Thursday, 5 December 2013

Social work students interacted with Ms. Jazeera ; a lady silent crusader
( Published in Jamia Journal  )

Identify the issue, enrich your understanding, mobilize the people and take action on the same issue is the social work approach of activism, class theory, but a unique, incredible and exemplary approach of social action taken by Ms. Jazeera a Muslim, burqa clad woman against the sand mafia challenged the theory and create a new way of social action. The social work students came across this unique and bizarre approach while interacting with her.
The Subject Association of Department of Social work organized an interaction session with field activist on 6th November where invitee Ms. Jazeera shared her journey and experience of fighting alone against the mighty sand mafia from the past one and half years. The interaction session which lasted for a couple of hours commenced with recitation of Quran by Mr. Abu Hafeez, welcome words by Sarah Abrar followed by a documentary show about her. Dr. Habeebul Rahman, the Student Advisor, introduced her to the audience.   After this Ms Jazeera shared her journey from a village of Kannur district in kerala to capital of the country and shared her bitter but indeed inspiring experience of fighting against sand mafia in which her own relatives are involved. According to her when she was pregnant with her younger son, she moved to her native village to live with her family. This was the time when she came to know a very shocking and deplorable condition of the Neerozhukkumchal beach where all her childhood memories are painted upon and which is in dire state due to rampant illegal excavation of sand. That is when she started her crusade which grew nationwide after a long silent protesting without any loud sloganeering. Her three children ( 14, 11, and 1 years old respectively) are all her team members. Her battle started from Village Street, travelled to district headquarter, state capital and now to Delhi at Janter Manter since one month. She is fighting the issue in Supreme Court, National Human Rights Commission and in Green Tribunal. Breaking all stereotypes of Muslim women Ms Jazeera is demanding the sand mafia should be pushed out of her village. She received lures and threatening  calls and allegation that she is linked with some suspected terrorist outfits. She recalled  Chipko Andolan and said that for those who are not associated with the issue might not be able to assign the importance to the same and might even laugh away from it, but those who could understand the gravity of it will never be able to sit back and relax. 

Ms. Shobha, a PhD scholar in the department  interpreted her words in English as she was sharing her story in Malayalam in full of confidence and during Malayalam speech any one can feel her warm and soulful words. The experience sharing was followed by a question answer session which each member of the audience thoroughly enjoyed. Dr. Sanjai Ingole, in the concluding remarks, related the Jazeera model of strike to the social work knowledge and said these types of activist are great source of inspiration and learning for the students. Leaving the venue, Jazeera asserted that she will definitely win the battle if she is alive, and pleaded one more chance to come back to Jamia and meet the students to share her joy after the victory.  

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