He is a man with a mission. A journalist by profession, a calligrapher by hobby and a community worker by dedication, Zaheeruddin Ali Khan feels the pain of the Muslim community in his Telangana state as well in other parts of India.
As managing editor of Urdu daily newspaper Siasat, Zaheeruddin has found an apt platform to support the yeoman service being rendered by the widely read newspaper.
As part of its corporate social responsibility, the newspaper runs five trusts working in different fields.
One of its activities involves training the Muslim youth to prepare them for jobs in the police force and call centers in Hyderabad.
“Telangana is the only state where the Muslim population is 14 percent and the representation of Muslims in the police force is 20 percent,” claims Zaheeruddin, who is in Jeddah to perform Umrah.
“Every police station has eight to nine Muslims,” he said, adding, “We have disproved the decadent mentality of Muslims who think that they will not be able to get government jobs.”
Hyderabad, which accounts for nearly 11 percent of India’s IT exports, is also home to a number of call centers.
Zaheeruddin through Siasat is also involved in organizing training for jobless Muslim youth to prepare them for call center and IT jobs.
And he is happy at the success rate.
“Today 18,000 Muslim boys and girls from slum areas are working in the Hyderabad Hitec City,” he said.
Zaheeruddin said that a survey conducted by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), which is a trade association of Indian Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, expressed surprise at the high percentage of Muslim youth, specially women, in Hyderabad call centers.
“Our community is very talented, we just to have to put them on the right track. It requires motivation, not money,” said Zaheeruddin.
Another important service being run by the Siasat trust is the du-ba-du (Face-to-Face) marriage alliance program.
“We have a biodata of around 30,000 prospective brides and grooms,” he said, adding, “We help conduct dowry less marriages.”
Zaheeruddin has also been involved in training teachers for Urdu medium schools.
“Some 90 percent Muslim women were recruited when 1,800 vacancies were announced for Urdu teachers by the Telangana government,” he added.
Zaheeruddin, whose experience as a journalist reflects in his salt and pepper beard, advises Muslims to take a back seat in the 2019 parliamentary elections.
He also laments the dearth of a Muslim political leadership.