Idara-al-khair – a house to thousands who aspire to be the future of Pakistan. A ray of light in the midst of dark. Idara al khair is not a school, it is an idea, a vision and a mission. A vision by the President, what the world saw as nothing but a waste of space, Mr. Mazahir saw hope. It is that hope that Mr Mazahir kept which laid foundation to the Idara al Khair the world knows today.
In this world, education is not given, it is sold to the highest bidders. Not everyone can afford that. Those who are unable to afford it, are confined to poverty and negligence. Something had to be done. The journey to change the world is worth a thousand steps. Mr Mazahir took the first steps in Mustafa colony. This colony was chosen because it was the hub of all evil. Gambling was common, theft was on an all time high and it was proving to be the breeding ground for all criminal activities. The children of this area were growing to meet these expectations. Becoming skilled thieves and gamblers. A major change was required to keep that from happening. Darkness was prevailing and when it seemed like there was no hope for the colony, Mr Mazahir walked in with a light in the darkness.
At first, there was major opposition to the change. The idea that education can improve the conditions of the people was highly unpopular. A change in the mindset of people was required. Parents were not willing to send their children down this path. Mr Mazahir took it upon himself to change that idea. He got involved with the children, played with them, talked to them and educated them. This earned him the trust of five children. He bought a hut and started teaching his new students. Mr Mazahir soon discovered that these students were not only hungry for education but also very insightful. This little candle lighted in the dark soon attracted more students. Slowly, the number of students began to increase such that, the hut was no longer enough to seat all the students. More huts were required as the number of students crossed 100 over the period of six months. More teachers were required as well as more huts. Mr Mazahir bought neighboring huts to expand his school while relocating the resident families to other areas of the colony. The matter of more teachers was still unaddressed. This was a more troublesome issue. Teachers were not willing to cross over to a terror strucken Mustufa colony.
Fortune has always favoured the brave. Inspired by Mr Mazahir’s continued efforts, some teachers did join hands in his mission to educate the neglected side of Pakistan. The next step was to bring girls to the classroom. The mindset of the people was still fixed to, male is the bread winner while female is the bread cooker. Locals believed that girls have no use in the classrooms and that their place lies in the kitchen. Mr Mazahir set out to change that. He met with heads of the families and preached them about importance of education for both boys and girls. The result were slow but fruitful. Girls soon started attending classes. To much surprise, they turned out to be more hardworking than the boys. The continued preaching lead to an increase in the ratio of inflow of girls into the classrooms.
The infrastructure of the school was established by 1990. It was time to convert these huts into a school. Funds were required for the task at hand. Mr Mazahir would wait for hours in the sun to meet businessmen and investors. Nobody knew or believed in him. This did not held him back. He continued his mission. He kept meeting people and collecting funds. The school we see today signifies all those efforts. It took time but soon there were enough funds to convert those 1300 sq yard covering huts into a 78 room building with state of the art classrooms, labs, cafeteria, and every requirement of a proper school. Every year more than 200 students apply at Idara Al Khair to start their path of enlightenment which is lighted by the President, Mr Mazahir. From primary to intermediate, Idara al khair has skilled teachers for every subject for every class. No stone remains unturned to ensure these students find their path. Every year the Idara al Khair family grows stronger with new students coming in every year. This will now not stop until every child is blessed with education and Pakistan becomes the country with highest literacy rate.
The outcome of the seed planted by Mrs Mazahir has been nothing short of inspiring. The rate at which criminals were being produced by Mustufa colony has fallen sharply. The rate at which inspiring young blood coming out of the place has increased greatly. Some students have secured admission into universities after their intermediate. Female literacy has improved and that has improved their living standards. Drug and child abuse has depleted from that society. Parents now encourage their children to continue studies. Child labour has been cured to a great extent. Standard of living for families has also improved since their heir is now educated and can get a respectful job. This is all due to education. Education can change lives. The colony had potential. All they needed was a push. That Push came in the form of Idara Al Khair.
To emphasize the needs and importance of Education in this millennium will be nothing but stereotyped mere words and waste time. The most depressive and frustrating picture about imparting Education and improving literacy rate in the downtrodden and backward section of society is the matter of concern for all of us. The question is who would actually reach them and teach an unwilling child. On the other hand the parents of such children are themselves non cooperative and reluctant to give education to their children for many reasons. A most backward colony in a slum area named Mustafa colony in New Karachi was selected which was full of usual anti social activities like addiction, robbery, child labor, wandering, stealing etc. A jhuggi (hut/make shift) was acquired and teaching started initially with only two students. Idara Al-Khair welfare society was formed and registered in year 1987. After a period of working of more than 25 years with constant devotion, dedication and kind support of several philanthropist, individuals and organizations. We have been able to establish schools, basic health centers’ and vocational training centers’ as follows.
Future Plans for Al-Khair
In addition to the existing projects and activities we have planned as under:
- To increase more technologies in Al-Khair technical school.
- Evening classes for adults i.e., adult education for men and women.
- Establishing of a school and hospital in Sita Village Dadu for children and families of flood affected area.
- To establish more primary and secondary schools in suburb areas of Karachi.
- To establish a Master Teachers Training Institution who could teach according to our curriculum.
- Desks and furniture for our existing schools as all the lower class students’ i.e. upto 6th class are taught by sitting on floor/mats.
- Need of Generator it is felt badly because during load shedding the students and teachers face great difficulty due to darkness in the classes and heat.
- A small filter plant is proposed for drinking clean water by students and staff.
- As explained earlier, we intend to start the work of establishing a new school near Kachra Kundi Area. This project is only possible if some kind donor/organization come out to help us. Otherwise the work will be done in peace meal, bit by bit causing delay in completion.
- We intend to induct good qualified science teachers for higher classes but they demand higher salaries which are beyond our strength at present.
- The newly constructed building of Al-Khair School Mustafa Colony needs finalization and finishing work. The estimated expenses are more than 7.2 Million.
- To provide facility of pick & drop to our teachers.
- We intend to publish newsletter or bulletin of our activities and progress on quarterly basis which need funds and human resource.
- Adjacent to our school in Mustafa colony there is a big ground. Unfortunately there is no social or playful activities for the children of the locality of our school. This ground at present is a menace and a place of unsocial and evil activities of the area. In rainy days the whole ground is inundated with water. The ground is full of filthy material and garbage all over, all the time. We intend to establish an appropriate park where not only the students of our school but the children of the colony will be engaged with playful and sports activities. This will also help us in eradicating social evils from of slum society. We intend to accomplish this project as early as possible for which we are seeking some supporters.
- By the grace of God and kind help of our supporters we have been able to reconstruct our school consisting of 50 class rooms and washrooms etc on “Pakka” footings i.e. R.C.C. construction but still one portion of the building which was constructed quite a long time before is on precast construction basis being not in safe conditions to meet any emergency. We also intend to demolish this portion of building as early as possible and reconstruct an R.C.C construction over there. But we have no funds to materialize this project.
Our Kind Supporters and Sponsors
We salute to the great human loving philanthropist, individuals and organizations without it was not possible for us to establish and maintain big projects on education and social welfare as described. The moral and financial support being provided to us by donors is extremely valuable and highly commendable, Allah (God) bless them all. Some of our donors are those who do not like their names to be disclosed for publicity purpose. Mentioning a few names of our great well-wisher and benefactors.
- Thaakat Foundation who are our site partner of campus 2 and 3.
- NPO named JFSA of Japan who provides us an opportunity to make business from their products and earn some profit for running of our schools.
- Green Co-op
- One Ummah foundation
- Al Khair Foundation UK supports for orphan program.
- Japanese NPO named Earthian (Formed by house wives of a city) who had initially given us the idea of vocational education in Al-Khair school for girls and boys. They also provided us basic facilities to run this project.
- With regards and respect Govt. of Japan who helped us in construction of a portion of school building consisting of 11 class rooms in our existing Al-Khair school premises in New Karachi.
It is to mention that aforesaid organizations are not our regular donors but they often respond to our SOS messages whenever we happen to face some financial difficulties or emergencies in running of our projects.