Dr Vizarat Rasool Khan, who passed away in his native, Hyderabad, was a leading educationist and visionary who championed the cause of education among Muslims.
The news of his death caused grief across the country, especially, among Muslim circles. In Urdu newspapers, he was termed as Sir Syed of Hyderabad.
His contribution was immense, as he dreamt big and managed to achieve the goals. Khan built 56 educational institutes that include 24 engineering colleges and two medical colleges.
He also set up the first ever women's medical college in India, apart from women's engineering college. Further, he was at the forefront for the fight to ensure that Muslims from the poor section get higher education, at a highly subsidised* rate.
A social-worker who also dabbed in politics and got elected as an MLA, his focus throughout remained on education. In fact, the achievements of the Khan's Shadan Group are remarkable. Those not familiar with the bureaucratic setup, feel that it is easy to establish colleges or institutions.
The truth is that Herculean fights and lifelong efforts were needed, as State governments don't give permissions for setting up of Minority Colleges. The files just don't move. The real issue is the indifference in bureaucracy towards any such proposal. Further, there are obstacles at every juncture.
In his interview with Shaik Ahmed Ali's Urdu news channel, INN LIVE, Khan said that he want government to facilitate setting up of educational institutes and give nod.
Once the government nod and the no-objection certificate [NOC] was there, such standards would be maintained that AICTE or MCI norms could be fulfilled. The problem is always in dealing with the slow-paced bureaucracy.
Khan was nearly 67. He died after prolonged illness.
After the Deccan College [Khan was part of the team behind it as well], his was the second minority Engineering College in Hyderabad, after parting ways with the Deccan. Since then, there was no one stopping him.
Professional colleges were set up one after the other and finally it led to medical colleges and hospital. Still, Khan was not satisfied. He was trying hard to establish an autonomous university. He felt that there was no dearth of talent among the poor but they didn't have resources.
There is need for more colleges, so that the students from unprivileged sections could get in, and there is need for financial assistance and good scholarships. Clearly, Indian Muslims need more revolutionaries in the field of education like him.
Apart from being the head of Shadan Group of Educational Institutions, he was socially active and regularly coordinated with other activists, academicians and politicians for improvement in the educational scenario in Andhra Pradesh.
Today he has left behind the modern schools, colleges for girls and boys, institutes for professional studies in law, management, B Ed, technical sciences et al. In fact, he built the largest network of educational institutions for Muslims.
Now the onus is on his sons to take the group forward and carry on the work initiated by their father. One hopes that more Indians would realise the need for spreading education and set up schools, colleges and institutes for all sections of society, including Muslims.
Salute to Dr Vizarat Rasool Khan
Link to Shadan group's website & the medical college-hospital website
[*Just like SC/ST students get the fees back, the Muslim students from extremely poor families in Andhra Pradesh get partial reimbursement of the fee]
[The second women's medical college in the country and the first by government has recently been inaugurated in Haryana. The first and lone women exclusive medical college in the world was established in 1910 in London.]
Photo: The building of Shadan College