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Indian origin Muslim cleric gets honorary doctorate

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London: The University of Leicester in Britain awarded an honorary doctorate to an Indian-origin Muslim cleric in recognition of his commendable work for the local community.
Muhammad Shahid Raza, head Imam at the Leicester Central Mosque, received the honorary degree from university chancellor Lord Grocott at a ceremony at De Montfort Hall before a global audience of graduating students and their families.
Raza was born in Bihar and studied in Moradabad, Agra and Meerut before moving to Britain. He became head Imam at the Islamic Centre in Leicester in 1978.
Raza has spent his life working with Muslim community groups and on intra-faith relations, both nationally and internationally.
“I have always strived to instill in my students a desire to achieve academically and integrate themselves as valuable members and contributors to society,” Raza was quoted as saying.
“For this reason, I reflect on this award fondly and I hope it will further inspire the young Muslims of Leicester,” he added.
In Leicester, Indian-origin Raza has established a tradition of inter-faith dialogue by welcoming to the centre many groups and individuals from different faith communities, the report said.
Raza also helped form the Federation of Mosques in the city and is currently the executive secretary and registrar of The Muslim Law (Sharia) Council UK.
He was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 New Year’s Honours list for services to the Muslim community in Leicester.
“Raza has been a hugely influential figure in our city and county as a leading Muslim cleric and teacher over a period approaching 40 years. In terms of Interfaith dialogue over that period, again his influence has been profound,” Stephen Foster, coordinating chaplain to the university, was quoted as saying. (IANS)(Image-shariahcouncil.org)

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Green Activists to Build a Taj Mahal with Plastic Waste in Agra

The Taj city daily generates around a thousand tons of civic garbage, most of it plastic and polythene waste

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Green activists will attempt to construct a Taj Mahal with plastic and polythene waste at the Etmauddaula viewpoint park on the Yamuna river here.

At a workshop here by NGO Unfold Foundation to train activists on making eco-bricks with plastic bottles, members of the River Connect Campaign announced they would work on putting together a model of the Taj Mahal with these building blocks. The efforts could take around six months.

Eco-bricks are made of plastic bottles that are stuffed with polythene bags and sealed.

“This is a highly cost effective waste-control exercise based on common sense. We collect used plastic bottles, pack them with packing material, gutkha pouches and polythene, make the bottles air tight and seal them. The bottles become rock solid and are good enough to last 500 years,” Dr Meeta Kulshreshtha, a surgeon, and coordinator of Unfold Foundation, told IANS.

"Agra gets only a trickle. Since there is no storage facility in Agra, the monsoon water goes waste," river activist Harendra Gupta said.
Taj Mahal(Agra), Pixabay

“If one person can give us one bottle filled with waste material, in one year, we will have 20 lakh such eco-bricks to build any solid structure,” Programme Convener Harvijay Bahia said.

River Connect Campaign member Chaturbhuj Tiwari said: “Every week when we clean a patch of Yamuna riverbed, we gather heaps of polythene and used plastic material. If we can manage to fill all this in plastic bottles and jars, we could not only help solve a major urban problem, but have material ready for a structure to be used by the public. Tree guards, benches and stools are among the products that can be made.”

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The Taj city daily generates around a thousand tons of civic garbage, most of it plastic and polythene waste.

“If each household starts filling up bottles with used polythene bags and sliced plastic, we could easily prevent pollution of rivers and water bodies and also avoid choking of drains and sewer lines,” social activist Shravan Kumar Singh said. (IANS)