Dreaming big seems to be the trend with minority youth. A hint of this was clear at the ‘Gems of the Nation 2012-13’ award programme here on Saturday wherein many boys and girls expressed their desire to get into civil services and chartered accountancy.

For Salma Samreen of Kurnool, becoming an IAS officer is the target. Ayesha Begum of Visakhapatnam and Jyothi of Proddatur too share the same ambition. Salma Sultana of Visakhapatnam surprised everybody with her wish to become a social reformer.

Organised by the Foundation for Economic and Educational Development and Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust, the programmer feted toppers from the minority community in different streams. A majority of them were from government schools and poor financial background.

Faizan Mustafa, Vice-Chancellor, NALSAR University of Law, appreciated the students’ zeal but felt disappointed on not finding any takers for law. “If you want big money, be a lawyer,” Dr. Mustafa advised the students.

He regretted that there was not a good Muslim lawyer in the country. The representation of the community at NALSAR and the Bangalore Law School was less than 1 p.c., he said. There was an urgent for career counselling, he said.

Dr. Mustafa felt background had no relation with success. In fact, those who hailed from humble milieu made it to the top. The Indian Constitution was a unique document in terms of management of diversity and it provided equal opportunities to everyone. As a Muslim, he never felt discriminated in his career, he said and added that the group to which one belonged also needed to be protected.

G. Rajeswara Rao, retired chief commissioner of Income Tax and Kamal Farooqui, former chairman, Minorities Commission, also spoke.

Earlier, Ghiasuddin Babukhan, chairman, Hyderabad Zakat Charitable Trust, disbursed cash awards of Rs. 10,000 each to 213 students. Through scholarships worth Rs. 10 crore, the Trust had helped 40,312 students during the academic year 2011-12.

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