Dedicated Servicehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/dedicated-service/

Dedicated Service

On March 12,the winding lanes of Bohri Ali were marked by celebration.

To mark the 101st birth celebration of its high priest Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhannuddin (TUS),members of the Dawoodi Bohra community made a resolution to work more towards the general upliftment of the community

On March 12,the winding lanes of Bohri Ali were marked by celebration. Members of the Dawoodi Bohra community took out a procession to mark the 101st birthday according to the Islamic calendar (March 13) of their high priest – His Holiness Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhannuddin (TUS). The procession travelled from Bohri Masjid through Bohri Ali and back. Similar processions were held in Kondhwa and Camp a few days earlier. “The fact that His Holiness continues to guide our work throughout the world formed the crux of our celebrations,” informs Mulla Ali Asger Polan,member of the Pune City Tanzeem committee that had organised the procession.

The Syedna is the high priest of the Dawoodi Bohra community worldwide. According to the Gregorian calendar,he was born on March 6,1915,but as per the Islamic calendar-Rabi-ul-akhar 20,1333 AH,his age is 101. “One of the thoughts that has been a mainstay of the community is that we all have to be independent. Hence,when a member of the community comes to ask us for help,everyone pitches in. This year,as a part of our resolution to serve the community,we have undertaken repair work at the houses of our members who cannot afford to do so,” Ali Asger says.

For Syedna Mohammed Burhannuddin’s birthday,there was a worldwide telecast of the address given by his son,Shahzada Aaliqadr Syedi Mufaddal Bhaisaheb Saifuddin,on his behalf from Surat. In the address,he urged the community to work more towards their general upliftment. Syedna Burhannuddin had also visited Pune last month where he stayed for over 23 days. Ali Asger mentions that as a part of the celebrations,a rehabilitation project,the biggest of its kind,has been taken up in Mumbai at Bhendi Bazaar. “We will be constructing houses for the underprivileged members of the community there. Once complete,over 1000 families will be able to live there.”

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The close knit nature of the community stems from the fact that since it is primarily comprised of businessmen,they generate funds from within for their needs. “Education is also a priority,” informs Ali Asger,adding,“For those people within the community who cannot afford to educate their children,the community has taken it upon themselves to help fund their studies,” he adds. The celebrations that began a month and a half back also saw the entire community in Pune conduct mass marriages,cultural gatherings and a sports meet in which youngsters from across the world participated. In addition,a tree plantation drive and a medical camp for the community members was also held.

Describing the close knit structure further,Ali Asger says,“We do not wish to depend on anyone else for our well being. There is so much within the community that anyone and everyone comes up to help. Whether it is about starting a business or obtaining a loan for work,housing or education,we manage it ourselves. Even His Holiness donates large amounts for the upliftment of the community.”

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