By Muslim Mirror Special Correspondent
GUWAHATI, MARCH 1, 2021: The 24th annual general meeting of the Minority Welfare Society (MWS) was held with a colourful programme on Sunday in Guwahati. The events which began in the morning consisted of a host of competitions for youngsters followed by deliberations by invited speakers. Annual awards were given away in the valedictory function held in the afternoon.
MWS is made up of more than 1,500 families residing mostly in and around Guwahati whose roots are in the Barak Valley region of Assam. The Society undertakes various welfare and motivational programmes throughout the year.
The highlight of Sunday’s programme was the presentation of Annual Sahidul Alom Choudhury Memorial Award 2021to Dr KM Baharul Islam, who was born in Karimganj District of Assam, now serving as Professor & Chairperson of the Centre for Public Policy and Government at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kashipur, Uttarakhand. He served as the Dean (Academics) during 2019-2021 at the same Institute. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland in 2020. The award consisting of a plaque, memento, and cash component of Rs 25,000 was handed over to him by Abdus Sattar Choudhury and Abdul Karim Choudhury, President and General Secretary respectively of MWS. Dr Islam donated the entire cash amount back to MWS to be used for various welfare activities undertaken by the Society.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Islam paid profound tribute to his father, late Fakhrul Islam, Principal Lala Rural College Hailakandi Assam who was also a Deputy Minister (in charge of education) in the Govt of Assam. He said, “My father taught me about plain living and high thinking because of which I have been able to reach a respectable position in life where I am placed today.” Dr Islam mentioned that he founded the PFI Foundation in memory of his late father and this foundation is now accredited by the United Nations.
The eighth edition of “Barak”, the annual publication of MWS, was released on the occasion by dignitaries present on the dais. The magazine consisting of well researched articles supplemented by rare documents and photographs was edited by Jiya-ud-Din Choudhury and designed by Abul Hussain Choudhury.
The annual report of MWS that was presented at the meeting highlighted the aggregate channelising of zakat and relief funds amounting to Rs 1.87 lakh to the deserving poor and the needy in the society. Rs 63,000 was handed over to poor patients for their medical treatment. MWS also made a donation of Rs 50,000 to “Assam Arogya Nidhi” for the Covid19 Pandemic. In addition, MWS extended loans of over Rs 3 lakh to 190 small entrepreneurs under the “Quomrul Hoque Memorial Endowment” programme supported by the ERD Foundation.
Dignitaries gave away the prizes to winners of various competitions and meritorious students at the end of the programme. The General Secretary announced that MWS will now take up the publication of the updated directory of its members for which help and cooperation was sought from all present.