February 6, 2009 2:46:03 am
Nestled about 30 km away from Calicut in Kerela,Mukkam Muslim Orphanage has reason to cheer,once again. For the second time since its inception,the organisation has won the National Award for Child Welfare,conferred by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.
The orphanage had humble beginnings in 1956,when it was founded with just 22 orphaned children. Today,20 educational institutions function under the orphanage,which shelters more than 1,100 children. Education institutions under its aegis include ITI,a teachers training college and other professional centres that impart training in vocational courses such as tailoring.
It was first awarded the prize for child welfare in 1982. The award includes Rs 3 lakh and a certificate.
For us,this award means recognition of our efforts. The expenses of running the orphanage are increasing every year,but we work without any foreign aid. It gets difficult to meet ends,but we have been trying hard, said Mohammad Haji,vice-president of the institution,who was in the city to collect the award. According to Haji the institution is at present running into debts amounting to Rs 50 lakh.
The orphanage does not merely provide shelter and food to the children,but also takes care of their education and future. We try to absorb our students as teachers in our own institutes. Currently,more than 50 former students are teaching at our institutes, Haji added.
The organisation also helps its students get married. Each student is provided Rs 10,000 at the time of his/her wedding. In case the wedding is organised at the institution itself,all costs are borne by the Mukkam Trust.
Religious studies are compulsory for the students as per the syllabus prescribed by Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama.
For several years now,our girls hostel is being managed by a Hindu lady. We believe in a secular existence, Haji added. Students practising other religions are,however,not admitted to the institution. We are open to admitting Hindu or Christian students,just that doing so might fuel rumours of religious conversion and so on, Haji said.
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