Founder Rama Durgvanshi ( Arise N Awake )
A Hindu girl with her honest efforts to improve the condition of Madarasas.It is her belief that to bring a change in society the most important element is social harmony.
Founder Rama Durgvanshi ( Arise N Awake )
To bring this social harmony, it is desired that the cloud of skepticism must be cleared with the establishment of proper communication channel within the society. And this will be attained only through proper and right education.
Rama Singh DurgVanshi (founder of "Arise N Awake" a charitable organisation) plays crucial role in program called Taleem-O-Tarbiyat, (an initiative of Mr Zafar Sareshwala, Chancellor of MANUU).
Literal meaning of Taleem O Tarbiyat is education & character building. Sole purpose of the initiative is to bring the change in the present mindset of the Muslim community and to create awareness towards quality & higher education especially for Madarasa students. Under the umbrella of Taleem O Tarbiyat this organisation is setting up basic instruments in the Madarsas for virtual classes operating through satellites, where Madarasa students are taught Math, English & Science (10 madasaras).
Computer classes have been organised for girl students (1st batch of 150 girls out them 6 are Hindu girls). Further, sewing machines required as per the strength of the learners have also been provided to attain the skills to gain economic independence. Aim of this organisation is to improve the living standard of the females of Muslim community through these skill training programs (60females have been imparted this training).
To change the existing scenario of Madarsas running in the backward areas, Rama is making constant efforts and is acting as a bridge between the Government and the Madarsas. The needs required by these Madarsas are being conveyed to the governing bodies and also the administrative bodies of the locality, so that the condition of the Madarsas can be improved.
Rama tells that while being part of Taleem O Tarbiyat, she gets chance to interact with ullemas & teachers, who are working in Madarasas.
Most of them are ready to move with changing time and want to adopt contemporary educational standards as per the need of the present day, to develop the scientific and logical minds in Islamic institutions and they also agree that modern pattern of education is a necessity. But, there are some, who want to maintain status quo. Such institutions are being trapped by control freaks.
Rama tells that some of the trustees of the Madarsas attempt to regulate the functioning of the institutes on the radical lines in lieu of the Zakats (donation) given by them. She further tells that these trustees attempt to brainwash the minds of students (only poor /low income background students get enrolled in Madarasas.These poor students are easy target for such elements. These students are vulnerable in every sense.)
These students are brainwashed to blindly follow the myths related to the holy book Quran, and the self generated manipulative version of its verses. To present actual picture in this regard, Rama herself is studying Quran, so as to understand and spread the true meaning of its verses.
Rama asserts that it is the need of the hour to question mental bankruptcy of such people, put a check on these elements and stop them from ruining the future of poor & downtrodden students.
According to her, the root cause of radicalisation is misinterpretation of religion/life values and culture/life style. She logically explains that the culture being practiced in Arab nations cannot be blindly followed in India as the Indian society has its own culture.
She also feels that there is distinct difference between culture and religion.
Culture is a process of evolution, whereas, religion is a process of revelation. Culture varies with passage of time, whereas, fundamental structure of religion doesn’t change. Culture is a way of life practiced by a particular society, while religion exists in some written form like holy/sacred books.
“Arise n awake” is based in Allahabad with its branch office in Mumbai. This NGO works in various fields of education, medical help, agriculture and youth mobilization. The NGO operates basically in Mumbai, Gujarat & Uttar Pradesh, spreading educational awareness among the students, who are from socially and economically weaker sections.
Rama Singh Durgvanshi hails from Jagapur, a small village in Jaunpur district of UP. She completed her senior secondary education in her village. She tells that due to lack of proper awareness, she did not know about career opportunities. After she came to Allahabad for higher studies, she came to know about career opportunities.
At present, she works as an independent business consultant in Mumbai. On the issue of time management between her profession and social work, she said that social service is her passion and to fulfill the same, sometimes she compromises with her professional and personal obligations. She is thankful to God, that in performing her duties as a social activist, her family stands strongly besides her. Her husband Dr. Sanjay Singh, who is a dentist by profession, is her main support pillar. Dr. Singh is also the Co-founder of “Arise ‘N’ Awake”.
Presently, the foundation “Arise n Awake” is trying to coordinate between central Govt and State Govts for the implementation of SPQEM (scheme to provide quality education in Madarsas).
SPQEM seeks to bring improvement in the quality of education being imparted in the religious institutions of Muslim community, so that it enables the Muslim children to attain high standards of the education. It will be helpful in bringing a change in the present mind set of the followers of Islam and its traditions, as modern education at primary levels in the Madarsas will bring uniqueness in the existing cultural fabric of India in real sense.
The NGO also works for the proper implementation of several government schemes in the rural areas through establishing a channel with the administrative bodies of the area.
Soon the NGO is going to establish career counseling centres and organizing workshop regarding opportunities available in financial sector to provide awareness among the students regarding career opportunities. It will also establish computer centers to provide technical knowledge to students. These centres will be established in some districts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, starting from Rama’s ancestral village, as she feels that it is her pious obligation to do something for the betterment of her birth place.
The foundation is going to educate farmers regarding use of farming techniques to help them in attaining a sustainable income and improving their living standard. It will also provide them market for their agricultural produce.
The founder of Arise N Awake, Rama finds her motivation in the spiritual humanity of Swami Vivekananda. She is a follower of Swami Vivekananda and Chanakya.
(Based on the telephonic conversation with Rama Singh Durgvanshi, founder of Arise ‘N’ Awake)