Muslims should pay their Zakat for orphans, widows: Rafiabadi

Srinagar: Eminent Islamic scholar, Prof Hamid Naseem Rafiabadi on Sunday urged Muslims of Kashmir to pay their Zakat to fulfill the needs of sustenance, education, healthcare and rehabilitation of orphans and widows.
Rafiabadi was speaking at a seminar titled ‘Plight of Orphans and Widows- Our Responsibilities’ organized as part of mass awareness campaign by J&K Yateem Foundation at degree college Shopian.
 The scholar, who was the chief guest on the occasion, called for taking concrete measures to rehabilitate thousands of orphans, widows and destitute through well structured rehabilitation mechanism.
He said through education the orphan children could be empowered while creating livelihood and employment opportunities for them to become self sufficient.
Dr. Rafiabadi claimed that only 5% people pay their Zakat which is not sufficient to fulfill the huge demands of providing succor to the poor and needy sections of the people in the state.
“If 20% people pay their Zakat, the genuine needs of sustenance, education, healthcare and rehabilitation of the underprivileged sections of the people could be taken care of with honour and dignity,” he said.
“Out of over 2 lac orphans in Jammu and Kashmir, around 2000 orphans are taken care of within orphanages. A large chunk of orphan children are not being covered under welfare and rehabilitation programmes for which pro-active initiatives are needed,” he said.
Principal government degree college Shopian, Prof. Showkat Ahmad stressed the need to evolve structured mechanism for welfare and rehabilitation of orphans, widows and destitute.
He urged both government and private education sector to reserve special quota for orphan and destitute students.