Introductory document circulated among participant NGOs.
MUSLIM NGO’S IN INDIA
Thanks to awareness and commitment, Muslims too have grouped together and formed various organizations to perform many of their functions and achieve the objectives. Thus, Muslim NGO’s like any other community NGO’s, are doing yeoman service to the community and the nation. In spite of the stigma of socio-economic and educational backwardness of the community, group of Muslims educated and uneducated, professionally trained and unskilled, innovative and traditional, visionary and humble, in almost every nook and corner of the country, have organized themselves in registered and unregistered bodies for making concerted efforts to ameliorate the backwardness of their fellow beings. In fact it is a healthy sign that we have Muslim NGO’s in almost every walk of life viz economic, social, educational, cultural, medical, socio - religious and socio – political, scientific and technological etc. And hats off to the dedicated selfless workers of these NGO’s that a lot is being done in almost all areas of works. These efforts are now bearing fruits and the community is advancing ahead on the path of recovery and growth cum development. In fact it is a contribution to the Indian nation also as without liquidating ills and evils from this large chunk of Indian population known as Muslims, no five year plans will succeed in pushing up the country to the status of developed nations --- the dream that we all Indians hail and the dream that we all Indians love to materialize.
A closer look however, to these Muslim NGO’s and their vision, structure, resource base, strategies of work, priorities, link with national welfare schemes and performance etc. suggests that there is sufficiently large room for improvement. Further issues like optimal use of available men and material resources, regional imbalances in the geography of NGO’s, absence of a standard measure and practice to check performance, lack of inter and intra organizational networking and cooperation, deficiency in professional skill and approach, duplication and wastages, non-seriousness towards the use and institutionalization of religious charities, lack of knowledge of relevant government laws and financial schemes, marginal involvement of Muslim intelligentsia and philanthropists, acute shortage of dedicated and trained band of social workers and over and above required behavioral changes are few among long list of issues and problems impeding performance of these NGO’s. It need not be emphasized that a little more thinking and involvement of Muslim intelligentsia and philanthropists along with the activists can bring wonders on the performance front of these NGO’s.
It therefore becomes imperative for the activists and thinkers involved in the organizations to initiate introspection and search out ways and means to enhance their performance and increase their effectiveness in the society.
It is this realization that encouraged AICMEU to dare to call a meeting of 50-selected group of non-political activists drawn from different states of the country. The purpose of this meeting may be outlined as preliminary exercise towards introspection and sharing of ideas and experiences among like-minded workers, who are committed to uplift the community and the nation. It is expected that these dedicated, experienced and educated activists will deliberate on issues of concern enlisted above and try to reach on some way out.
For major involvement of Muslim intelligentsia and philanthropists it is suggested from certain quarters to form community council of India (CCI) as purely non-political federal body of NGO’s working in different fields of life and having concern for the community.
This body should undertake the responsibility of liaison, imparting relevant information, counseling and guidance, education and training to meet the needs of the NGO’s involved.
Few of the important functions of this council may be listed as
u Networking of Muslim NGO’s
u Evaluate performance and prepare short and long-term programme.
u Link NGO’s with government schemes
u Fix the priorities in areas of work and harmonize functioning of NGO’s.
u Encourage formation of groups in required regions and areas of work..
CCI should constitute a body of advisors, guides and trainers for meeting the needs of the NGO’s and should have no business to undermine the authority of federating organizations.
It should set up a central secretariat preferably at Delhi or Mumbai. The federal member organizations may pay an annual membership fee to meet the administration expenditure.