Yatheem Khanas and Human Development A Study in the Context of Kerala

Yatheem Khanas and Human Development: A Study in the Context of KeralaDownload

Mubashir VP

Introduction
Post-modernism emerged breaking the fetters of biased colonial hegemony and thus approached the discipline of religion in positive and constructive ways. Earlier, religions were perceived as sine qua non of violence and social decadence and, hence, both occidental and oriental scholars demanded gradual weaning away of religion from public space. This rigid concept of putting religions in dock for all social discords was the erroneous contribution of Post-Enlightenment Europe, which lied witness to religion based social and moral suppression under papacy. This apathy towards religion later on crept into social theories and deprived religion of their real constructive agency in mobilizing the faithful communities.
The Functionalist Perspective on Religion, which originates from Emile Durkheim’s work on religion, highlights the social role of religion and this study served as trailblazer. Later scholars like Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, after Iranian Revolution of 1979,Judith Butler acknowledged the prominence of religion in social formation. Likewise, works of Edward Said, Talal Asad and  Barbara  Metcalf proved in emancipating the oriental Muslim world from the shrewd constructs of being a lethargic, lagged community due to the fanatical performance of Islam. These studies reinvigorated the exploration into positive role of religion in social mobilization and conflict resolution. As result religions especially Islam among Oriental community was accorded pivotal role in making and unmaking of broader frameworks of communities. Rolland Miller, Francis Robinson and CK Kareem highlighted the role of Islam in the social formation of Mappila community. Francis Robinson after thorough analysis of ‘Varieties of South Asian Islam’ asserted the unsurmountable presence of Islam in the development of respective regions.
Kerala is exemplar evidence for the religion backed social development and this fact is undeniably true among Muslims and Christians of the state. According to local lore, Islam made its foray into Kerala well during the life time of Prophet. Later on Kerala witnessed Sufi led Islamization, a stark contrast from its north Indian counterpart where religion acted as administrative power.

Mubashir VP, Research Scholar, Department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
Email ID: mubashirdhiu1586@gmail.com

Muslims contributed immensely to the social, economic and cultural fabric of Kerala society. Faith motivated collective zeal was the principal motive for the advance of Kerala Muslims. Incidentally, religious community promoted institutions like educational hubs, religious and cultural centers, recreational resources and support mechanisms to an extent helped Kerala Muslim community to tide over the vicissitudes of time.

Religiously, Muslim’s inherent virtue of charity and philanthropy helped achieve inclusive development. What helped Kerala Muslim community to form largely even, egalitarian society is often answered with the widespread charity highly recommended by Islam. These activities of donation supported the destitute, orphans, chronically ill, widows and other weaker sections of society to escape the isolation and optimally utilize their human resources. Built for various reasons and for different sections, Yatheem Khana institutions have made stupendous contribution for the development of disadvantaged sections of community. Yatheem Khanas that sprang the length and breadth of the Kerala helped both community and state to tread new path of social cohesion and development.
This article has been divided into two parts: first part deals with theoretical analysis of faith based actions in Islam with special focus of Yatheem Khana. Second part is devoted to comprehensive study on contributions of Yatheem Khana in social development in the context of Kerala.

PART ONE
Theoretical analysis of faith based actions for social development in the perspective of Islam
Economic concept is an obsolete concept to study the progress of individual and community. According to Sustainable Development Goals, developed by UNDP, development should be all encompassing and this precisely is incongruence with the modern concept of human development. UNDP defines human development as:
“Human development approach focuses on improving the lives people lead rather than assuming that economic growth will lead, automatically, to greater opportunities for all. Income growth is an important means to development, rather than an end in itself. Human development is about giving people more freedom and opportunities to live lives they value. In effect this means developing people’s abilities and giving them a chance to use them. For example, educating a girl would build her skills, but it is of little use if she is denied access to jobs, or does not have the skills for the local labor market. The diagram below looks at aspects of human development that are foundational (that is they are a fundamental part of human development); and aspects that are more contextual (that is they help to create the conditions that allow people to flourish). Three foundations for human development are to live a healthy and creative life, to be knowledgeable, and to have access to resources needed for a decent standard of living. Many other aspects are important too, especially in helping to create the right conditions for human development, such as environmental sustainability or equality between men and women.”

 

 

 

Faith based organizations, voluntary organizations, pressure groups etc. are universally acknowledged as potent tools for alternative social development having far reaching effects. These informal associations can pierce into areas untouched by administrative exigencies or inefficiency.

Voluntary agencies and human development
Democracy, the most popular form governance today, itself means limited government. Ina vast and diverse country like India it is Himalayan task to reach out to all strata of communities and attend to their needs and aspirations. This vacuum of governance is supposed to be overcome by active engagement of voluntary organizations popularly known as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). The role of voluntary agencies in ensuring inclusive human development is globally recognized after studying impressive works done by these organizations in various parts of the world furthering the social causes. Realizing this constructive role of these extra-constitutional bodies state machinery gradually assume the role of ‘enabler’ where interested parties can contribute for the development of society. Citizen partnership would excite manifold positive consequences in the long run.

Interface of voluntary organization in promoting the human resource development in collaboration with government and market has been given below:

 

“Voluntary organization, according to Beveridge, is an organization which, whether its workers are paid or unpaid, is initiated and governed by its own members without external control”.
The World Bank defines NGOs as private organizations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services, or undertake community development. NGOs include charitable and religious associations that mobilize private funds for development, distribute food and family planning services and promote community organization.  They also include independent cooperatives, community associations, water user societies, women’s groups and pastoral associations.  Citizens Groups that raise awareness and influence policy are also part of this.
To be considered part of the non-profit sector the entity must be:

  • Organisational – an institution with some meaningful structure and permanence;
  • Non-governmental – not part of the apparatus of government;
  • Non-profit-distributing – not permitted to distribute profits to its owners or directors. They are required to be ploughed back in the organisation
  • Self-governing – not controlled by some entity outside the organisation; and
  • Supportive of some public purpose.

Classification of voluntary agencies
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are part of the development processes of our country. Based on the approaches  they  adopt  and the  priority  they  give, voluntary agencies have been classified into seven categories by J. B. Singh.
l. Charity: Giving food, clothing, medicine, alms in cash and in kind, buildings etc.
2.  Welfare:  Providing facilities for education, health, drinking water, roads, communications, etc.
3.  Relief: Responding to call of duties during natural calamities like floods, drought, earthquakes, and man-made calamities like refugee influx, ravages of war.
4.  Rehabilitation: Continuing and follow up of  the  work  in  areas  struck  by calamities and starting  activities that  are  durable  in  nature.
5.  Services:  Building up infrastructure in depressed backward areas.
Indian NGOs mainly comes under three segments – Societies, Trusts, Charitable Companies.

  • Societies: Societies have to register under The societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • Trusts: Private trusts are registered under the central government’s Indian Trusts Act, 1882, and public ones are registered under the state legislation concerned.
  • Charitable companies: They are set up according to section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. For charitable companies, the compliance requirements are high, as loans and advances are easily available to them compared to a trust or a society. They have to even pay Income tax under IT act 1961.

Usman. M. Voluntary Service Movement and Kerala Muslims, in Sira,  Souvenir  of Seethi Sahib Cultural Centre, Kodiyathour, Calicut, 2002, p.3 1 – 34

Chandra Mohan. P, Growth of Social Reform Movements in Kerala, in Cheriyan P.J (Ed), Perspectives on Kerala History, Vol. 11 Part 11, p. 461, 199

Beveridge S.W.H, Voluntary Action:  A Report on Methods of Social  Advances, London,  1946 and Voluntary Action in a Changing World, National Council of Social Services, Bedford Squares Press, London,  1979. p19

World Bank, A Practical Guide to Operational Collaboration between The World Bank and Non-governmental Organizations, March 1995, p7

Singh, J.B, Yojana, November  1984, p. 46, as quoted by I.S. Sundaram  in  Voluntary  Agencies and  Rural  Development, B.R. Publishing  Corporation, Delhi,  1986, p. 66.

Various aspects of voluntary agencies working in multicultural society have been given below.

 

Faith based actions for social development: an ontological analysis from the perspective of Islam

Religion plays key role in social cohesion and disintegration just like any ideology has either constructive or destructive means. To limit religion into rigorous spiritual exercise divorcing from the social realities is basically a flawed concept and unjust reductionism vis-à-vis religion. This is categorically true in case of Islam which was revealed as comprehensive path for better life in this life and after life and champions balanced moderate life. Shahab Ahmed while defining ‘what is Islam’ has highlighted the social aspects of Islam. Maududi is also of the view that Islam is the ultimate path of truth and guidance for entire humanity.

“According to Mawdudi Islam encompasses all aspects of life, which includes faith, worship, morality, social, economic and political life. Islam provides guidance to man from the day of his birth till his death. It also provides guidance in matters of war and peace, national and international affairs. Therefore, Islam is a complete and comprehensive way of life”.

Islamic literatures primarily Quran and Hadith enjoined the faithful for the construction of egalitarian and just society.

“Righteousness is not that you turn your faces towards the east or the west, but (true) righteousness is (in) one who believe in Allah, the last day, the angels, the books and the Prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveller, those who ask (for help) and for freeing slaves (and who) establishes prayer and gives Zakah (those who) fulfill their promise and (those who) are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. These are the ones who have been true and it is those who are the righteous. “

“Worship Allah and associate nothing with him and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveller and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed Allah doesn’t love those who are self-deluding and boastful.”

“And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.”

Yatheem Khana or orphanages: Important sector of voluntary mobilization

Historically, an orphanage was a residential institution, or group home, devoted to the care of orphans and other children who were separated from their biological families. Examples of what would cause a child to be placed in orphanages are when the biological parents were deceased, the biological family was abusive to the child, there was substance abuse or mental illness in the biological home that was detrimental to the child, or the parents had to leave to work elsewhere and were unable or unwilling to take the child. The role of legal responsibility for the support of children whose parent(s) have died or are otherwise unable to provide care differs internationally.

Universally a policy shift could be seen as state machineries receding from this social obligation leaving the vacuum dominated by volunteer agencies or private business entities. 1990s witness storm over the efficiency of fondling homes. Researchers skeptical about the performance of orphanages argued psychological retardation of inmates when compared to their counterparts living with parents. The debate provided new insights to the functioning of orphanages and subsequently proven although few institutions end up in stigmatizing the inmates its sweeping generalization is ethically and practically wrong.
In Kerala context orphanages have larger dimensions beyond safeguarding the interests of orphans and the destitute. The Board of Control for Orphanages and other Charitable Homes in Kerala has been established as per State Government Gazette for the supervision and control of Homes in the State. As per the Orphanages and Other Charitable Homes (Supervision and Control) Act 1960- “home” means an institution, whether called an orphanage, a home for neglected women or children, a widow’s home, or by any other name, maintained or intended to be maintained for the reception, care, protection and welfare of women or children.

The category of homes functioning under the Orphanage Control Board are as follows:-

  • Foundling Homes
  • Home for Children and Orphanages
  • Home for Women in Distress
  • Old Age Homes
  • Home for Differently Abled
  • Beggar Homes
  • Others (Home for destitues, Psychosocial rehabilitation centers for Mentally ill persons, Home for Cancer patients, Home for children of HIV +ve patients, Pain & Palliative Care centers, etc.

Detailedinformation of various care homes working in Kerala has been given below. This data is taken from Report on NPI-Orphanage / Care home Survey 2013-14, conducted by Survey Design Division Directorate of Economics & Statistics, April 2016, Government of Kerala.

Table NO.1. District wise number of orphanages in Kerala

 

Table No 2: district wise number of care homes by category of institution

 

 

 

 

PART TWO

Yatheem Khanas and human development: A comprehensive study in Kerala context
Yatheem Khanas are fondling home or care homes run by Muslim voluntary agencies for the development for various sections of community like orphans, destitute, widows, terminally ill etc. kick started after devastating Mappila Rebellion of 1921 this movement got wider currency among Muslim community of Kerala. Reform movements spearheaded by leaders of various factions accentuated the pace voluntary mobilization of community resources for the comprehensive development of Muslims.  These expedient efforts helped the community to actively participate in post-independence development of the state along with sustaining religious and cultural identity.
The researcher has many constraints while dealing with Yatheem Khanas and primarily is data crunch. Non availability of coordinated data of various Muslim orphanages makes the study a cumbersome task and necessitates overdependence on government provided data base. Lack of coordination seems to dissipate the wider importance of these institutions in the society. However limited data has been given below on some important aspects of Yatheem Khanas.

Table No 3: Community wise initiative of social welfare institutions in Kerala

Table No 4: category of institution wise numbers of inmates in care home according to religious and social groups

 

 Table No 5: age group wise number of inmates according to religion and social groups

Brief history of Yatheem Khana movement in Kerala

Malabar Rebellion had sweeping effect on Mappila Muslims. The upheaval and resultant British suppression wreaked havoc upon the community. Sympathized with pauperization of Muslim community of Malabar after Rebellion, philanthropists from Punjab laid the foundation for first Yatheem Khana in Kerala in 1922. This effectively brought the kindle for the wider Yatheem Khana movements in later years.

“The absolute impoverishment after the rebellion was an eye opener for the  leaders  of  Muslim community.  The J.D.T.  Islam  Orphanage  of  Kozhikode was  set up in 1922 to provide institutional care to the orphans  and destitute  who  had last  their  parents  and  close  relatives  during  the  rebellion. It was the fust orphanage of Muslim community in the entire  nation. Gradually in different parts of Malabar, similar institutions came up  for providing food,  shelter health care and education.  Thousands of people  lost  lives in the  cholera of 1943 also.  Cholera was very rampant in the Eranadu taluk where hundreds of children lost their parents.  This pointed  towards  the  need  for sustainable  mechanism for  the  protection  of poor,  destitute and  orphans.  The Pokker Sahib Memorial Orphanage of Thirurangadi was set up in 1943 for their rehabilitation.  The success of J.D.T and Thirurangadi models prompted the community leaders of other parts of the state to start similar organizations in their regions also.  These efforts were unanimously backed by all members of the community, irrespective of  economic inequalities and difference of  opinion on  Islamic practices.”

These two proto types acted as stimulus for the establishment of care homes for various purposes. The post-Gulf migration Malabar witnessed remarkable growth of these institutions with better infrastructure facilities. However the successful implementation of integrated religious educational systems like Darul Huda Islamic University and Wafi initiatives has progressively dampened the community interest in this field.

Thus, We have made you a justly balanced community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:143). The justly balanced (wasat) in reality is the furthest point between two extremes. There is no doubt that the two poles of excess and extravagance are destructive, so to be moderate in character is to be furthest from them, which is to be just and virtuous (Source: al-Tafsīral-Kabīr 2:143).

Shahab Ahmed, What Is Islam? – The Importance of Being Islamic, Princeton University Press, pp13-18

Muhammad Rafiuddin Farooqui, The Political Thought of Maulana Mawdudi, p5

Chapter 2, Verse 177

Chapter 4, Verse 36

Al-Maidah, 5:2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphanage

In the middle of 1990s there was a controversy among the social scientists regarding the desirability of these institutions.  It came to be known as the “storm over orphanages”.  The Time Magazine and ‘Newsweek’ highlighted this controversy in  several  of their  issue.

Zubair Hudawi Chekannur, indyayile islamika vidhyabhasam, Jamia Pattikkad Souvenir, 2015, p69

Contribution of Yatheem Khanas in human development of Kerala
Lack of literatures and adequate data compel the research to approach the topic from superficial level though not outright departure from ground realties. A detailed quantitative study should have been done to precisely determine the contours of social development enabled by these institutions. In a bird view these movements have cause far-reaching social and physical developments. Due to these efforts along with reform activities, Mappila Muslims recuperated rapidly from the traumas of 1921. Beside tangible developments they exerted, deeper psychological impact. They helped boost the existential morale of war torn, neglected community and largely aided in recovering from confidence crisis. Sincere evaluation of the impact of voluntary agencies will be extremely worthwhile to chart next course of social action to suit the modernity.

Psychological impact and confidence building
Thorough analysis of damages inflicted by Rebellion of 1921 emphatically presents Mappila community as highly marginalized and oppressed with grim future. Khilafat movement took a heavy toll on the body fabric of Muslim community and challenged the very existence of community. Tenants were illegally evicted, suspects were either hanged or exiled leading to the overall deprivation of community. Psychological disasters followed and community thrown to existential threat. Growth of communalism and lopsided administrative machinery discriminating against Mappila were more than enough to plant the sense of alienation and isolation. While north Indian Muslims failed to withstand the confidence crises after the fall of Mughal Empire and the deprivation of 1857 upheaval Mappila Muslims, for the time being, seemed to take up the same trajectory.

At this juncture, efforts by voluntary agencies to instill confidence like establishing J.D.T Yatheem Khana, proved highly beneficial. Initially funded by philanthropist outside the Kerala, came in the way of bringing the community to mainstream.  Providing education to the affected and grievance redressal mechanism alongside giving positive developmental growth had served as catalyst for assimilation and new political thought. Their intervention convinced the community to shed blind anti-imperial attitude and to make amends with the ruling mechanism to exploit new avenues of political participation and educational opportunities thrown by the advent of British.

Mobilization of community resources
Social integrity and collective sense could be seen as a major factor for their socio economic development. Along with religious instruction of organized collaborative growth, when the geographical and historical factors united the community it yielded umpteen positive results. Voluntary intuitions established by community like Yatheem Khana, Madrassa, religious palaces are the beneficiaries of this collective mentality. It is to be noted that although these institution got and are getting outside financial support major chunk of their working expenditure were met by community through the means of crowd funding. Pidiyari system, whereby each household donated according to their ability is an example of how these institutions helped in streamlining the community resources.Waqfproperties were effectively channelized.After Kerala Muslims witness surplus economic development due to whooping remittances, these institutions flourished leading to better human resource development of community.

Physical strength of community was also oriented towards larger causes by way of these institutions. This community participation yielded two pronged results. Firstly, these activities promoted social integration which was used by religious and political leadership for the welfare of the community in post-independence period. Secondly, it promoted and channelized individual efforts in the making of a developed region.

Religious and cultural identity protection
Yatheem Khanas provided educational services in both religious and secular streams. Religious education was provided to all inmates through special classes after schooling or through Madrassa system. Exclusive centers for religious education were provided through the establishment of PalliDars, Arabic colleges, or off-campuses of any other religious institutions. Strings of Madrassas proving elementary religious education were started for the wider benefit of community. To provide secular education various institutes were begun like schools colleges, training centers and so on. But a sense of religiosity and moral education was given to ensure formation of virtuous community according to the teachings of Islam.

These efforts to partake in religious educational activities later proved to be instrumental in institutionalizing the Mappila identity. Protected Mappila identity paced up secular identity formation of community thus facilitating assimilation to the broader ‘Indianness’. The identity protection offered by these institutions reinvigorated the space of community to recover from the ruins of destruction. As complimentary Yatheem Khanas are characterized as the defender of diverse Mappila identity.

Emergence of educational and cultural hubs: analysis of general services to entire society
Activities of Yatheem Khanas are not limited to the numerous intakes only. Started as boarding institutions for boys and girls later Yatheem Khanas were upgraded to centers of higher education and learning. Yatheem Khanas wider social services were all encompassing and to limit them to old historical background is an injustice. This misconception is rooted in the attitudes of state governments Social Justice Department. Present academic contribution limit the role of Yatheem Khanas to the welfare of intakes only leaving aside the wider constructive activities undertaken by these institutes. For better understanding Yatheem Khanas are to be understood from wider perspective as a center of educational and cultural mobilization with special focus of their historical responsibilities.
These services include:

        • Arts and Science College
        • LP and UP school
        • Arabic College
        • English Academy
        • Special School
        • Tailoring Institute,
        • Kinder Garden
        • Quran Centre
        • Dars education
        • Libraries and recreational resources
        • Teachers Training Institute
        • Industrial Training Institute
        • B.Ed. Training College
        • Commercial enterprises (Rice & Flour Mill,  Wood Industries, Offset Press, Bakery, Dairy Farm, Shopping Complex,)

 

Child protection
Yatheem Khanas were erected basically to cater to the needs of orphans and students from deprived families. Children admitted to Yatheem Khana are provided with support system both psychologically and financially. Quality education provided by Yatheem Khana ensured inclusive development of community. Children are the valuable asset for society making if they were groomed well and this responsibility was shouldered by  Yatheem Khana system and its direct impact was seen in the enrichment of human resource development of society.
They provided protection from Protection of children from:
• Abuse
• Exploitation
• Neglect
• Violence
• Unnecessary family separation
Contributions of Yatheem Khanas for the children’s development can be summarized as:

  • Emotional support: these institutions provided a feeling of family and protection to the children from vulnerable families. Through adequate care given to them they were easily brought to the mainstream of society. In case of children affected with mental or physical traumas the services of these institutions were highly beneficial.
  • Quality education for free:the success of these institutions is largely from the educational and job opportunity it offered to the inmates.Special attention was given by the authorities to support them to secure a better future. Muhammad Ali Shihab IAS, an alumnus of Mukkam Muslim Orphanage, reached the highest echelons of Indian bureaucracy bears witness to this fact.

Examples for higher education centers offered by Yatheem Khanas
WMO Arts and Science
AL-hidhayaYatheemkhana, Thattathumala, Thiruvananthapuram
Anvarul Islamic Yatheemkhana, Pallisserukal, Sasthamkotta
Tipu Sulthan Orphanage Padanakurissi, Nadarani, Palakkad

  • Vocational training: this is not much advanced from its infancy. The section focuses more on job availability to inmates after completion of courses. The courses are different for males and females. The training includes micro agriculture, sewing center, and computer training and so on.

Bafakhy Yatheem Khana VHSC
Calicut Orphanage Industrial Training Institute

Women empowerment
A society can develop when its women are empowered and are ready to helm. Kerala Muslim community is generally categorized as patriarchal community. But these riddles were not excuses for these agencies to work for the protection and empowerment of womenfolk. The report of social justice department manifests around 30 specialized centers for the development of girls and women.

“Raising the girl child in orphanages and making them stand on their own feet might look as a tough task for these shelter homes but ultimately after becoming independent these women become contributors to the welfare and upliftment of the society. That is why empowering orphan girls is equally important just as empowering other normal girls who live with their families. They have equal rights to live in better society, to make their carriers in good fields and moreover living a good life.”

 

Yatheem Khana led women developments include:

  • basic education and literacy

Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. Literacy is a significant and specific goal for Yatheem Khanas.

  • livelihood and women empowerment program

This program offers women the opportunity for a better life through mentorship, life-skills training, financial literacy and microfinance.

  • Support mechanism against violence and personal care

Name of few Yatheem Khanas working on these areas are given below:
Al-Falah Girls Orphanage, Fathimapuram ,Chanaganassery

Muslims women Association, Yatheemkhana, Pullepaddy, Cochin
HimayuthulMuslimeen Orphanage, Muvattupuzha
Darul BenathYatheemkhana, Edappally
Shahid Faisal Girls Orphanage, Farook Nagar, Vatanappally
Nasarul Islam Orphanage and destitute protection Centre, Thrissur
DaulAmanIstamic Women’s Orphanage, Palakkad
DarullThawa Girls Orphanage and Destitute Home, Palakkad
MarkazUssalamathilIslamiyya,  Palakkad
LivaUlhada Girls Orphanage, Areekkodu
Huyathul Islam Orphanage, Malappuram
Wayanad Muslim Orphanage, Wayanad

Protection to the marginalized sections of community
In fact, Yatheem Khanas in Kerala are not exclusive centers of child protection. But they play a crucial role in the development of community altogether. Marginalization of disadvantaged sections of society like patients, disabled and old people challenges the concept of inclusive development. Yatheem Khanas have played significant role in ensuring decent life for these sections of community.
Initiatives to help the marginalized people include:

  • Charity homes for old people
  • Homes for handicapped and disabled
  • home for poor and destitute

MSI BanathYatheemkhanaAgathimandiram, Palakkad
Malik Dinar Tha Ava Centre, Ernakulam

  • Boarding for boys and girls

New age metamorphosis of Yatheem Khana system: how to cope with new realities?
1980s heralded new beginning in the educational arena of Kerala Muslim. Breaking from century old tradition of separating religious and secular knowledge, new age institutions like Darul Huda Islamic University and Wafi initiatives integrated both strands.  So following the trend, various Yatheem Khanas adopted new method while promoting earlier school educational system for the wider community members. M.I.C Valluvambram and ValavannorBafaqi Yatheem Khana are the forerunner in this respect.
Acknowledging the progressive nature of community many Yatheem Khanas have been always open to innovative changes. Beginning of professional institutions, spreading to new areas of social progress are the latest strides. These reforms of restructuring the Yatheem Khanas should be undertaken to retain the relevance of these institutions. Management and community in general if not taking streamlining efforts to modify the activities the loosing steam of these voluntary agencies would be obsolete in the near future.
Rise to the expectations of beneficiary members of the society is of paramount importance. Activities like micro finance, sustainable economic development and palliative initiatives are to be encouraged. As the crisis of community is manifest aghast in various socio economic problems, still being obstinate in traditional way of working will be disastrous for the entire community.

Major criticisms against Yatheem Khana

  • Problems of inmates
  • Infrastructural deficiencies
  • Social isolation of old students
  • Lack of utilizing the women skills and resources
  • Lack of interface with government agencies and mutual trust deficit
  • Financial worries
  • Problems of relevance in modern atmosphere

Conclusion
Kerala Muslim community has undeniably achieved higher standards of human development. Transformation of community from revolt ravaged, impoverished pitiful social structure to well-knit institutionalized society is well hinged upon the concerted efforts by voluntary agencies along with religious and political reorientation. Yatheem Khana system deserves special attention in this respect. Community provided amenities were advantageous for the upliftment of deprived communities and this fact is reasoned primarily for the egalitariansocial formation of Kerala Muslims. Active participation of Yatheem Khanas has paid off well for mainstreaming the society.

How to cope with modern challenges should be well studied and appropriate measures adopted by Yatheem Khanas. The historical and social realities that necessitated the formation of Yatheem Khanas are on dissipation, urgent modification is needed to comply with the compounded problems of community. Keeping abreast of time will be challenge but non response to the changing needs and aspirations of society will render these institutions unfeasible.

Lack of adequate data about various aspectsof Yatheem Khanas speaks volumes about the informal nature of working. To evaluate the sheer extent of human development enabled by these institutions there is a dire need for well compiled data to prove with. Studies should be promoted to qualitatively study about Yatheem Khanas and thus ascertaining the social responsibility entrusted to them and also helping to change according the demands of society.

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Sethi. J.D, A General Theory of Voluntary Action in a Decentralised polity, in
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