People always have two options- either succumb to the situation or change the situation altogether. Many choose the first one as it is easy. But, Lucknow’s 25-year-old A R Rahman Saifi is not one of them. He chose the latter one when he lost his father leaving no one behind to support his family financially.
It was 2010 when Rahman’s father Mohammad Yameen passed away due to cancer. He was the only person to earn money for the family. Yameen was a generous man for the society who would do whatever he can to help needy people. He was running a shop but it was not fulfilling the financial requirements of the family.
Rahman could not study after 10th standard and started looking for a job to feed his family. Rahman found a job as an office-boy in a renowned organization called Jamaat-e-Islami Hind in Delhi.
He could have focused only on his job to earn money because money was the priority for him and his family. But apart from earning money he always wanted to do something for the society. “I received this feeling of helping people from my father who was always there for people of my area,” said Rahman.
Rahman is from Lucknow’s Daliganj area where poverty is on the edge. Parents are not able to send their children to school. Cleanliness is not taken care of by the municipality. Youth are falling prey to drugs. Girls are working odd jobs to earn hand to mouth. This condition of the area makes Rahman’s mind unrest. “I am from the same community. I have gone through a lot. I know the feeling of not able to provide a better life to family,” Rahman expressed his feeling.
Rahman first resumed his education through distance education while working as an office-boy. Now he is doing journalism from Swami Vivekanand Subharti University, Meerut, and planning to do Masters in it. Moreover, he has been working as an activist for his area too. He has only one purpose for doing all this, “I want to change the society so that people of Daliganj can also do something in life,” added Rahman.
Rahman is not only preparing himself to execute his plan. He has already begun executing his plan. He has been helping people who are in need such as gathering money for helpless patients, providing necessary stuff to underprivileged students through different NGOs and making efforts to make municipality to fulfill their responsibilities in Daliganj.
Rahman is doing all this while working. He is now promoted to Caretaker in Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) which is a part of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. SIO works for the education of youth in India.
Rahman became a headline for the national and regional newspaper when he recently went one step ahead and did something that even the area’s politicians have been failing to do for more than a year.
There is a subway in Daliganj where garbage has been piling up for years because no garbage collectors would visit the area. More than a year passed away but no action was taken even after many complaints by Rahman. On 20 November 2019, Rahman with a mask on his mouth and a poster in his hands stood amid the garbage for more than seven hours.
This unique protest by Rahman made the municipality leave their chairs and come out to remove the garbage. Now the garbage is removed and the walls of the subway are coloured to look good. Moreover, the municipality has promised to send garbage collectors regularly in the area.
The effort turned out to be very fortunate for Rahman in the way of improving his area’s condition. He has been receiving appreciations from people across India through calls, messages and social media. He has also received a trophy from SIO.
Rahman has been planning to provide free education to Daliganj’s underprivileged children by setting up a small education centre. The plan was delayed to be executed due to lack of funds. Now his plan will be executed soon. Because an organization called Education For Youth based in Delhi has promised Rahman to help with funds.
However, Rahman still feels that the promised fund is not enough for his plan. “Education for youth is very important to pull them out from negative activities. They can themselves improve their lives once they are educated,” told Rahman.