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SPECIAL REPORT

GLITTERING AJMAL EDUCATION CONCLA FOCUSES ON THE STERLING ACTIVITIES OF THE GROUP

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At a marked function prominent leaders from different walks of life, especially academics from across the country expressed the importance of educating women for development in the real sense. The function was the Ajmal CSR Education Conclave at Hojai in Assam, held on December 1, 2013. - By Ahmed Kamal Khusro

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hose of the Ajmal group are a bunch of entrepreneurs who solely believe in providing power to women as they pronounced famous American leader Brigham Young's quote, “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.� Mr. Amiruddin Ajmal, the eldest brother and CEO of Ajmal group, said that education was the lifeblood of a community and outlined the positive steps taken by it as part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to energise the education system in the north east region and the rest of the country. He motivated the students attending the programme to gain success in life through struggle and by hard work. He said that nothing in the world can be obtained gratis. One has to work sincerely towards one's goal.


SPECIAL REPORT He then gave a practical lesson to the nearly 2000 college students by asking them to stand up. He then asked them to turn their chairs. When the students did so they found a 100 rupee note stuck in back of the each chairs. The students were very happy on receiving the gift and clapped their hands for joy.

I have also inherited the skill from my mother, ‘Use your hand you can feed yourself and your family, use your intelligence and you can be instrumental to feed millions’. Before I narrate Maulana Badruddin Ajmal’s journey, allow me to elaborate charity in my terminology. Unlike worldly partnerships where each one gets their due share based on prescribed contribution. Islam guarantees 100% reward alike to donor, planners, executors, or anybody involved in the cause of charity without discrimination, interestingly each act of charity is rewarded 70 fold from Allah. I can describe charity in one line, and that is, ‘Charity is simply a division to multiply.’

But Mr Amiruddin Ajmal reminded them that only when they stood up, and turned the chair upside down, did they find the money. So also in life they have to work hard to gain something. This was a simple but effective and practical way of communicating to the students the importance of struggle and hard work in the garnering of success. Here are some of the salient points he made in his moving speech that enthused the audience and laid bare the corporate philosophy of the Ajmal Group: “When I try to comprehend my journey in words I am always tempted to quote: “A leader is most effective when people barely know he exists. When his work is done and his aim fulfilled, his troops feel they did it.

Our grandfather was a very philanthropic person. As far as I remember, he would set out late at nights when the entire village was asleep with only a lantern to guide him in his path. He would knock at the doors of people who he identified to be needy. With only God as his witness, he would discreetly hand over the little he could afford. With his honest, quiet deeds, he initially laid the foundation for charitable activities. This tradition has continued and was carried forward by our beloved parents and further encouraged their offspring. While all my brothers were fortunate to have partially learnt from our father, I was the privileged one to have begun my career alongside him and getting the opportunity to learn from his actions. There are some things in life that have no price.

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Every members of Ajmal family believes in the concept of individual social responsibility. Making a difference in other people’s lives makes a difference in ours too...

What does this mean? It means: As opposed to any material thing that you divide gets scattered into pieces, thus losing its value. Interestingly, it is charity, knowledge and love. The more you divide, distribute and share among people, the more it multiplies in value. Thus, its periphery widens so much that its value engulfs the world in its embrace.

This is the reason Ajmal chose to embark on the journey of such a profitable mission. An anonymous quote thus: ‘If everyone cares enough, and everyone shares enough, there will always be enough’. This sums up Ajmals’ approach to Corporate Social Responsibility. Ours is not an occasional or seasonal activity but a perennial endeavour backed by thoroughly planned and well defined mission. Charity is anything and everything including innovation and invention which facilitates, eases and improves the quality of life, of every living thing. Undoubtedly, our relationship is beyond typical employer and employees of today’s materialistic world. We enjoy a relationship that, I believe, is far beyond and deeper than the obvious. Our relationship is one that is filled with emotion, care and concern for each other. It is one that bonds us from our root to our life and values, one that drives us


SPECIAL REPORT to what we live and strive for. During the course of his studies, as a young man, Maulana Badruddin Ajmal observed and realised that religious education is looked upon as inferior and thus deprived of even the most basic rights due to its lack of mainstream curriculum. He also realised that Islamic studies alone cannot bring prosperity due to the fact that they cannot compete in the job market. He took upon himself the responsibility of uplifting the quality of life and education of his peers (ulama) by building an atmosphere or master plan under the banner of Markazul Ma’arif. Where our predecessors chose to distribute via informal, unorganised means, my brother devised a master plan and formalised a channel of distribution that has revolutionised the way charity is divided, by creating various charitable organisations under one roof. The beauty is that we offer our services to all those who are in need, without discriminating between castes, creeds or religions – Alhamdulillah. All our institutions and centres provide the highest quality of service, and our supporting members and

A young girl along with her mother receiving Gold Trophy and Rs one lakh as award on behalf of her late father

participants are dedicated, loyal and reliable. Ajmal has carefully selected those talented, employing only the best people in their respected fields so that the beneficiaries can reap a majestic and memorable experience. Thousands have been employed to cater to all Ajmal CSR institutions. With the aim of ensuring healthy communities, Ajmals strive to care and provide for the marginalized and underprivileged sections of society in the areas of preventive and corrective healthcare. Every members of Ajmal family believes in the concept of individual social responsibility. Making a difference in other people’s lives makes a difference in ours too”. Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, the CEO of Ajmal CSR group, MP, and president of Al India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) spoke with fervour about the noble initiatives taken by the group to further the cause of education in the north east. He paid lofty tributes to the volunteers, full-time staffers – teachers, doctors and other workers associated with the Ajmal Group’s social service projects and said, “Without them, we would not have

Maul. Abdul Hafiz Ajmal (L-R) Najibul Haq, Tabrez Rubberwala, Arman Shaikh, A'bid

Audience at Ajmal CSR Education Conclave 2013

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Mr. SH Chodhury, President (InCharge) Markazul Ma'arif recieving Gold Trophy and Rs. one lakh for his extraordinary services through


SPECIAL REPORT been where we are today.”

some thousands of illiterate children in the remote parts of Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and West Bengal.

He also spoke at length on the social and welfare activities of the Ajmal Group. He then outlined the key steps taken by the group in a host of institutions not only to promote education but encourage welfare activities in the region. He said Ajmal intensified its earlier initiatives at prioritizing education. A substantial amount of our net profit goes through our CSR organizations to the establishment of quality institutions and implementing relevant schemes and projects for improving education. And Insha’Allah we shall continue patronizing the cause of education and healthcare as long as we are able. He detailed some of the Ajmal CSR activates in his lengthy written Educating speech as under:

It is also one of our greatest achievements in the history of social work that we were able to make our hometown Hojai 100% literate in the year 2004. Today, from this platform, I am once again, proud to announce that Hojai is the 1st 100% literate (6-14 yrs age group) township in the entire eastern part of India and till date we are maintaining this unique distinction with the help of continuing education.

It is well known that rural areas have enormous talented youth which are not given the proper opportunities to grow owing to lack of financial resources. In order to promote rural talent our CSR the girls is more organizations have been important and it can solve providing scholarships of many problems in the society. different nature to the needy ‘Ajmal for Education and and talented students studying Education for All’is the main India is such a huge country in medical, technical, motto of Ajmal and it has and development is not management and general established a total of 14 Ajmal possible if we won’t be able to courses in institutions across Colleges, 17 Markaz Academy the country. Some thousands of English Medium Schools, in provide quality education to students have been benefited which at present around 7500 our women... from this scheme and hundreds students, mostly from rural of doctors, engineers, teachers, background, have been entrepreneurs, managers and pursuing modern education other professionals are serving with the support of around 450 society and are well placed in well qualified teachers. their respective fields. An Alhamdulillah, all of our amount of rupees fifty lakh is institutions have been showing earmarked for the Ajmal Scholarship Program from wonderful results every year and are also growing our CSR organizations every year. well in quality, enrolment and infrastructure. Earlier, Mr Sirajuddin Ajmal, Managing Trustee of We have set up 4 colleges and 2 schools exclusively for Ajmal CSR, MLA and PAC Chairman Govt. of girls and 6 colleges and 14 Schools are having girl Assam, welcomed the guests by saying: sections. In the field of technical education also, the institutions like Ajmal Rural Technology and Demonstration Centre (ARTDC), HAMM Nursing School and more than 50 Ajmal Computer Centres in different parts of Assam have been imparting joboriented vocational courses to make mostly the BPL youths employable in different sectors all over the country and abroad. Markazul Ma’arif has also been running around 600 morning schools bringing the light of education to

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“We are honoured with the presence of Justice M. S. A. Siddiqui, Hon'ble Chairman, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Government of India and one of the eminent jurists of our country. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to Prof. P.K. Abdul Azis, Former Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and Cochin University of Science and Technology and the present Vice-Chancellor of University of Science


SPECIAL REPORT

M. Burhanuddin Qasmi receiving Gold Trophy and Rs one lakh for his services under MMERC, Mumbai

Maul. Abdul Qadir Qasmi, awarded silver trophy

Justice Siddiquie with Maul. Badruddin Ajmal and Mr. Amiruddin Ajmal

Mr. Amiruddin Ajmal delivering his keynote address Maul. Badruddin Ajmla breifing the media following the Ajmal CSR Conclave at Hojai

and Technology Meghalaya, and to Prof. Alak Kumar Buragohain, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor of Dibrugarh University, and to Md. Abdul Kalam, Professor of Eminence and member, Board of Management, Tezpur Central University. I especially welcome Dr. Nani Gopal Mahanta , Associate Professor and co-ordinator, Peace and Conflict Studies, Gauhati University, Prof. Gayatri Goswami, Head, Dept. of Education, Gauhati University and Dr. Debabrata Sarma, Head, Dept. of English, Jorhat College and Chief Editor of the Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan.” He also welcomed all the guests present in the conclave and named eminent personalities like Mr. Saeedullah Nongrum, former Minister of Health, Govt. of Meghalaya and Dr. Shabistan Gaffar, Chairperson, Girls Committee of National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Government of India “Educating the girls is more important and it can solve many problems in the society. India is such a huge country and development is not possible if we

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won’t be able to provide quality education to our women,” said Chairperson of the National Commission on Girls Education, Shabistan Gaffar, while addressing the gathering at the Conclave. The educational Conclave which was organized by Ajmal CSR group felicitated teachers, students and others who have been instrumental in bringing the mission of education and healthcare forward. Chairman of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui, rued the poor status of education among the minority communities in the country as a whole. Siddiqui who has also been the Registrar General of Supreme Court urged the people of the community to avail all the facilities given by the constitution to get their rights. He heaped praise on Maulana Badruddin Ajmal and called him “the Sir Syed of the North East India.” Bemoaning the poor representation of minorities at the parliament, former vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University Professor PK Abdul Aziz said that it does not reflect the population of the community in the country and this is due to lack of education.


SPECIAL REPORT Mufti Abdur Rahman Ajmal

Mr. Sirajuddin Ajmal

Mr. Amiruddin Ajmal with Prof. PK Azis

Mr. Amiruddin Ajmal delivering his keynote address

Maul. Rizwan Ahmad Qasmi, PRO MMERC Mumbai, receiving Silver Trophy Award and Rs. 25 thousand prize for his remarkable work for Ajmal CSR

Noted author Bedabrata Sharma, “We have to take revenge against all the injustice done to us by taking to books instead of guns.” There is a chain of educational institutes for higher as well as primary education besides several health care centres and orphanages are run by the Ajmal CSR group. More than 2,000 people converged, majority of them being students and faculty, for this unique meet in this interior location of north eastern India. Close on the heels of the Seemanchal Taleemi Mela held in Kishanganj Bihar just about a week ago, this Conclave here was a sure sign that a new wave for reawakening to the need of education was flowing inside the Muslim community in the eastern part of the country. In the event, rich tributes were paid to the doyen of the Ajmal family – late Haji Ajmal Ali and his pious wife Maryamun Nisa Ajmal, the visionary – Ajmal, who was raised in Hojai and went to Mumbai to further his perfume business. His sons, the second generation of the Ajmal family, led by Mr. Amiruddin

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Ajmal and Maul. Badruddin Ajmal, have changed the definition of business and CSR today. Ajmal Perfume is perhaps the most renowned Indian fragrance brand today, known and admired across the world. The Conclave began with the release of a thick book on career guidance authored by MF Hussain. This book contains 3,500 career options targeted for the youth of India. Mufti Abdur Rahman Ajmal, on behalf of the third generation of Ajmal family, said when the first generation of the family embarked into business they were alone. Today the third generation is spread all over the world and is engaged in many other fields besides business. But today we are not alone; we have thousands of well wishers, with ample experience, with us to support. 100 teachers of Ajmal institutions were gifted the latest model of Samsung tablets - 3 as teaching aids on this occasion. 60 senior members of Ajmal CSR group were given gold, silver and lifetime achievement awards for their exemplary work under their organisations.


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