The galaxy of institutions with which the name of Hamdard came to be associated owe their origin to the vision of a far-sighted seer and a multi-faceted genius, a physician and a thinker, Hakeem Abdul Hameed. He was endowed with worldly wisdom and pragmatic capability and a strong desire to bring about, by dint of persistent hard work, remarkable improvement in the condition of his community and in its wake his country as well. As luck would have it he was given a long and fruitful innings of nine decades plus. He had the concern, zest and life span to dream dreams and to convert them into breath-taking achievement. Here was a man who had his task cut out for him. For about four decades he toiled ceaselessly to sharpen his tools, collect insights, hone his perceptions and enhance his productive capacity. His tremendous potential was unleashed when his country threw off the yoke of the British dominance. The emancipation, however, was not an unmixed bliss. It coincided with partition which brought about carnage and migration of population on an unprecedented scale on either side of the dividing border. Hakeem Saheb witnessed stoically the devastation that occurred in the wake of the cataclysmic event. Not for a moment did he think of joining the mass exodus. The man of vision had a will of steel. He faced the intermittent carnage with fortitude and decided to overcome all hurdles and embark on reconstruction.
He brought about this reconstruction in two ways: first, by attempting to heal wounds and removing scars and exhorting his own community to mend its fences with the majority community. By word and deed he propagated communal harmony. In his musings he went beyond the message of reconciliation between the two hostile groups. He advocated
unity of mankind and suggested evolution of mechanisms for cooperation between different countries.
It didn’t take our perceptive observer long to realize that it is in the interest of our nation which has an immense diversity of races, languages, castes and creeds, that all sections of society actively participate in the management of the country and in the exciting adventure of development. Although the country has witnessed about six decades of planned development, the goal of growth with justice has not yet been achieved. Strides have certainly been made in the sphere of growth, but justice has been left behind with the result that disparities between haves and have-nots have increased. Communities and groups, who failed to secure proper representation in Government jobs, feel frustrated and discriminated against. This induces a tendency among the weaker sections to withdraw from the mainstream of national progress. The worst hit seem to be Muslims who have slided back educationally and economically. In addition to the impact of prejudices, operating against them in some quarters, their capability to compete with their educationally advanced countrymen has been declining. The schemes for reform and reconstruction initiated by Hakeem Saheb has been followed and added to by his elder son and Chief Mutawalli Mr. Abdul Mueed who is the Chairman both of Hamdard National Foundation and Hamdard Education Society.
The problems facing the backward minorities and weaker sections are manifold. One of these is loss of morale and direction resulting from a ridiculously low share in the management and governance of their country, and lack of leadership.
The deficiencies cited above could be reduced to some extent if these groups and communities could get a reasonable share in governance and development of their country. Coaching and guidance for competitive examinations can certainly improve prospects of their success. Short of reservations, for which there is in fact a strong case, intensive coaching can bring about reasonable representation of minorities in Government jobs. Although the Muslim Community suffers from several initial handicaps such as low literacy, economic backwardness and a growing sense of insecurity; a well-designed and properly executed programme of coaching can effectively raise their competitive capability and, as a result, their representation in government jobs.
Even though the UGC had opened about 50 coaching centres for educationally backward minorities in selected universities and colleges all over the country, the results were neither encouraging nor commensurate with the funds and energy spent. Apart from lack of commitment on the part of authorities managing these coaching centres, laxity in selection of candidates and non-availability of proper residential accommodation seemed to be major defects in the implementation of UGC’s scheme for coaching of Minorities. Feeling concern at the indifferent performance of the UGC scheme, a parallel scheme of coaching was introduced by the Ministry of Welfare (later called the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment) and subsequently taken over by the Ministry of Minority Affairs. The implementation of the scheme has been entrusted to voluntary organizations. This scheme has an edge over the UGC’s scheme in that the NGOs generally bring dedication to bear on the tasks of securing for our youth entry into the Services. But they do not have the facilities available on the campuses of universities and colleges. The odds appear to be evenly balanced between the two programmes. U.G.C. has recently sanctioned grants for setting up residential Civil Services Coaching Academy for minorities and SC/ST at Ambedkar University Lucknow, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Jamia Hamdard New Delhi, Jamia Millia New Delhi and Maulana Azad National Urdu University at Hyderabad.
As stated earlier Hakim Saheb, had given anxious thought to the problems facing the educationally backward minorities. The measures adopted by official agencies for their upliftment have been deficient not only in planning and execution but also in commitment. Delving into the reasons for the backwardness of Muslims Hakeem Saheb came to the conclusion that what they desperately needed was leadership. The only leadership of sorts that the Community threw up was a weak, unimaginative, excitable and slow moving political leadership. Creation of positive leadership however is a long gestation venture. Nothing daunted, he drew up a multi-pronged plan for creating leadership among Muslims and improving their manpower. In the formulation and implementation of this plan he was assisted by Mr. Saiyid Hamid, a retired IAS Officer and former Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (and now Chancellor Jamia Hamdard) who joined him as an Honorary Secretary of the Hamdard Education Society and as an Adviser.¬ who brought with him experience and insights into the coaching programme that he had hammered out along with the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University at the instance of the UGC. His experience as an activist for inspiring and persuading Aligarh Muslim University students to prepare for competitive examinations stood him in good stead. Hakeem Saheb also realized fairly early that the objectives he had set before himself could be realized around institutions. He therefore took over the role of institution builder. Talimabad in South Delhi comprised a complex consisting of a public school, and institutions for coaching respectively for civil services and admission to professional colleges.
The planks of the leadership programmes are as under:
- The Hamdard Talent Search-cum-Scholarship Scheme was introduced in the year 1986. It has generated healthy emulation and competition among the students from different states and has certainly helped them in preparing for admission to professional courses like Medicine and Engineering.
- A residential Public School (Hamdard Public School) has been established on Talimabad Campus at Sangam Vihar in South Delhi.. It has been designed to spot talent from the minority community and nurture it to its full fruition. It is required to prepare students for performing leadership roles not only in Government organizations but also as scientists, doctors, engineers and management experts.
- Hamdard Study Circle: The third and perhaps the most important step in the leadership creation series is the opening of Hamdard Study Circle, also at Talimabad Sangam Vihar, in South Delhi. This is the first coaching centre in the country with full infrastructure and a well-laid out campus. The Study Circle has concentrated on preparing candidates for the Civil Service Examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. The Study Circle started functioning from March, 1992. It has so far enabled 231 of its candidates to join the Civil Services against 2184 (Preli. 971, Mains 793 Personality 420)candidates who received coaching. Since its inception 240 of its students have made it to the higher Civil Services of the country.
- Hamdard Coaching Centre was established in 1999 for preparing students from weaker sections of society, particularly Muslims, for various Medical & Engineering Entrance Examinations. The Coaching Centre has excellent results to its credit. From 1999 to 2009 it has been instrumental in enabling 54 students to get into MB.B.S., 21 in B.D.S., 29 in B.U.M.S., 4 in Paramedical courses, 34 in B. Pharma and 19 in Bio-tech courses. From the engineering stream, two students succeeded in getting into I.I.T., 107 in B. Tech., 18 in B.Sc. (Engg), 5 in B.I.T., 1 B.Sc. (Agri), 2 in N.D.A. These results could be achieved due to proper planning, assiduous collection of feed back from the students and regular follow-up action to plug the shortcomings. The Coaching Centre has been honing its skills and making continuous improvements in coaching methodology for achieving success by students.
Hamdard Education Society has not restricted its activities to the opening and management of Hamdard Public School and Rabea Girls Public School. The latter is situated in the walled city and provides opportunity for education to girls who would otherwise have found it extremely difficult to get quality education. The Hamdard Education Society is different from those societies whose entire activity consists of running educational institutions. It has concerned itself with significant surveys relating to the education of Muslims which have been periodically updated. It has been extending hospitality in Talimabad to ameliorate activities carried out by other institutions, for example, Al-Noor Women Welfare Organization for holding camps during the summer vacation for children from schools; conducting the Ministry of H.R.D. Scheme for Strengthening of Human Values through Education.
It started a Talent Search cum Loan Scholarship scheme in the year.1986 This was done in order to instil into our students a competitive spirit and generate an urge for excellence. The scheme is widely publicized every year and those students from different states who have secured good marks as follows in various board examinations are invited for a written test and interview. The final selection is made on this objective basis.
- For High School/Hr. Sec. pass 80%
- For Intermediates or equal 75%
- For Graduates/Post Graduates 70%
Loan scholarship is awarded as follows:
Group A – High School/Higher Secondary Passed Rs. 350/- per month
Group B – Intermediate or equivalent Passed Rs. 550/- per month
Group C – Graduation/Post Graduation Passed Rs. 800/- per month
Group D - Pursuing Doctorate Rs. 1200/- per month
In the light of the recent and impending reforms in the system of examination marks will be converted into grades and the various academic levels considered for award of scholarships will also undergo a drastic change.
To sum up, over these years 1626 turned up for the test; 480 qualified either for scholarship or book grants.
In order to promote awareness, ratiocination and articulation the society has introduced a very well contested Urdu debate. The students of classes IX to XII from Delhi and other States are invited for the debate in Urdu. Prizes are given to those who excel. The first such Debate was held in 2007 and the third Debate has recently been held.
Because of the large number of significant welfare and development activities Hamdard Education Society has come to be looked upon in North India as the counter-part of Al-Ameen Society in South India. It also started and developed institutions for (a) Federal Studies; and (b) South Asian Studies. The former attracted approval and appreciation from the U.G.C. and in consequence became a part of Jamia Hamdard.