Hyderabad: A city-based NGO called Helping Hand Foundation (HHF) paid salaries to 200 Imams and Muezzins of city who offer services at mosques.
“Nearly 80% of the Imams and Muezzins in city mosque have not been paid their salaries due to drying up of collections in mosque which are closed now. Due to this many are facing hardship for ration, essential items & are struggling to support their families,” said Mujtaba Askari of HHF.
A survey was conducted by HHF across 100 mosques mainly in middle and low income areas and Slums of Hyderabad. It was revealed in a survey that 80% of mosque in middle and up market areas is managed by committees and only 30% of these mosques in slums are run by committees, After which the foundation decided to help the Imams and Muezzins.
People offer their services in mosque and the maintenance of mosque is dependent on weekly collections which are now running dry due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Some committees which are well endowed are able to pay the salaries and other dues to staff.
“It is a pity that 70% of the Muezzins who work in mosque for a meager salary of Rs 5000 to Rs 7000 are Hafiz e Quran, who also takes care of cleaning of mosques. 35-40% of the Imams and Muezzins are non-locals and are from other states – whatever they earn here goes to feed their families back home,” Mujtaba stated.
HHF has paid Rs 3000 each for Muezzins and Imam respectively in 100 mosques mainly across low-income areas for a total budget of Rs 6 lakh.