Hands that help are holier than hands that pray
SHURPARAKA EDUCATIONAL & MEDICAL TRUST
( Regn. No. E-9818 Bombay )
SHURPARAKA – an ancient name of Sopara meaning the “Best Port”, lying on the western railway. The seaboard of western coast is gifted with ports and Shurapraka was one of them. The coastal stripe was known as ‘Aparanta’ in ancient time and Shurparaka was its capital city till 13th century. It is startling to learn that the west cost was a scene of great commercial and maritime activity, at least from the 6th century B.C. From the evidence of the Bible,the Jatakas, the Periplus of Erythraen sea, the works of Strabo, Pliny and many Arab travelers and geographers, it is clear that India had a flourishing trade with Babylonia, Egypt, Greece and Rome, and Shurparaka was playing its major role as India’s famous port. It had large population of Arab and Persian Muslims when Al-Masudi, the famous Arab historian, visited Sopara in 915 A.D. City of Ophir, known for its gold and precious stones, sandalwood and peacocks, is identitied by competent scholars with ancient Shurparaka or present Sopara. Sopara was laso famous for Ashokan rock edicts and Buddhist Stupas and Viharas but all have vanished except on (stupa) which is attracting tourists for its relics found during excavation in 1882.
Its past is buried with pride in the debris of time, preset is in fore and future is in store. Sopara with such a bright historical background stands neglected and unknown. It is lacking in many fields. Various Educational Institutes in Vasai are functioning since the advent of 20th century. Sopara once a town of eminence was lacking in this field. Our wards from Sopara and its surrounding areas, irrespective of caste and creed were finding it extremely hard to get admission especially in English medium schools in Vasai etc. and many were therefore forced to travel upto Mumbai for educational needs.
Keeping all these factors in mind a band of dedicated and like thinking friends from Sopara vehemently moved in this direction and created a Trust in February 1984, with a concept “SERVICE FOR ALL WITH SELFLESSNESS AND DEDICATION”. The trust was named as Shurparaka Educational & Medical Trust, with Mr. Ridwan B Harris as its President and Mr. Anwar Munshi as it Managing Trustee and General Secretary.
Before the Trust could give shape to its various aims and objects, several parents from Sopara and its surrounding villages on experiencing hardships in getting their wards admitted in the Schools outside Nirmal-Sopara sector, approached the Trust emphasizing on starting of a school. In the circumstances the Trust preferred to open a school giving priority on other aims and objects of the Trust, as education is not a secondary asset to national growth but the core of its sound development- economic, social and spiritual. With this background the Trust resolved to start an English Medium School at Sopara. This valuable land was originally gifted by late Haji Burhanuddin M. Sayed Harris to Jama Masjid Trust. The Jama Masjid Trust was kind enough to lease out this tract of land admeasuring 3600 square meters with due permission of the Charity Commissioner, Bombay to Shurparaka Educational & Medical Trust for the noble cause of education. The Trust further resolved that the proposed Pre-Primary English School shall be named after the donor who donated Rs.1,51,000/- to the Trust. In response to this , Mr. Mohd. Hussain Hawai & Brothers gestured to donate this amount. Thus the Pre-Primary school was named after their father Late Mr. Mohd. Amin Hawai. Similarly the Trust resolved that the Primary and Secondary sections of the said proposed school shall be named after the donor who donated Rs.3,00,000/-. In response to this Mr. Ahmed B. Zakaria, Founder Chairman of Zulekha Begum Balumiyan Zakaria trust, Bombay, came forward and accepting the proposal and paid Rs.3,51,000/-. Thus the primary and Secondary sectios of the school were named after his mother Late Mrs. Zulekha Begum Balumiyan Zakaria.
With help of the aforesaid tow donations, contribution from Trustees of Shurparaka Educational & Medical Trust of Rs.2,60,000/- approximately and fund collection from many philanthropists which altogether amounted to over Rs.15 lakhs approximately, the Mohd. Amin Hawai Pre-Primary English School and Zulekha Begum Balumiyan Zakaria English High School were started from June 1985 with 195 students and now it is functioning upto SSC with nearly 2500 students from all communities. Foundation stone of the building was laid by the hands of (now late) Hajja Badrunnisa Zainuddin Qazi on 9th February 1985, 15th day of Jamadul-Awwal 1405 A.H. who donated Rs.50,000/-.
Many philanthropists donated generously for this noble cause.
Our admirer Haji Abdul Qadir G.A. Fauqat of Sopara gifted a piece of land admeasuring575 square yards in S.No. 12H.No.7, to the Trust in memory of his father late Haji Gulam Ahmed A.K. Fauqat. (1986)
In 1989 Mr. Rizwan Anwar Bubere, the then President of Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Council donated Rs.2,00,000/- for the School Hall which was named “ Shabina Bilal Bubere Hall” after the name of his sister-in-law late Mrs. Shabina Bilal Bubere.
CIPLA Charitable Trust Bombay, partially financed school science laboratory. Through efforts of Mr. Domnic Gonsalves, MLA, Panchayat Samiti, Vasai donated Rs.40,000/- under ‘Alpa Bachat Yojana’.
From academic year 1985 till 1988, the school being non-aided, was running in deficit and Trustees made good the deficit every month paying from their own pockets.
In 1994, the Trust started Junior College of Arts and Commerce. To acknowledge the contribution of Mr. Ridwan Harris, in the field of education, the Trustees resolved to name the Jr. College after his name, and thus Ridwan B. Harris Junior College of Arts, Commerce & Science was born.
In 2004, the Trust started a SEMT College of Arts and Commerce, in the school building. The college was named as Moinuddin B. Harris College of Arts with a donation of Rs.10,00,000/- by Mr. R. B. Harris, who passed away in February 2005.
Later 2006, under the leadership of new President, Dr. Zahir I. Kazi, the Trust reached new heights. A foundation was laid for college building, on another piece of land close to school building. Haji Abdul Razzaque E. Kalsekar donated a sum of Rs.75,00,000/- and the college was named after him as A.E. Kalsekar College of Commerce & Management.
The Trust is progressing well, truly on the path envisioned by its founder trustees.