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APM has helped 80,000 job seekers so far: Aamir Edresy

Atir Khan/New Delhi

The Association of Muslim Professionals is a Mumbai-based body of Muslim professionals, who share knowledge, experience, and skills for the overall development of not just the Muslim community but also the society at large, and believes in further empowering Muslims in the educational, social, political, and economic front. Awaz-The Voice Editor-in-Chief Atir Khan spoke to Aamir Edresy, the founder and president of AMP. Here are experts from the interview:  

How and when was the Association of Muslim Professionals formed?

We started way back in 2007 as an online initiative. We started as a community on a social networking site. In 2008, we conducted the first physical meeting of that group in Bombay. It was attended by some 35 people. I wanted to do something along these lines since my childhood. When Sachar Committee findings came out everybody was discussing the backwardness of Indian Muslims, especially in the fields of education, economy, and socio-cultural status. There was no solution in sight. We thought that at least the educated Muslim youth could do something about the situation.

So, we floated the idea of AMP which gave us success, and mashallah by and by people started joining us. We started working on different projects, and activities, and slowly it became a national phenomenon. We started on a very small scale from Bombay. Now we have chapters in 400 districts of our country. We also have a presence in other countries. Alhamdulillah it is like a miracle.

Tell us more about your background.

I belong to a very humble background, I come from a very small family. We are natives of UP but settled in Bombay. My basic education happened in Bombay and I did my engineering in computers. I started teaching at one of the very famous engineering colleges in Mumbai. Then I worked with MNCs. Then I realized that I could not do both things together, so I left my job. Now I am into consultancy and working for AMP. 

What impact has AMP made; what are its achievements?

First of all, I would like to say that AMP has set a new trend within the community for existing educated Muslim youth to come forward and do something in this society. We started with very small initiatives, but then slowly we started structuring, organizing, and making systems within the projects and started developing programs, aimed at long-term impact. Other members started going to local schools for motivational lectures, and personality development workshops. We have done several thousand such lectures in more than 1000 schools. 

We started work on providing employment assistance to our existing members and then this initiative started shaping up and became a big project. And now employment assistance has become the biggest identity for the AMP.

I’m very happy to say that the AMP is the first organization among the Indian Muslim community that has started working in this area. Otherwise, if you look around you will not find many organizations doing such programs. After AMP people started working on employment initiatives. We have also done job fairs. You would be happy to know we have done around 19 different job fairs in India, in different cities, in which a large number of companies participated. Our initiatives have supported more than 80,000 candidates to get jobs across India.

Our target is to reach smaller cities, and towns and conduct such programs. We have got 60,000 plus donations, which we use to support our projects. We have started coaching for competitive exams and have created 400 exam centers for the selection of candidates belonging to far-flung places for coaching. I have seen only governments doing this kind of activity on such a massive scale.

Tell us more about the students’ backgrounds, are they exclusively from the Muslim community or do you also offer scholarships to students from other faiths as well?

Our program is open to everyone, but because we are a Muslim organization, we have a better connection with the Muslim community. We are open to students of all communities. 

That’s very good. So how many members does AMP have as of today?

I don’t have an exact number, but I think at least, at least 50,000 people are actively connected with the AMP.

So these members, which you have are exclusively from the corporate sector, or are they also people like doctors and lawyers?

It is open to all kinds of people. 

You have a presence in 20 countries. How does it help you? I mean do you get support in placement from members in other countries?

So, we don’t get any foreign employment assistance program. But people in other countries could join our projects like anybody else from India. Physical presence has become kind of irrelevant or less relevant these days. 

Now tell us about your long-term goals. How do you see it going say 30 years, 40 years down the line?

So basically, education should be the engine, then economic development should also be very important. For example, if you look at the number of Muslims in higher education it is somewhere around 4%. So, we have to work on these numbers, similarly, poverty eradication is another important objective. 35% of most Muslims are below the poverty line. 50% of Muslims are in a very poor state. They are economically very poor. So, our long-term agenda should be taking them out of poverty.So basically, providing basic education and then moving them out of poverty. We are currently making a 25-year plan. We are going to discuss this in the coming week.

What kind of response do you get from the Muslim community, let’s say different people from different walks of life, Muslim intellectuals and ulema? Have they been supportive of your efforts?

It has been a wonderful and tremendous response. I can say that I have never received any negative comment or negative response from anyone, everybody is very positive. 

AMP believes in promoting peaceful coexistence. What has it done to engage Muslims in nation-building?

So, whatever we do is a nation-building exercise. That orientation is always there. We believe in the overall development of our own country. All our projects, whatever we do are with that focus. Our projects align with the Government’s mission for 2047. Whatever we do providing education, employment guidance, providing financial support is our contribution.

What is your next big event? 

We will be doing our national convention in Jaipur on the 21st of February inshallah. In every convention, we take stock of the past and we plan for the future. We will also be discussing our next 25-year plan at the convention.

 

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