As part of doing our part in the continuous struggle in creating a better world for all, we started looking for organisations that are working along the same lines, organisations that continue to go out of their way to give back to the society. This cover story brings to you, all about Zahra Foundation, the first organisation that came to our mind when we started this quest. Hop on as we surf through the organisation, understanding its various aspects.
The word Ilm is mentioned 750 times in the Quran. The importance of knowledge is immense in Islam. The deen emphasizes attaining knowledge as much as possible. A person is known through his knowledge, the more learned a person is the more respectable he/she is among people. Knowledge opens doors of wisdom. Many times we tend to take education for granted, this may be because we have access to it very easily. Since childhood, we have been blessed to go to school then college, university and so on, therefore never realized the struggle of getting an education in a true sense. But there are people for whom even providing necessities like food to their families is a task in itself hence providing education seems like a white elephant.
Due to economical backwardness children in such households are less motivated towards getting an education and rather focus more on earning and contributing to the family, which leads to the continuation of the cycle of poverty.
We reached out to Saif, Co-Founder of the Zahra Foundation to get his take on Ilm. He said,
“The very seed of Zahra Foundation lies in the belief that it is as important to give as it is to receive. Knowledge (ILM) is something that only increases when shared and is the only thing that can uplift a person truly by making him realize his immense potential. It is extremely important for us, as by imparting knowledge, Zahra Foundation is creating tools for poverty eradication, reduction in child labour and petty crimes, and empowerment of the downtrodden.”
Ray of Hope
In 2014, two college best friends Mohammad Saif and Javed took the initiative to start Zahra Foundation. The duo was further joined by other groups of friends Shaghil Iqbal, Qasim Khan, Fahad Masood Farooqi, Saif Ahmed, Venkatesh Khatri and others around the year 2016-17. We inquired Saif about the idea of incorporation of the foundation, his reply was,
“The idea of Zahra Foundation was incorporated as we envisioned the fact that education is the most important tool in poverty eradication and empowering the poor and the downtrodden and everything that is a hindrance in the way of education and empowerment needs to be addressed andsolved.”
Verily, education is the first step towards the eradication of poverty. An educated child can open doors to numerous opportunities. Zahra Foundation has provided a platform through which children living in slums who are poor and underprivileged can get educated through free remedial classes and can also be provided tuition and financial support to mainstream dropout students.
“We also wanted to reduce child labour and petty crimes amongst the vulnerable and impressionable children and create employment for their parents and hence creating a better future for all the children involved,” Saif added.
The Journey So Far
Zahra Foundation not only focuses on child education just by providing books but also looks into the holistic development of children by providing learning centers to about 500 students and providing mainstream formal education to dropouts. This eventually leads to the reduction of child labor and petty crimes.
The foundation gives exposure to children by organising competitions such as talks and various other programs. Students of Zahra have performed thrice in front of a large audience in Jamia Millia Islamia. Saif added,
“Our trained teachers are able enough to impart learning, using child-friendly and interactive teaching-learning methods. Our Educational Centre is creating a resource pool in the community through capacity teaching and learning methodologies which will help in long term sustainability.”
Education is the main initiative carried out by the organisation, apart from imparting education the Zahra organisation also looks into various other humanitarian causes. The Zahra Foundation believes in generating employment for people especially those students who cannot afford education, as through this their parents can afford to provide for the family as well as give education to children.
Saif Zahra added the various initiatives taken by the foundation included:
- Ration distribution drives
- Clothes distribution drives
- Covid 19 Awareness Drives
- Mask and Hand Sanitizers distribution drives
- Consumer Rights Protection Program
- Various Kinds of Health Camps, Plantation Drives etc.
Ramadan is the month of giving it brings hope to the poor. Zahra Foundation has taken various initiatives to make this month count. The foundation is on a mission to distribute daily Iftar and food packets to underprivileged families living in the slums of Batla house, Kalindi Kunj and Shram Vihar. The core objective behind this is to provide nourishing meals to people who cannot afford the same
The Zahra Foundation is not only focused on the development of one community but also the overall development of the entire society. The foundation happens to work in areas where a large number of Muslim population dwells. Saif presented his views on the importance of education for the Muslims in this manner:
“A very large section of the Muslim community is stuck in the cycle mentioned in the previous response. In Islam, the idea of education is central to one’s faith. It has been ordained upon Muslims to get educated, but the present scenario of the community showcases a different trend. Zahra Foundation is an inclusive organisation, but due to its location, most of the students are from the Muslim community. Therefore, it plays a role in changing the prevailing educational scenario of the community.”
SubhanAllah, May Allah give all of us the courage, patience and will to work for the better good. We wish Zahra Foundation all the very best for all its future endeavours.
To know more, amplify or donate, kindly visit Zahra Foundaion.