Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mother Teresa never asked for funds

She never asked for funds or even permitted fund-raising. Mother Teresa depended on providence. She believed if the work was intended, the money would come. If money did not come, the reverse held true.

What would happen to her mission when she passed on, I once asked her. She did not answer but instead only pointed her finger towards heaven. But I persisted. She laughed and said: “Let me go first.” 

I asked her the third time and this time she replied: “You have been to so many of our missions in India and abroad. Everywhere our Sisters wear the same saris, eat the same kind of food, do the same kind of work. But Mother Teresa is not everywhere. Yet the work goes on.” 

Then she added: “As long as we remain committed to the poorest of the poor and do not end up serving the rich, the work will prosper.” 

From Navin Chawla's article Mother Teresa: a remembrance in The Hindu.
More Here

Monday, August 09, 2010

We are the poorest!

Poverty in at least eight States — Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand — was worse than in some of the poorest countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

In a week when Delhi's new “world-class” airport opened for business and the Indian Space Research Organisation celebrated the successful launch of five new satellites, we had a stark reminder of another India that, increasingly, many Indians feel embarrassed to talk about. A United Nations-backed study by Oxford University revealed that poverty in at least eight Indian States — Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand — was worse than in some of the poorest countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

The findings are based on a global poverty index, the Multidimensional Poverty Index or MPI, developed by Oxford University. It takes into account a range of social factors not hitherto considered while measuring poverty and will replace the Human Poverty Index (HPI) which, until now, has formed the basis for the annual U.N. Human Development Reports.

How's the new index significantly different from the traditional ways of measuring poverty and how will it make a difference on the ground? Here, Dr. Sabina Alkire, Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), who has travelled extensively in India, speaks to Hasan Suroor:

Were you surprised by the finding that there are more poor people in eight Indian States than in the 26 poorest African states combined?

No, I wasn't really surprised, as the scale of Indian poverty is well known within the academic world —whether measured in income terms or multi-dimensionally. But the recent focus on India's phenomenal growth in the media has given the impression that the largest numbers of very poor people are in Sub-Saharan Africa rather than South Asia (where there are nearly twice as many MPI poor than in Africa). We wanted to test that impression. 
From a thought provoking article in The Hindu. More Here.

Imam Sahib, Khateeb, Orator, Writer and Blogger all in one!

When you think of a Pesh imam, you imagine a person who spends most of his time in mosque and giving religious sermon. You don't expect him to be tech savy. But moulavi A Abdul Azeez Fazil Baqavi is a cut above the rest. A double MA in history and an M.Phil student Baqavi is focused on creating awareness about computer literacy among moulavis. 

To his credit he has developed many Islamic Tamil websites besides blogs."I wish to educate imams so that they can use internet to update their knowledge and to have better understanding about the happenings across the globe. One of my first blogs was exclusively for Vellore AlBaqiyathus Salihath Arabic College alumni," he said about was an extension of his religious duties. Its content was aimed at helping imams to give information packed sermons on Jumu'ah (Friday) prayers instead of the stereotype lectures. 

To create awareness about the benefits of internet use, Baqavi has already conducted six seminars across the State. He is currently pursuing M.Phil and his thesis is on Modern Arabic specifically on Prophet Yousuf's life. For his thesis he is being guided by Dr P Nisar Ahmed of Arabic, Persian and Urdu department at Madras University. Baqavi plans to take doctorate as well.

His web portals include (first Tamil website for Holy Koran), (first Tamil Hadis website) besides his

From a report of M Rafee Ahmed 'Coimbatore Pesh imam turns Internet evangelist'
in Express Buzz. More here.

Read Madrasas in Tamil Nadu 


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