AMP has completed more than 10 years of its journey to empower Muslims in India in important fields of Education and Employment? How do you see the journey?
The Journey has been very challenging but at the same time fulfilling too. When we started on social media Orkut, 11 years ago, we did not know that within such a short period of time we will reach out to so many Indian Muslim Professionals and touch the lives of so many needy Muslims. Education and employment assistance were the 2 main issues we decided to focus on for the upliftment of underserved Muslims.
Jobs creation is a very big issue these days… How is AMP working on the major issue being faced by Indians in general?
Yes, you are correct. There is a ‘Growth Paralysis’ since past few years, because of which new jobs are not being created as it was expected. Hence this was an additional ‘Challenge’ which we had to tackle at AMP.
We decided to start our Job Drives and Job Fairs from end of 2013 onwards to help unemployed youth get Jobs across the country. Since then we have done more than 250+ Job Drives and 29 Job Fairs and placed more than 15000 candidates so far.
For the first time, we are doing simultaneous job fairs at 2 different cities (Kolkata and Nellore) on the same day. Besides, we also conduct Employability Training Workshops for final year graduation students across colleges and universities. We are now conducting a nationwide campaign of these workshops in more than 100 colleges across India between 9 to 16 February.
How is AMP working on building capabilities of underprivileged sections of society?
There are so many things. Different projects for different set of audiences. Like we do lectures on Skill Development, Career Guidance, Motivation and Personality Development. We also do Parenting Workshops and Teachers Training Programs in schools. Besides, we also do special Career Guidance Seminars across India, conduct lectures and workshops for higher secondary students from underserved schools across the country. We help the underprivileged sections by providing Higher Education Scholarships, financial help for basic education for orphans and help uneducated and un-employed youth with financial assistance to start self-employment.
Well, that’s quite an exhaustive list. What challenges do you see for Muslim youth of the country in the near term?
There are so many issues. Almost all linked to each other. The biggest issue is lack of direction and the absence of enough aspiration to achieve more. Those who are aspiring and highly motivated need guidance, support and mentorship so that they can become successful.
The priorities of Muslim Youths are not set. They need guidance to understand the importance of economic empowerment. Today 1 out of every 4 beggar is a Muslim and this is a big challenge. 30% of Indian Muslims are below the poverty line (BPL).
The Muslim youth are talented and have all the required skills to do anything in this world. The only issue is that they do not realize their own potential. We have to provide them an ecosystem to transform their mentality.
The socio-economic isolation is another big problem. Almost half of the Muslims, especially youth, are living in miserable condition. We will have to explain them and help them to understand that we cannot do anything without good education and good economic condition.
What should be priority of Muslims Youth?
First and foremost Muslim youth have to focus on getting good education – academic or vocational so that they get gainful employment to support their families and help in nation building. On the finance and economic front, Muslim youth have to carve their own niche. They have to become entrepreneurs so they not only progress themselves but help others too come out of economic backwardness.
They have to strategically get involved politically and have more representation in the government and administrative bodies. They need to create a pull-factor so that all political parties as well as the government take interests before setting up their manifestos or political agenda.
Muslims have enough role models in the country to emulate and prosper. Muslims have given a lot to the country right from the struggle for independence to setting up of the modern India. Muslim youth have to just pick up role models and follow them.
And the most important, they need to keep focusing on the teachings of the Quran and Prophet (PBUH) so that they practice their religion in a better way and they should always keep improving their relations with other communities for a harmonious co-existence.
Where do you see future of Muslims in India?
The future of Muslims has always been bright in India and will remain so. We have been living in this country for 1000 of years and our lives and culture have got mixed so deeply with this country’s soil that to think of alienating Muslims from this country is unimaginable. Both- Hindu and Muslim have always lived harmoniously except for occasionally engineered riots.
What are your plans for 2019?
We are very excited for 2019 and have planned quite a few activities. Like placing 5000 plus candidates through AMP Job Fairs & Job Drives, skill training of 10000 Youths, Employability Training Programs (ETP) of 10000 students at 100 Colleges, 100 career guidance seminars (CGS) across the country, launching of AMP Mentorship Project, formation of AMP Legal Cell, national convention to be organized in December 2019, and Economic Development Plan (EDP) for the Community.
We would like to maximize our potential and reach out to more and more of the Community in 2019.