IMRC Supplies Funding for Rural Construction and Development in India

August 4, 2014

As an undergraduate at Loyola University, Chicago, Raihan Sayeed is enrolled in the pre-medical program, with previous experience shadowing doctors Zeba Shakir at her Homewood, Illinois, clinic and Prem Rupani, a doctor with Sinai Medical Group in Chicago, Illinois. Raihan Sayeed has also helped perform free medical screening as a volunteer with the Al-Kareem Welfare Society. Other philanthropic organizations with which Ray Sayeed has volunteered include the Chicago-based SUFFAH Educational Guidance Center and Indian Muslim Relief & Charities (IMRC). Headquartered in Mountain View, California, IMRC receives donations from individuals in the United States and United Kingdom to fund programs such as its rural development projects aimed at relieving the economic inequities suffered by Muslims and members of other minority groups in India.

IMRC currently operates two initiatives within its rural development program, Project REED and the Kurnool Flood Housing Project. Established in 2009, Project REED addresses the lack of religious education in many rural Muslim communities in India by providing these villages with the resources to construct and manage their own schools for Islamic instruction. Due to the overflow of the Krishna River in 2009, 2 million people lost their homes in the most severe flood to strike the region in a century, and the Kurnool Flood Housing Project is dedicated to building new homes for families in need of shelter.

Project REED directs its efforts at villages where community members have abandoned their faith or have been geographically cut off from any religious study institutions. IMRC has facilitated the construction of 38 schools, each equipped with a prayer hall and classroom, washing rooms, and a living space for the imam. As part of the project, imams receive training in how to lead daily prayers and teach lessons from the Quran.

Though the Kurnool Flood Housing Project has successfully rebuilt one village of 162 homes, the project’s goal is to build an additional 500. While the Indian government is providing displaced families with free land to occupy, American and British supporters of IMRC finance the construction of one new permanent home with each $500 donation.

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