Turning dreams into reality: Hyderabad Zakat Charitable Trust empowering the poor

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: The boy’s eyes twinkled with joy while those of the onlookers turned misty. It was a big day for Anas Khan. He stood in disbelief as he held a brand new laptop—a gift beyond his wildest dreams. Son of Ghouse Khan, a 104 ambulance driver, he never imagined that he would ever possess a laptop. For the elderly couple it was a day of immense satisfaction for bringing cheer into the boy’s life.

This special day marked a turning point in Anas life, a moment made possible by the generosity of Ghiasuddin Babukhan and his wife, Shujath Babukhan. Anas received this invaluable tool on his admission to the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). It symbolized not just a laptop, but a gateway to a brighter future.

Shakira Kausar

The joy of Shakira Kausar is seen to be believed. Though she lost her father, Shaikh Meera Shareef, a fruit seller, she is able to continue her educational journey thanks again to the timely help by the Good Samaritans. Now she is pursuing B Tech in Guntur.

Source of satisfaction

For Babukhan these acts of kindness are a source of immense satisfaction. His belief in the transformative power of education has led him to invest not just in Anas Khan’s future, but in the futures of countless others.

At the heart of this transformative act is the Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust (HZCT), an organization founded by him in 1992 to uplift the lives of the underprivileged. For decades, the HZCT has been a beacon of hope, empowering those in need through the gift of education.

Founded with a mission to make quality education accessible to all, the HZCT has touched the lives of countless individuals. Through Zakat-funded initiatives, the Trust has opened doors for hundreds of poor and orphaned Muslim boys and girls, paving the way for them to carve out promising futures.

Benefitting the poor

The impact of the HZCT’s work extends far beyond the individual stories of success. It is a testament to the power of giving, of how a simple act of kindness can ripple through communities and transform lives. Over the last 30 years, the Trust has collected and disbursed a staggering Rs 155 crore in Zakat, benefiting 16.40 lakh beneficiaries.

The HZCT has brought smiles to forlorn faces through the power of giving. It is not just providing material support, but also instilling a sense of hope and possibility in those who need it most. Families once burdened by poverty are finding freedom through knowledge, and rural communities are being empowered with the tools they need to thrive.

Small start

Traditionally, it is the madrassa which have been cornering the lion’s share of Zakat, the annual obligatory charity given by the well-heeled Muslims. It is Babukhan who pioneered the concept of centralized Zakat collection and usage for education of the less privileged children of the community. The HZCT started off with a Zakat amount of just Rs. 11 lakh in 1992 – mostly the contribution of his family and friends. And today with public contribution it has touched the Rs 155 crore mark.

Where does all this money go? About 90 percent of the Zakat amount is spent towards providing education to the poor. In the last three decades the HZCT has spent a staggering Rs. 100 crore on education alone. “It is through education that children are shielded from life’s trials. They get imbued with virtues necessary for a meaningful life and become catalysts for advancement of their communities,” says Babukhan.

Besides being an act of worship, Zakat has a deep humanitarian value as it prevents hoarding of wealth and promotes solidarity among Muslims through distribution of excess wealth. A symbol of Islamic social justice, Zakat is the community’s best bet to lift itself up.

The best part is boys and girls who have come up in life through Zakat funded education are now in a position to pay Zakat themselves. “Many of them come forward to contribute to the HZCT but we tell them to first spend on the less fortunate in their families,” says Javeed Hood of HZCT.

Feeding the poor

The other core areas of HZCT concern include feeding the poor, empowerment of women through skill development, rehabilitation and remarriage of young widows and education of their kids. The requirements of non-Muslims and critical needs of rural communities are taken care of through the Foundation for Economic and Educational Development (FEED) and the Ghiasuddin Babukhan Charitable Trust.

During 2023-24 the HZCT spent Rs. 4.91 crore on education, Rs. 141.6 lakh on feeding the poor, Rs. 1.82 lakh on marriage of orphan girls and Rs. 4.74 lakh on orphan housing. During the same period through FEED a sum of Rs. 90.42 lakh was spent on scholarships, R. 2.59 crore on welfare schemes, Rs.1.97 crore on school education projects, Rs. 65 lakh on orphan scholarship and 0.22 lakh on other schemes like marriage of orphan girls.

Together the HZCT and FEED have opened up a world of possibilities – nurturing hope and empowerment. Helping a few people might not change the whole world, but it definitely changes the world for them. Through their unwavering dedication, these organisations are not just changing lives—but shaping better tomorrow for generations to come.

Surely, none has ever become poor by giving. One only rises by lifting others.

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