Malegaon lobbies for an Aligarh centre
Malegaon, a city that has become symbolic of the ghettoisation of the Muslim community and a victim of home-grown terrorism, is now planning to use education as a means to turn its fortunes around.mumbai Updated: Oct 24, 2011 01:04 IST
Malegaon, a city that has become symbolic of the ghettoisation of the Muslim community and a victim of home-grown terrorism, is now planning to use education as a means to turn its fortunes around.
A sustained campaign by activists and citizens has forced officials of the Aligarh Muslim University to think about having a campus in Malegaon. A delegation of AMU led by vice chancellor P K Abdul Aziz will visit the textile town on October 26 to check if the infrastructure and facilities in the town are enough to set up a centre.
The AMU, one of the premier central universities in the country, has been attempting to increase its footprint in the country for the past five years. It has already set up centres in Murshidabad in West Bengal and Mallapuram in Kerala. Maharashtra has also been on AMU’s radar for a long time.
Citizens and students of Malegaon, who after coming to know of AMU’s plans, have been working overtime to ensure that an AMU centre is opened in their town. The city of Aurangabad is also in the fray, with the AMU planning to visit the city.
Recently over 1,000 girl students flooded AMU’s vice-chancellor with postcards pleading Malegaon’s case.
“The centre will also benefit neighbouring districts Dhule and Nandurbar, whose literacy rates are some of the lowest in the state,” chairman of Noble Education & Society (NEWS) Aleem Faizee said, who has been working to get the centre in Malegaon. Inspite of its stereotyped image as a backward Muslim town, Malegaon has always done well in terms of literacy and education.
The 2001 survey revealed its literacy rate at 65.77% was marginally higher than the national average of 64.8% and much better than the national Muslim literacy of 59.1%.
“It will play a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of the entire region,” said NCP’s member of parliament from Nashik Sameer Bhujbal who is lobbying for the centre in Malegaon.