Kanjri Sarai is now “Phool Basti”, Bhatiari Sarai is “Gulshan Nagar”

Abu Anas

Ashraf Ali Bastavi

New Delhi (A T N Network )  If you want to extract the lowest strata of the Indian society out of the mire of educational and social backwardness, you must know the efforts of Muhammad Daud Multani who has been busy since 1971 despite extreme lack of resources.
He established adult education centres for men and women in localities where you may not wish to stay even for a while. During the last 25 years, this man has made an impossible task possible.
District Bijnore’s Kanjri Sarai has now been converted into ‘Phool Basti’ and Bhatiari Sarai into ‘Gulshan Nagar’.
We met him during his sojourn at Delhi, and tried to find from him how did he succeed in kindling the light of education in a very backward society, what challenges he faced and what type of difficulties remain to be overcome?
Q.:  When did you start this work of educational awakening in the society?
A.:  I am a resident of Lohri Sarai. We started this campaign of bringing educational awakening in 1971, from Nagina town of Bijnore district of UP. Here we are working in a non-Muslim (Kanjar/Dalit) locality. We are educating adult girls in the centres of adult education. Besides, we conduct many corrective programmes for children. Male and female children here are very familiar with us. Adult girls get education in our centres. Earlier, we took up the programme of cleanliness of teeth in which we cleaned the teeth of the children with our own hands. In order to teach them how to keep their teeth clean, we conduct competitions and distribute prizes to inculcate in  them a sense of  cleanliness.
Q.:  What is your modus operandi and among which type of people do you work?
A.:  First, we started this work in a non-Muslim locality called “Kanjri Sarai”. We established a centre where we teach their girls. Those girls have now gone to their homes after marriage. We have now converted their homes into centres of education. There are two main centres here. This effort has affected positively the people of Kanjri Sarai. Now the parents themselves send their children to schools. Their children call me ‘Papa’. They come to me and ask for toffees. They also demand shoes and chappals and we fulfill their demands. Sometimes, when we see that their hair has overgrown, we hand them a slip of paper and send them to a barber. We pay the barber afterwards. We also try to bring them up nicely besides educating them. The second locality is that of backward Muslims. It is called “Bhatiari Sarai”. We worked here and now this locality is called “Gulshan Sarai”. The city municipal chairman inaugurated our centre in this locality. Here 40 women are taught in two shifts.
Q.:  What is your system of training the children?
A.:  To impart better training to children, we started by recruiting a well-mannered woman of the mohalla. She talks to the children in a nice way. Her duty is to call a child, teach him good manners and then send him back with a toffee. We have started one more campaign for the children. We ask children their parents’ names, then repeating their fathers’ names as “Janab …. Sahib”. This has brought a good change in the  children.
Q.:  What challenges did you have to face in this journey?
A.:  When we go out to work in a Hindu locality, they apprehend that we may be out to convert them to Islam. We have always prayed to Allah for their “guidance towards Islam”. We move among them, eat and drink with them. As a result, when girls, who have now been married, return to their homes, they meet us as though they are meeting their parents. We give them presents on the occasion of their marriages and child-births. Our efforts have converted “Kanjri Sarai” into Phool Basti (Flower locality). The city municipal chairman inaugurated this locality and the programme was presided over by Dr. Bhardwaj, who is an RSS man.
Q.:  What is the source of the budget for the programme? What is the monthly expenditure? What is your planning for the continuance of this humanity welfare programme in future?                                                                    
A.:  At first, we were running 35 centres in the whole district of Bijnore and our old students, whom we have taught in the night schools since 1971, have been our main source of help. Our monthly expenditure is only rupees 15,000. We want to pay more to our lady teachers, but due to our limited sources of income, we are unable to pay them more. We are in search of like-minded people who want to serve the society, so that this work could continue.
(This story First  Published in  News Portal Asia Times  in January, 2016. Daud Multani may be contacted at 0134-3250943 – translated from Urdu by MG staff).
Thanks Milli Gazette

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