KOLKATA - A growing number of Indian Muslim students aspiring for higher education are using new internet websites which offer them guidance and basic information about universities and higher education application.
"I wanted to serve my community but, being a busy engineer, getting enough time was a problem, Maqsood Ahmed Addewala, who founded MaqsoodView.com, told Khabar South Asia on Saturday, August 17.
So I decided to free information and realized how important it is.
Launching MaqsoodView.com website, Addewala, a Muslim himself, was motivated to do something for his community through his technical knowledge.
The site launched offered help to hundreds of higher-education aspirants with guidance that is normally not available for those who lack basic information.
Javed Yousuf, a young man from Kolkata who has completed 12 years of formal schooling and joined a science undergraduate course in college, is one of the Muslim students whose future changed thanks to the new website.
Though none of his relatives had more than six or seven years of education, they have encouraged him to seek higher education to become a doctor.
Javed's father, driver Yousuf Alim, says such services have made all the difference.
"Where would a poor driver like me go with basic queries? Earlier whoever I asked gave only partial replies," Alim said.
"But this site which we accessed through the neighbourhood cybercafÃ© owner is packed with all kinds of information."
Not only Javed as several Muslim students changed their future thanks to the new websites.
In a cybercafÃ© in Kolkata at any given time, several youngsters can be spotted surfing the net for information on education.
"One can spend a lot of time at an inexpensive rate at the cybercafÃ©s to surf information on education options thanks to maqsoodview.com," student Sultana Parveen said.
Offering basic information to young Muslim students, the new websites ended a large obstacle banning aspiring Muslims from entering university.
"It must be understood that most Muslims who are completing school and hoping to get into college are first generation cases - they cannot get guidance at home or in their immediate circle of relatives because, quite simply, there is simply a lack of a precedent," Masood Altaf of irfi.org told Khabar.
"So they must be provided with all information on the choices before them along with the costs that come with choosing them, or the scholarships available from which quarter."
Testing the website's success, Addewala said that providing a digital platform for gathering such resources has become a personal mission.
"Most education information sites work like search engines," he explained.
They provide information one at a time. But my site gives a panoramic view of colleges.
He hopes to develop the website to offer basic information about university education and loan systems to students.
"There is scope for giving information on student loans," Addewala said.
We will keep updating the site with details on private institutes which offer special courses.
Muslims account for 160 million of India's 1.1 billion people, the world's third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net