A silent crusader for public welfare

Saying a goodbye to him wasn’t a pleasant thing at all.
A silent crusader for public welfare

Not often we talk about people who invest their lives tomake this society a better place to live. Few top bureaucratic or politiciansmay have this luxury but nothing is said about millions of others who withtheir honestly and dedication happen to be a sigh of relief for common peoplein what otherwise is deemed as a corrupt system of governance.

Let us change it today, with an outline of someone we asfellow employees describe as a great teacher and an extraordinary administrativeofficer. Syed Mahraj ud Din Geelani won't be pleased with this kind ofappreciation but it isn't for the sake of appeasement at a time when few daysbefore we held the farewell function to say goodbye to his services at ZonalEducation Office, Langate.

38 years of public service is a common thing here, almosteveryone in public sector has this thing to claim the credit. Syed Mahraj is noexception but what makes him distinct is the public reorganisation of his work.Ask anyone associated with the field here; they will set him as an example. Ago to man especially for the plain folks.

Syed Mahraj has been a teacher to almost everybody here. Allthose in the locality who happen to be the intellectuals, professors, medicaldoctors and bureaucrats, at some point of time happened to be his students.Imagine the level of respect the person has earned. Everyone around appreciateshis efforts. They talk how good the teacher he has been. Not to sound casteist,it is like that traditional role the Syed's have played in the society.

Why mention this? The reason is Syed Mehraj's fatherhappened to be a prolific Quranic educator. His father, people say was thesource of enlightenment in Qaziabad area. Most probably, we see his father'sreflections in him. This perhaps also tells us how good a son he has been.

Syed Mehraj was born on 19th May 1959 in a far-flung villageof Kunnel Qaziabad. In 1975, he went to Degree College Sopore for pursuingsecondary school education. Six year later he was appointed as a teacher by thestate department of education. It must have been a challenging task to carry onwith the education after being appointed. However, despite in the absence ofthe basic facilities he managed to do his Masters and later on also completedhis B.Ed.

For 26 long years Syed Mehraj continued the job in anatmosphere of political uncertainty that hit the valley during those times. Heremained focused and prioritised the education for youth while serving atremote locations across district Kupwara. He also served as a trade unionleader of teacher fraternity in northern district.

Years later Syed Mehraj was handed over with administrativeduty by the department and he proved equal to the task. 12 years ofadministrative responsibility isn't a cake walk for someone who has been intoclassroom environment for decades. His personality however made things lookeasy. This helped him in mobilising public opinion. Community mobilisationwasn't a difficult ask for him. With all these advantages he proved the gem forfacilitating the ground for proper implementation of various programs withregard to quality education.

What adds to his personality is the element of honesty anddedication. He remained an exemplary employee of the department over the years.Someone you can't bribe. Someone who can't be charged for any unethical,corrupt or impropriety while holding an official position that is often with atemptation window at its back.

Syed Mehraj has been a inspiration for all of us at office.Someone we are proud of, as a noble man with a dignified character. Hispresence in the office set tune for an environment that prioritised public goodand utility based spending of public money. You don't see many of us in thepublic sector holding on to this ethical position these days. It is anunfortunate thing to be public about but a reality and can't be denied.

So then, saying a goodbye wasn't a pleasant thing at all. Weas a public office will miss this presence but it is good to see a respectableend to the career that brings so much to the society. Imagine, a senior fellowmoving out with a word to his mates, "Do not go greedy into this publicservice. Serve; serve against the temptations on offer. Though, wise men attheir end know all the good. Do not go evil into the public life. "

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