very humble background, Ansari gained an MA in English, and for a time used to work for Rs 20 per week. He eventually joined a Unani college as an English language teacher to make ends meet. It was only in his 30s that Ansari’s interest in Unani medicine peaked and he decided to pursue a degree in it at the same college where he taught English.

Apart from Unani medicine, Ansari also writes in various science journals on subjects such as electronics and information technology. Ansari believes that education is the only way to empower communities in the country. His son Mohammad is the first IITian to emerge out of Malegaon. His sister Dr Zubaida Ansari was the first female scientist from Malegaon and is now a part of Jamia Millia Islamia’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Basic Sciences. His nephew Aleem Faizee runs a popular community website in Malegaon. “Today, this medicinal system is suffering because it is seen to be associated with a certain community. My attempts have been to ensure that people open their minds and see things for what they are really worth,” says Ansari.

source: / The Indian Express / Home> India / by Zeeshan Shaikh , Malegaon / July 10th, 2017

Rayalaseema IG takes charge

Rayalseema, ANDRA PRADESH :


New SPs assume charge in Tirupati, Vizianagaram

Shaik Mohammed Iqbal took charge as Inspector-General of Police, Rayalaseema, in Kurnool on Monday from N. Sridhar Rao, who has been transferred.

DIG of Anantapur Range J. Prabhakara Rao, Superintendents of Police – Gopinath Jatti (Kurnool), Rajasekhar Babu (Chittoor), Attada Babujee (Kadapa) – APSP Battalion Commandant Samuel John, Regional Vigilance and Enforcement Officer Sivakoti Babu Rao, Additional SPs P. Shaik Shavali and I. Venkatesh, Circle-Inspectors and SIs welcomed Mr. Iqbal with bouquets.

Later the officials gave a warm farewell to outgoing IG N. Sridhar Rao by felicitating him with shawls and garlands in the police guest house here.

In Tirupati, Abhishek Mohanty, a 2011 batch IPS officer, took charge as the Superintendent of Police of Tirupati Urban police district, here on Monday. Speaking to the media, he said that their focus would be on implementing the ‘rule of law’ along with basic/professional policing.

In Vizianagaram, G. Pala Raju has taken charge as Superintendent of Police from his counterpart L.K.V. Ranga Rao on Monday.

Later, talking to media persons, Mr. Raju said that he would improve community policing and other programmes that his predecessor had initiated for the welfare of people.

In Kurnool, Traffic will be streamlined in coordination with officials of the Kurnool Municipal Corporation, Roads and Buildings, National Highways, citizens and NGOs, Kurnool Superintendent of Police Gopinath Jatti has said.

source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Andhra Pradesh / by Special Correspondent / Kurnool – July 04th, 2017