Hyderabad: Arshad Pirzada’s successful career in Saudi Arabia has enabled him not only to help his family but also serve the community through education initiatives.
Whether it was learning skills from various General Motors representatives at Al-Jomaih Automotive Company or learning from the Indian expatriates, Pirzada’s hard work has paid off.
“Okay, I had gone to the Kingdom to alleviate the economic woes of my own family. But should one stop there? Shouldn’t he think about the people he has left behind in his city who were in the midst of an economic crisis for a long time?” Pirzada asks looking back at his stay in Saudi Arabia.
The moment one asks Pirzada about the ups and downs in his life, he goes back to the times of grandfather (maternal) who was the Collector of Rychur, formerly a part of Nizam’s Hyderabad State. Those were the days when there was peace and prosperity prevailed. But the 1948 Police Action changed all that.
Speaking about how began his journey to educate a miniscule part of the community, he says, “My children are well settled. My wife, on the other hand, is a teacher of Quranic Arabic, author of a book and an entrepreneur in her own right. She designs and sells mostly Bridal ware. This where my active association with Mount Mercy School comes in,” he informed.
Established in June 1999, the school in its early days has gone through the pangs of growth. There was always a galore of challenges. Initially only 56 students enrolled. Yet, through better infrastructure developed and word of mouth, there are now 850 students.
Pirzada mentions, “Not many among us realise how bad the literacy levels are among the Muslims. For example, around 30 to 40 percent of the kids in MMS are first-generation learners who come from families with limited financial resources. Also, whatever money we make is pumped back into the development of facilities at the school.”
He said, “In today’s competitive, globalized market, soft skills are just as important as the hard skills. We also polish the kids and prepare them for interviews for different competitions, contests and tournaments as well.”
Although the journey that lead to him to forming Mount Mercy with others is one that many Hyderabadi gulf migrants will identify with. That too, whether or not they came from the same background as Pirzada.