Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, spiritual head of Dawoodi Bohras, recently initiated an up-liftment programme for the underprivileged among the close-knit community. Since housing is a critical universal issue, around 4,000 volunteers of the Syedna, comprising architects, engineers, academicians and community leaders, visited more than 1,100 Bohra homes across the country. They not just inspected leaking roofs, dysfunctional kitchens and crumbling walls, but even noted the need for better hygiene and sanitation. One of the volunteers, Mustafa Abdulhusain, came down from the UK and visited a Bohra family in Jogeshwari. “The man lived with his sister and her two children in a tiny room. He had decided against marriage because of shortage of space in his home. But now, under the upliftment initiative, his house has got another floor and better water and toilet facilities.
He has married a widow and lives comfortably,” says Abdulhusain. The beneficiaries were understandably overwhelmed, he adds, upon receiving a personal invitation from the Syedna for 22 weddings in his extended family in Surat the previous week. Conincidentally the Syedna’s 73rd birthday celebrations also took place that week and for many it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.