Sunday, April 27, 2008

'Muslim Community must come forward for acquiring technical knowledge'

Prof. A.I. Wasif: A man of inspiration and imitation

51-year old Prof. (Dr.) Akil Iqbal Wasif is a shining example of an excellence-in-constant-motion. A product of Malegaon’s Marathi medium school – whose family had nothing to do with textiles – went on to become first Muslim In-charge Principal of Asia’s largest Textile College at Ichalkaranji in Kolhapur District. Excerpts from an interview.

Q: When did you get appointed at DKTES Textile College? What was your position before joining this institute?

A: I joined DKTE’s Textile and Engineering Institute in 1983 as a lecturer on Diploma side. Prior to this, I have worked in Morarjee Goculdas Spinning and Weaving Mills (Mumbai) as a Technical Officer and S.B.M. Engineering (Mumbai) as a Marketing Executive.

Q: In which subject you have done PhD?

A: I did my Ph. D. in 1998 and my area of specialization was ‘Green Technology in Textile Processing.’ I have worked on reducing the water consumption, steam consumption and electricity consumption. This has successfully resulted in substantial reduction in pollution load due to Textile Processing.

Q: Your achievement and contribution to textile industry?

A: As far as my research in textiles is concerned, I have presented 75 papers at national and international conferences. More than 150 papers of mine have been published in national and international journals. I have figured in Marquis Who’s Who in the World, America’s leading biographical publisher. I have been a recipient of International Biographical Centre’s (Cambridge, England) 21st Century award for outstanding achievements. I have provided consultancy to leading textile companies including Grasim, Wel Spun and Siam Synthetic (Thailand). I have designed 8 Effluent Treatment Plants for treating textile waste water. More than 50 organizations are availing my expertise in effluent treatment, water and energy conservation, product development, process modification. I have provided community services to unemployed youth and women from weaker sections of society.

Q: What should be done to uplift weaving community of Malegaon and Bhiwandi?

A: Like Ichalkaranji weavers, the weaving community of Malegaon and Bhiwandi must make an attempt to switch over from plain powerlooms to Automatic / Shuttles technology and manufacture niche products. Various training programmes and seminars must be organized which will change the mindset of weavers. If weavers of Malegaon and Bhiwandi come forward to modernize their textile sector, I would extend my whole-hearted support. Both the textile centres must establish a textile college.

Q: Your message to Muslim community?

A: Muslim Community must come forward for acquiring technical knowledge. I think Urdu high Schools / Junior Colleges will have to do lot of counselling and encourage the Muslim students to opt for higher studies. By the grace of Almighty Allah, I could achieve this position due to sustained hard work and honesty. Muslims must start believing in their own abilities as they too are immensely talented. I request all our students to come forward and pursue education against all odds. We need to have positive frame of mind, Insha Allah we will succeed in all walks of life.

Q: Your family background?

A: My father Iqbal Ahmed Wasif was a social worker. Paternal grandfather Mr. Gulabmiya was a social worker and maternal grandfather Mr. Hasan Khan was Deputy Collector. I did my schooling in Marathi medium from Municipal high school. We are four brothers and two sisters, all of them are highly qualified in their respective fields. My father and mother took personal interest in my upbringing and education. I did my graduation in Science stream (B.Sc.) from Malegaon’s M.S.G. College. I left Malegaon at the age of 21 for higher studies at MUICT, Mumbai.

Q: Your motivator and source of inspiration?

A: My father Iqbal Ahmed Wasif was a constant source of inspiration and great motivator. It was he who made up my mind to pursue textile education at Mumbai. My higher education at MUICT helped me a lot in my personality development and developing competitive spirit.

No comments: