Aaghaz Founder Interview

‘Education is the key to community emancipation’
By Kashif-ul-Huda,
Dubai-based journalist Mazhar Farooqui has everything that one can ask for in life- health, loving family, and a decent job. But his soul is restless and heart beats for millions of unfortunates who are losing out in the race to prosperity just because they don’t have the support and opportunities.
Since 2004, he along with his friends and other supporters are running an organization that is working to reduce the drop-out rate of Muslims. In just 8 year Aaghaz Foundation has made significant impact in the lives of many people living in Lucknow. In this interview Mazhar Farooqui talks about the work of the Foundation.
TCN: Aaghaz Foundation started with a focus on stemming the drop-out rate of Muslim children. Why do you think that focus is important?
MAZHAR FAROOQUI: Education is the key to community emancipation. It's a long term investment that Indian Muslims have criminally ignored for years. We felt illiteracy is the single biggest threat to our community because it's directly linked to unemployment and backwardness. According to a recent study if we don't pay attention to education for another few years, we might lose millions of children to illiteracy. Out of 100 Muslim students who start school, hardly 4 manage to study beyond class X. The average number of years an Indian Muslim girl studies in school is just 2.7 years. We had two ways to react to these numbers: We could have brushed them aside and heaved a sigh of relief that we are not one of the statistics. Or we could have asked ourselves, is there anything we can do to make a difference. We chose the latter.


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