Amir Rashid Wani used crowdfunding for social work and got PhD as reward

Story by  Ehsan Fazili | Posted by  Aasha Khosa • 18 d ago
Amir Rashid Wani with his honorary PhD degree
Amir Rashid Wani with his honorary PhD degree


Ehsan Fazili/Srinagar

Amir Rashid Wani was 20 years old when he started helping people who were in distress. Soon, he realised there were too many such people; they needed money to ease their lives. He founded an organisation - Mooj Kasheer (Mother Kashmir) Welfare Trust (MKWT) to raise funds in a transparent manner for a better and direct outreach.

Five years into social work, and he is, today, one of the youngest social workers to be conferred with an honorary Doctorate in “Social Work" by the International Internship University (IIU), Australia.

The degree recommended by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in recognition of his work, was received by Wani at a function in New Delhi in April 2023.

Amir Rashid Wani with a family that MKWT helped

The work of Mooj Kasheer Welfare Trust, Jammu and Kashmir, (MKWT) includes facilitating the education of the poor and orphans, and supporting rural students by providing them books, stationery, and school fee.

Deviating from the traditional funding, MKWT started “crowdfunding” for broadbasing their campaign. The Trust takes the responsibility of identifying and verifying the needy persons for financial assistance. “We verify the cases and appeal to people through social media to contribute”. The needy get financial help quickly and directly," Amir Rashid Wani told Awaz-The Voice.

He said, "In about five days, the needy get the money in their bank accounts and after this the MKWT closes the case”. Other services of the MKWT include “free medical care, ambulance services, food kits for the poor families and meeting the expenses of marriages of daughters who come from poor families”.

“The objective to launch the social work for the welfare of the poor and needy was made by involving the youth in the age group of 19 and 25, Wani told Awaz-The Voice. He said that several NGOs working in Jammu and Kashmir in the backdrop of the three-decades-old militancy, were not involving the youth. The young volunteers in all the districts of Kashmir Valley and many others in the Jammu region are part of his outreach in the UT.

Amir Rashid Wani helping people in Srinagar  streets

Wani, who hails from Tangmarg area of Baramulla district continues to appeal to and engage the youth in his campaign.

So far the MKWT has helped over 1,000 families to meet their needs of shelter, medical care, blood, free ambulance services, Oxygen facilities and wedding of daughters.    

The MKWT maintains transparency by highlighting their work through social media and using the same for seeking help from people for those in need. Their website has a file for each person needing help. Each one has a "opened on date" and "closed on date." One such case is that of Imtiaz Ahmad Parra, a resident of Kachwa Muqam village in the Wagoora area of Baramulla in North Kashmir.

The father of three young girls who falls in the BPL (below poverty line) category, Imtiaz needed Rs 25-30 lakhs for kidney transplantation. The MKWT raised Rs 26 lakhs for him last month, and the case was closed, said Wani.

“Emergency appeal for a helpless person, namely Gh Mohd Bhat from Anantnag district with four children living in only one room. Unfortunately one of his daughters is facing a critical health issue…They don’t have any kind of source where they can manage the expenses of her treatment ," reads one of the posts on their website.

”Dear brothers let us help him with the construction of a small modest house and help his children in this difficult phase of life “, reads one such appeal on Facebook for “crowdfunding” by the MKWT, last week. It follows with the name, Bank Account Number, and Contact number of the person after having verified the case for help from the concerned SDM and Mohalla Committee. It is also supported by a video depicting the plight of the concerned family.

On the closure of another such case the MKWT through its Facebook page writes: “Successful closure of the case of fund appeal for three orphan sisters from Gundpora, Bandipore” district last month. It goes on adding: “Pleased to announce that three Orphaned Sisters with helpless mother’s appeal met its goal. More than (Rs) 25 lac has been generated in two days, and your generosity has made this intervention possible for these Orphan Sisters”.

Amir Rashid Wani with other recipients of degrees

As part of its operations, the MKWT has also organised mass marriages of 60 girls in 2021 and o100 each in the last two years. These girls are provided with all requisite items including clothes and jewelry for starting their matrimonial life.

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The MKWT has also been providing ambulance services to the poor and accident victims in different areas of Jammu and Kashmir. It has also provided wheelchair facilities for the poor who could not afford it and in a fresh move it has appealed through social media for contribution towards arranging 30 more wheelchairs for the needy poor people.

“We have a Help Desk at all the hospitals in Srinagar”, Amir Rashid Wani said. The MKWT with its 10-member body has a brigade of 45 volunteers to help its facilities reach those in need.