Alhaj Safderbhai Jaffer – President of The World Federation, along with a delegation comprising of  Alhaj Gulambhai Virjee, Alhaj Ali Hasnain Dossani (Executive Councillor of WF) and Alhaj Asad Virani (WF Lead India) visited numerous Jamaats in India during a week-long visit. The objective was to meet the grassroots, meet with community leaders and understand their difficulties, and outline a road map to help improve their situation and in particular the education and initial assessment of the housing needs.

The President also had the privilege of being invited by Mumbai Jamaat as the Chief Guest for the historic opening ceremony of the Baab-e-Shohda-e-Karbala gate in Mumbai.

Continue reading to learn more about his recent trip to India.

Safderbhai and the WF delegation during their visit to India, paid respect to past leaders of the community, by visiting graveyards in most cities. The trip initiated in Mumbai, by visiting Aarambaug Kabrastan, where they paid respect to the Shaheed of our community, Hirjibhai Allarakhia and Laljeebhai Sajan. They also visited the graves of Marhum Alhaj Mohibalibhai Nasser and Marhum Nasserbhai Haji Mavji among other prominent personalities. They visited the Vijapadi Jamaat Kabrastan where a wall was to be restored, and committed to pay for the expenses through a generous donor. They also visited Haji Naji Kabrastan in Bhavnagar, remembering Alhaj Haji Naji Saheb, the Marhumeen of families who have contributed to the welfare of our communities in Gujarat. They continued to pay their respect to Marhumeen at various other locations, particularly Sarkhej Jamaat’s new Kabrastan in Ahmedabad, and Kalupur Jamaat’s Kabrastan in Kalupur.

Watch the video below to learn more about his visits.

The WF delegation visited 13 cities, covering 23 Jamaats (some cities have multiple Jamaats due to remote locations).  There they met with their Office Bearers, holding discussions in great length. Throughout the Gujarat trip, the delegation was accompanied by officials from the Council of Gujarat led by the President Alhaj Arif Zain, The Vice President Sirajbhai Nathani as well as other officials. The President was passionate about engaging with the grassroots whereever possible, and empathise with them. The Jamaats they visited included Mumbai, Una, Rajula, Vijapadi, MotaKunthwada, Mahuwa Dargah Party, Mahuwa Madrasa Party, Talaja, Palitana, Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad Sarkhej and Ahmedabad Kalupur.  At Talaja, nearing Jamaats came to visit the WF delegation, due to time constraints.  Safderbhai was very humbled by the community’s warm welcome and hospitality throughout their trip.

Safderbhai’s message was highlighted during each visit, where he emphasized on Education for all (secular and Islamic), Housing for the very low income groups, Widows support fund and Unity within the community.

The delegation visited the Mumbai Jamaat where they met the Office Bearers and various committee members of the KSIJ Mumbai. The President and delegates were shown a presentation of the working of the Jamaat over the last 9 months since the new team took leadership. The Jamaat has been able to redevelop the Hyderi Manzil building in Dongri and repair Suhana building in Mumbra. Both house Khoja families and were in dilapidated conditions. The Jamaat also showcased the education and medical assistance they have been providing to the underprivileged families. The Jamaat also announced that a school and college plot will be allotted to the Jamaat by the local minister of Mumbai by mid-2022.

The delegation also visited the Jafri Gym which generates income for the Jamaat. They requested the WF for assistance towards the renovation of the gym to further enhance this valuable source of income.

The WF delegation visited the Umme Kulsum Trust to understand their activities, which include running of old age homes for women/men, housing for specially abled children, orphanage for girls, mass marriages and a small scale industry.

Watch the video below to learn more about these visits to the different Jamaats.

As part of the focus on Education, Safderbhai and the WF delegation, visited the Mahdi School in Bhavnagar, where they had the opportunity to inaugurate the newly built Robotics Lab and interact with the students at the school. They also visited the Fountain School in Mahuwa, where they were introduced to the staff and the curriculum followed by the school. While in Bhavnagar, they visited the Husaini Education office which is part of the WF’s arm in Mumbai, that provides support to our community students to pursue their dream in Higher Education.

The President also had the privilege to meet and hold discussions with the WF ZCSS supported students, who have achieved their dream careers and are now proficient professionals, including doctors and engineers. Lastly, they visited the Haji Naji orphanage and interacted with the students to motivate them to study further and make their lives better.

Watch the video below to hear the Presidents address at the Mahuwa Madrasah Party Jamaat Masjid on the need of Focus on Education, and view pictures during the trip to these schools.

Alhaj Safderbhai Jaffer’s vision is that no Khoja family should be homeless. In this regard, the WF delegation visited Rajula Masumeen Housing project, where Alhaj Safderbhai Jaffer inaugurated the ground breaking ceremony. They also visited Sihor, where the Jamaat owns land and a housing project is being planned for the poor families. In Bhavnagar, they visited Bharat Nagar and Kumbharwada slum areas, where sadly a significant number of Khoja families reside. In Palitana, they visited houses of families living in chawks.

India Federation and Council of Gujarat will carry out the needs assessment which will create a base to commence the work on housing in India. The President in consultation with the President of India Federation Murabbi Mukhtarbhai Varteji have appointed Alhaj Riyazbhai Masani to lead the housing needs assessment of our community in India as he has extensive experience in building houses for the underprivileged.

Watch the video below to see the President visiting the above, and the ground breaking ceremonies during their visit to India.

Whilst in India, Alhaj Safderbhai Jaffer had the opportunity to inaugurate India’s first-ever gate, “Baab-e-Shohda-e-Karbala”, dedicated to the Martyrs of Karbala in Dongri, Mumbai, the hub of all Shia gatherings. The President specifically acknowledged the efforts of Murabbi Safdarbhai Kermalli who has worked hard together with his colleagues in achieving this 5th milestone after similar efforts that manifested in various Chawks and Streets named after the panjatan.

Learn more on this here.

Watch the video below to watch Alhaj Safder Jaffers address at this inauguration.

On arrival in Bhavnagar, the President and his delegation held meetings with the India Federation Office Bearers. The President of India Federation Alhaj Mukhtarbhai Varteji warmly welcomed the President and his delegation to India and expressed their desire to work closely with the WF to enhance the welfare of our communities in India.

The World Federation took the opportunity to present awards of recognition of services to those individuals who were involved in the Covid-19 taskforce. The awardees included Alhaj Abbasali Bhojani, Alhaj Arif Zain, Alhaj Ali Hasnain Dosani, and Alhaj Haiderali Meghani.

The institutions including Council of Gujarat, India Federation and Husaini Education were also recognised for their long standing work on the ground for the upliftment of the community.

Watch the video on the program organised by the India Federation.