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Building bridges between communities

India Harmony Foundation Centres

 
To begin with IHF Centres will be opened in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. IHF is trying to locate suitable land to build these Centres. The aim is to have these chapters headed by an eminent local citizen who will then independently function to build membership, initiate or suggest to the IHF, activities that will promote greater understanding between communities in his/her region.

The IHF Centre in both these locations will comprise:

  • Library/Resource Centre
  • Modest size exhibition area
  • Lecture hall/small auditorium
  • Coffee shop

The most important element of the Centre would be the Library – cum – Resource Centre for young people to visit and learn about the contributions of India’s minorities (including Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis Christians, etc.) to this country’s great multi/cultural tradition over the last five thousand years.

The centre will eventually be self sustaining but some Government/Corporate support will be required in the early years. We strongly request support/sponsorship from industrial/business houses as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. Please donate generously as only a peaceful harmonious society can bring greater success to our country in every sphere – economic, social political and governance. A copy of the exemption received by u/s 80G of the Income Tax Act is attached.

 

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Organize Seminars

 
The Foundation also organizes discussions on urgent issues aimed at “building bridges between communities”– the Foundation’s avowed objective. A major initiative taken by the Foundation was to hold a National Seminar on April 23, 2011 on “Living in Harmony–Towards resolution of the Ayodhya issue”. The Seminar was co-hosted by the India International Centre and brought together on the same platform, a very distinguished panel of Indian thinkers who expressed their views very candidly. They included among others Lord Meghnad Desai, Shri N. Ram, Shri A G Noorani, Shri Anil Divan, Shri Wajahat Habibullah, Shri Alok Mehta, Justice A S Qureshi, (Retd.)

The India Harmony Foundation has received tremendous acclaim for its efforts in the “building of bridges between communities” through cultural shows, art shows, language workshops and heritage preservation. However, in order to impact the youth who now comprise more than 50% of our country, IHF needs to register its presence in important metros.

 

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Cultural Shows

The India Harmony Foundation has sponsored & produced a cultural show as its curtain raiser. An enormous effort has gone into preparing something unique for pan – Indian audiences. It has been conceptualized and directed by Mrs. Kulsoomnoor Saifullah (writer, publisher & entrepreneur). The music and script has been provided by Mrs. Zakia Zaheer (Urdu scholar & theater artiste). The choreography has been done by Smt. Shovana Narayan (noted Kathak exponent). According to the Trustees, “through this show we want to revive the memories of a fading culture and influence the citizens of India to once again come together and bring about the same spirit of harmony that was prevalent in Purani Dilli”.

Culture is the greatest tool in building bridges and promoting understanding between communities
says Zafar Saifullah, former Cabinet Secretary, Government of India and Founder President of The India Harmony Foundation. The message behind the Purani Dilli show is that ‘Indians, deep in their hearts, earn for the old days of social harmony’.

The Purani Dilli Show celebrates an era when culture and harmony was at its peak – the time of the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. The forty years of his rule saw the meeting of diverse cultures and tradtions in India. By the time Bahadur Shah Zafar came to the throne, most of the territorial empire of the Mughals was gone. Ruling from the ramparts of the Red Fort of Delhi, he presided over a more important conquest – the minds and hearts of the people of Hindustan. Through his patronage of literature, poetry, music and art, accompanied by total fairness and justice in his administration, he brought in the flowering of an unparalleled culture and sense of unity among its people.

More than any other Ruler, he understood the role of culture in promoting universal harmony. This philosopher – king left behind an enormous body of work encompassing the entire spectrum of human emotions ranging from romance to philosophy to pathos. Not only was he a distinguished poet in his own right but he also promoted a court that comprised of the greatest galaxy of poets which, perhaps, the world has known. Zauq, Mir, Dagh, Momin and, of course, the redoubtable Ghalib, were among them.

All forms of art and architecture were encouraged and they blossomed to give his realm and the City of Dilli, in particular, an unrivaled panorama of the highest attainments of the human spirit. The grace, courtesy, manners, music and food of that era live on in the minds and hearts of succeeding generations of, not just Dilliwalas, but of all Indians belonging to diverse faiths and regions. However, the Mutiny and, later, the partition of India could not revive the bonhomie, the tolerance and the resonating culture of music, dance and poetry of that refined period of Delhi’s history.

In the last few months since its inception, IHF has organized six major shows, that showcase the rich multicultural, multi-ethnic and multilingual fabric of India. In July, we held the The Chishti Harmony Awards 2011. Last year The Chishti Harmony Awards 2010 which we have instituted were presented to Shri Siddharth Vardarajan, Resident Editor of ‘The Hindu’ and Pandit Ghulam Dastagir, an Urdu, Marathi and Sanskrit scholar for his work of translating the Holy Quran to Sanskrit. At all these events held in Delhi & Mumbai, eminent guests from the diplomatic corps, the professions, the political establishment, the civil services, the film industry, corporate heads & other top executives from the corporate world greatly applauded these initiatives and pledged support to the Foundation.

 

 

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IHF Educational Complex

 

The India Harmony Foundation bas been established last year by a few very senior citizens of Delhi under the Presidentship of Shri Zafar Saifullah, former Cabinet Secretary, Government of India with the objective of building bridges between communities in the country.

The Foundation believes that excellent education with a proper inculcation of moral and social values in the children from their earliest stages, holds the key to securing an environment of true communal harmony, respect for each other’s religious beliefs and civic discipline of a very high order. Accordingly, we have decided to set up an iconic educational complex which would serve as a model for replication in other centers throughout India. After very careful deliberation, we have decided that the Mewat Region would be the most appropriate location for this very prestigious complex and have accordingly selected Salamba Village for locating it.

The complex will consist of three distinct segment
a) The first will be a fully residential school from Nursery to Class XII for boys and girls who will be admitted on the basis of merit from across the country, mainly from the under-privileged and economically backward sections of society so that their economic status does not stand in the way of getting the best education along with training and instruction in moral values, respect for all religions, highest civic values and exemplary discipline both in the school and in their homes. Strong emphasis will be laid on sports and games for which excellent coaching will be made available. The complex will have the school, a full-fledged sports stadium and residential facilities for the entire staff on 100% basis.
b) a Teachers’ Training Institute which will provide facilites not only for graduation, post-graduation and even more advanced studies, but also for short term courses and retreats for teachers already employed to retrain themselves in teaching and sharpen their all-round professional skills. This Institute will have a Research Wing also which will be engaged in drawing up syllabi, teaching aids, and other programmes which will add value to the teaching curriculum of this and other schools set up on similar lines in the country; and
c) a Job-oriented Skill Development Centre in the setting up of which the various industrial and commercial units in the catchments area of this institution, will be involved so that trainees after completion of their training can be absorbed by these units straight away. The Centre will accept trainees who do not wish to continue their academic studies after class VII / class X.

This Complex will be located near the Village Salamba, off Delhi-Alwar Highway, Mewat District, twenty five kilometers from Sohna, Gurgaon.

The Complex will greatly benefit the economy and social life of the residents of Salamba as well as of the entire Mewat region which, the only hundred kilometers from the capital city is still extremely backward.
a) The School, College and the Residential sectors in the Complex will provide direct markets for the employment and sale of produce from the lands of region.
b) Opportunities for skilled workers like Hospital attendants, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, ironsmiths, masons, painters, etc. from the skill development centre will get created by corporate sponsors (such as DLF, other builders, paint companies, electrical materials companies, building materials companies and local hospitals schools etc.) who will employ this trained work force on captive contract basis.
c) Above all, the Complex will become a shining beacon of all–India fame in the field of secular education, teachers’ training and skill development which will greatly impact the lives and attitudes of future generations of Haryana residents.

We strongly request support/sponsorship from industrial/business houses as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme.

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IHF Newsletter

 
Publishing a monthly newsletter for limited distribution, which will generate sensitivity to issues affecting harmony. An online version of the same will be made available for easy access and wider reach.

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