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Imams, muezzins’ wait for pay goes on

Imams, muezzins’ wait for pay goes on
Highlights

Though the State government sanctioned `12 crore towards payment of honorarium of 1,000 each, the applicants are left in lurch, thanks to apathy of the State Wakf Board.

Hyderabad: Religious heads may be working overtime to get Almighty’s blessings for the faithful, but when it comes to their personal lives, things do not seem to be all that appeasing.

In an apparently worrisome turn of events, thousands of Imams and muezzins (people who calls Muslims to prayer from the minaret of a mosque) are running from pillar to post for getting Rs 1,000 honorarium for their services.
Ironically, the Wakf Board, which is responsible getting the job done, is not willing to accept applications, since the modalities of screening process has not been finalised by the Department of Minority Welfare. The deadline for applications, which was set for December 30, has now been extended to January 10 and could be extended further, according to sources.
The State government has sanctioned Rs 12 crore for the scheme. There are 3,500 mosques, which come under Wakf Board, apart from 2,000 mosques, which are not registered with the board. The Wakf Board has received 2,000 online applications from the targeted 5,000 applications.
The competent authority for the scheme is Telangana State Wakf Board, which unfortunately is suffering from staff crunch. According to sources, it has put the onus of verification process on Minority Welfare Department. However, the Minority Welfare Department is not ready to take up the activity, on the grounds that it is already burdened with implementation of several schemes and has heavy workload.
“A circular was passed to halt the entire process, hence we are not taking up the activity right now. It is yet to be decided who would screen the applications,” said an official, in charge of handling applications.
For several days, the imams and muezzins have been pursuing the matter with the officials of different wings inside the Haj House. The muezzins and imams are a confused lot as to where they have to approach with the applications. They pointed out that none in the Wakf Board or any other wing was ready to accept the application.
“We visited the Haj House yesterday also, but for the last three to four days, we are not able to lead afternoon prayers at our mosques. When imams staying in the city are running from pillar to post, you can understand what the imams from districts are facing,” said Md Shabbir Alam, imam of a mosque in Secunderabad.
However, the officials of Wakf Board reiterate that the applications could be submitted to the District Minorities Welfare Office (DMDO). “As per the procedure, they have to submit a copy of identification and endorsement by the mosque committee. The DMDO will verify the applications,” said Md Asadullah, Chief Executive Officer, TS Wakf Board.
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