After two years of operating from an office that barely contains a table and a chair, he will write to the commissioner; NGOs have also demanded a place for the office
For two years, with only an officer and a peon, the Wakf regional office in Pune has been operating from a small space inside Firojan Naquvi Dargah in Mominpura, to note the problems of Muslim residents in the area. They don’t even have enough space in the premises to keep a computer or a telephone. The regional officer of Wakf, Abdul Ateeque Khan, will soon write to the PMC commissioner seeking allocation of a place in Hajrat Siddiqui Park near Lal Deool at Camp for the same. The place he is seeking is owned by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
The regional officer has sought a place at Hajrat Siddiqui Park. The Waqf office is currently operating from Firojan Naquvi Dargah (below) in Mominpura. Pics/Shashank Sane
“All the work related to Wakf in Satara, Solapur, Miraj and Kolhapur comes under the region of Pune, and hence the staff of two is not sufficient. Earlier, the state head office at Aurangabad had allotted us a computer, but we had barely managed to make space for a small table and chair. We want at least 200 to 300 square feet of space in the park for our office, so that we can work more efficiently,” said Khan. As a result of the space issue, the allotted computer is still at Aurangabad.
The demand for the regional office has increased to avoid inconvenience to people, who have to travel to the state office of Wakf at Aurangabad, for their cases.
Pune-based NGOs working on different issues of the Muslim community are not satisfied with the regional office, and are also demanding a well-equipped office.
Matin Mujavar of the NGO Shikshan Hakka Manch said, “The regional office works like a post office. When people approach them with their issues, the officer takes notes on some papers and carries them to Aurangabad. He is just a postman and cannot solve the issues. In fact they get delayed due to lack of space to work to resolve them”.
Shikshan Hakka Manch, several social workers, ulemas and some advocates had planned a morcha to the collector’s office in Mumbai, seeking a full-fledged Wakf office and a court in Pune in 2013. At Azad Maidan, state home minister R R Patil and state labour Hasan Mushrif had promised to look into the matter.
Activists of another NGO working for the Muslim community recently met Central Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla and stated the need of a proper regional office. She is also the ex-officio chairperson of the Central Waqf Council.
Wakf means the permanent dedication by a person professing Islam, of any movable or immovable property for any purpose recognised by the Muslim law as pious, religious or charitable.