In the mid 1950s Phadgudia which is located at Km 45(about 3Km from Phulpur) along the Shahganj – Azamgarh Road (SH34) in the western part of Azamgarh, was a small village of about 50 households (30 Muslim and 20 Hindu families). Those of us who went to school in that period would remember well Hafiz Abdus-Samad of Nonari who taught us the Quran and basic religious books at the house of Haji Mukhtar Saheb. After a few hours with hafiz jee most of the boys and some girls would attend the nearby Islamia Primary (Urdu medium) school in the village.
This arrangement of education had existed for many generations in one form or another and under different teachers. Among the most notable teachers were Saghir saheb of Waleed-pur, Yasin saheb of Takia-Ambari, Nizamuddin sahib of Khalispur and Shukrullah sahib of Mahul. I was personally under the tutelage of Ustade-mohtram Janab Nizamuddin sahib who taught with such dedication, love and humility and created such inquisitiveness and thirst for knowing more that even today I feel highly indebted to him for whatever I have achieved in life. He showed me how to balance the spiritual and material needs of life. He taught me mathematics with special vigour and showed me its inner beauty and philosophy such that I sincerely consider maths as nature’s poetry which one can enjoy no less than the best of poetry. Some time in mid seventies (1970s) the village people got together and built a one room- Madrasah in which Hafiz Mukhtar sahib(my maternal uncle or mamu) of our village gave darse-Quran and continued the tradition. This continued till late nineties when I visited the village with my family and spent there about two weeks in 2000.
I realised that the school was in a very deplorable condition and totally in-adequate for the purpose. I was also informed that the primary school which gave me such a quality education was no more Urdu-medium. Teaching and discipline had become so poor that the villagers had stopped sending their children altogether. With fewer and fewer Muslim students, the school had progressively turned into a Hindi-medium government primary school where the principal activity, now a days, is mid-day meals. A meeting of the village people was called and a proposal to build a proper primary school/madrasah where an integrated curriculum of revealed and secular education would be implemented was unanimously accepted.
Mirza Ashhad Beg a local registered civil engineer was commissioned to prepare plans for a five class-room school with a small library, computer lab and toilet facilities. Foundation was laid in the year 2000 itself and classes started in 2001 in partially completed facilities. The school was fully completed in early 2003 however; the official inauguration took place on March, 2006 at the hands of Janab Alam Badee Saheb the local MLA. Until very 19Th recently the school was using Urdu as medium of instruction with English and Hindi taught as subjects. Along with the state primary curriculum, Islamic religious teaching is provided whereby when students complete the standard five (5), they not only know how to read the Quran but also are well-versed in basic religious teachings, practices and values.
Azam Welfare and Educational Society was formed in 2004 and a Trust subsequently in 2011 to undertake the educational and welfare development works in an organized and planned manner. In the year 2009 a 30,000.00 sqft plot of land owned by myself, my brothers namely, Farooque Azam and Mahmood Azam and our cousins, namely Shamshad Ahmad and Shahab Ahmad was donated to the society for secondary school. The plans were drawn and construction started in early 2009 and classes started in July same year for classes 6 to 10 in Hindi medium following UP Board curriculum. Application for the approval from State Education Authorities was made in early 2010 and this approval, Alhamdolillah, was obtained in July, 2013.
Presently, construction work to expand both the Primary school and the Secondary school is on-going and expected to be completed by Oct, 2013 and will provide sufficient facilities for about 1200 students from nursery to class twelve(some photographs of the construction are attached). Further, a plot of land measuring about 4 acres owned by the family has been ear- marked for a future Residential School Complex which we hope to commence planning early 2014, Insha-Allah.
Be grateful, think positive and serve others. Let’s not curse the darkness,
Light a candle, instead