A mosque in Chennai which helps students crack IAS
The mosque doubles as a coaching centre for the Indian Administrative Services or IAS exam, to help bright young men from the community become bureaucrats.
It costs thirty lakh rupees a year to coach 40 people and the Moulana has set up a trust called Alagiya Kadan for this.
The community, he says, generously supports the cause. "Only honest and god-fearing IAS officers can end corruption in India. They could also help the Muslim community. These are our aims," the Imam says.
Over the last two years, the trust has conducted awareness campaigns in Muslim colleges across Tamil Nadu to get more young people interested in the IAS.
There is a selection process and those who qualify are given free food and accommodation as well.
The Moulana says this programme has not been extended to women for now because there is a shortage of accommodation, but he hopes to include them very soon.
The mosque has tied up with two leading coaching centres to help aspirants prepare for the IAS main exam. Two candidates from their first batch have already cleared the preliminary exam.
One of them, Mohamed Meera Sahiv, an Engineering graduate, says, "IAS officers have so much of power to help anyone. This attracts me. Of course I would be able to help Muslims, but it's not right to say that I would help only Muslims"
Muslims account for 13 per cent of India's population. This year, only three per cent in the civil services are from the community, with only about 30 Muslims clearing the IAS exams.