Published: 28th March 2019
Why Kashmiris across the world are supporting #Uni4Kashmir
Mehboob Makhdoomi opened a website and a crowdfunding campaign with a #Uni4Kashmir on Wednesday
After two years of planning, Kashmir-born academic Mehboob Makhdoomi is now a step closer to his dream — building a public-funded university of international standards in his home state. On Wednesday, he officially launched the website for the project Uni4Kashmir and a crowdfunding campaign to set up the university. "With the grace of Almighty, we announce this grand plan that belongs to each one of us. It is our collective dream that we have to transform into reality, by holding each other's hands. Please visit the website www.ysmmet.org to join as our member, and donate to the cause if you feel it is the right thing to do," Makhdoomi wrote on Facebook.
The call for a university in Kashmir heightened in the aftermath of the Pulwama attacks - when Kashmiri students all across India were attacked in a spate of incidents.
Uni4Kashmir, according to the website is an initiative to bring international standard higher education to doorsteps of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It also has an advisory council that includes top-notch academics from all around the world, that includes Sheikh Showkat Hussain from the Central University of Kashmir, Nick Nugent from Harvard and Shawky Ahmed Donia from Al- Azhar University, Cairo.
A consultant in a government university in Saudi Arabia, Makhdoomi was thrilled by the response he's been receiving and to get the academics on board with him on the project. "It wasn't difficult at all to get them to be part of the project. It was a good thing to happen to me," he says, adding, "When I approached them, I did expect hassle, especially in our part of the world where people don't want to associate with something that they're not fully sure about. But amazingly, they were more than happy. This shows that this cause resonated with them and they trusted my honesty and capability."
One can also register themselves as a volunteer on the website and help spread the word about the project and collect funds. "Since I'm not in the country, it is difficult for me to collect funds alone. I'm also looking at all covering all districts of Kashmir. Therefore, human resources are very important," he says.
It's been more than two years since Mehboob Makhdoomi started visualising and planning to build a university of international standard in Kashmir. The initial idea was to open a college, but he soon realised the need to open a University.