In an attempt to make inroads into the state’s Muslim community, Kerala-based ‘Sunni Yuvajana Sangam (SYS)’ has drawn up plans to open nearly 100 primary schools in the state that are estimated to cost nearly Rs 100 crore.
The amount, SYS claims, will be acquired through donations.
If goes through, it will be the biggest educational project targeting the 18 per cent Muslim population of the state. Although the organisation denies it will play any political role in the state, its office-bearers admitted that the outfit is “not averse” to forming a pressure group in politics.
“If you unite and have good numbers, one can form a pressure group. We have done this in the southern states. There is no plan for our direct political intervention but obviously we would decide that at the time of elections,” said Dr A P Abdul Hakeem Azhari, member of Supreme Council, SYS. The outfit claims to have 10 lakh active members. It has already launched its two projects in the state —- a technical institute for girls in Pilibhit district and a medical dispensary for poor in Shahjahanpur.
SYS, which commands considerable following in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, plans to set up at least 1-2 schools in each city. “In sha Allah, we will focus on primary and secondary education in UP. Higher education can be taken care of at the later stage. We will soon start our programme in the state as we have already done our homework at the ground level,” Dr Azhari told. The SYS has also planned to involve local Muslims in setting up the schools.
“The community people should help themselves. We are open for helping other communities as there will be no restrictions. The plan will begin very soon and will be executed in a few years. Ours is a charity organisation working on humanitarian grounds,” he added. SYS runs several technical institutions, hospitals, madrasas and other organisations in southern India.
SYS had recently organised a four-day event in Kerala’s Mallapuram and had invited Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and UP’s Minority Welfare Minister Azam Khan. Though Akhilesh could not attend the programme, Azam went there but reportedly did not receive a warm welcome during the conference. As it was made clear that no political speeches will be made from the SYS platform, Azam expressed his displeasure and winded up his customary speech within two minutes. Azhari confirmed it but refused to comment on Azam.
SYS came into news when it had donated Rs 8 lakh each to two natives of Deoria and Maharajganj districts, respectively, who had lost their lives during a mishap in an oil company in Saudi Arabia, where the outfit has its unit. “We had handed over the compensation cheque to CM Akhilesh and (Samajwadi Party chief) Mulayam Singh Yadav. It is our duty to help people on humanitarian grounds,” Azhari said.