By Noor UL Shahbaz
Activism or Advocacy consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct or intervene in social, political, economic or environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society toward a perceived greater good. Activism may be performed on a day-to-day base in a wide variety of ways. It is an intentional action by an individual to bring about social or political change. Social activism is working with other people to bring about a change in society. The word “social” applies both to “society” and to the idea that the activism fosters opportunities for participation. It reflects a personal choice to engage in society. If the participation is forced or coerced, it is not social activism. The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet basic and complex needs of all people, with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. Social workers help relieve people’s suffering, fight for social justice, and improve lives and communities. Most people think of social workers when they think of poverty alleviation and child welfare. Everyone has the right to live a fulfilling and nourishing life – and social care plays a key role in that for many people. Society’s most notable helper’s were social workers. Activism has played a major role in ending slavery, challenging dictatorships, protecting workers from exploitation, protecting the environment, promoting equality for women, opposing racism, and many other important issues. Activism can also be used for aims such as attacking minorities or promoting war. Activism has been present throughout society, in every sort of political system. There are many varieties of activism, from the face-to-face conversations to massive protests, from principled behaviour to the unscrupulous, from polite requests to objectionable interference, and from peaceful protests to violent attacks. Activism is not well defined, so different people often have somewhat different ideas of what constitutes activism. The real inspiration for doing social work for many people comes from Helen Walton’s words: “It is not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.” When you work tirelessly with a pious intention, it contributes to the betterment of society in the grand scheme of things. Working with intent to give back to society makes people around you happy and that happiness keeps your character going on when you spread cheer around, lend a helping hand to needy, share a laugh with a distressing being, pep someone up when they are having a bad day. By doing such kinds of an act you are driven by natural forces to do the right thing every time, time after time and it brings a calm satisfaction to you and spreads harmony in general. Your tireless social service towards other people inspires hundreds and thousands during the course of your working and even though after you leave towards heavenly abode, you are missed because of your good deeds. Such kind of a work helps in creating a more harmonious society – more co-operative, more united, more empathetic, and fairer environment. By saying that, in nutshell your work serves the purpose for what you were created by your Lord. The world is transforming at its own pace. People among us who are thinking to bring out more changes into the system are doing so with the desire for the betterment of humankind. Being a part of the change is something beautiful. Lending a helping hand to better the human future is productive and a hope of transformation gives us something to look forward to. The future of everything, be it education, law, or finance, is about transitioning to humanity. This will come by shifting towards motivation to work rather than forcing how the current system works. The same motivation was attained by one of the great personality from Bandipora district namely Habeeb-u-llah Sheikh sb. He was born in Ajar village of Bandipora district on June, 1932 and lived an impressive social life up to 21st November 2022. He was a noble and conscious human being and lived his life among his people. He was always active in resolving the common issues of the people by spending his time for the greater cause of the society. He lived up to the expectations, what the native inhabitants of his village and of around villages expected him to do. During the course of his struggle for people he was awarded with title of: “Gandhi of Bandipora”, “Bharat Jyoti Award 2008, Best Citizen of India Award 2009, Indira Gandhi Shiromani Award, 2011. He is remembered among the general masses as a sincere and selfless human being. The self less work for my own people is the greatest deed that will work for me in the world hereafter, were his all time words. He affiliated himself with Indian National Congress in 1964 under the leadership of late Mohammad Anwar Khan 9the then MLA of Bandipora) and the reason was only to see his people prosperous. He has many a times represented his people in Panchayat and Municipal elections. “During his affiliations with the Congress party he had bided every political storm valiantly with his leonine courage and has touched the each and every vicissitudes of politics, even though was jailed” says Advocate Sheikh Farooq Habib. He was the senior most Congress leader from Jammu and Kashmir and among the loyalists of Gandhi family that is why he is remembered as a great icon of Indian National Congress in Jammu and Kashmir. “Consistency on truth and social services, develop self faith, resistance and persistence, forgiveness, learning from mistakes, character building non-violence, and speak the truth even if your voice is choked” are the principles on which my father always worked says Advocate Sheikh Farooq Habib. And these were the principles because of them he is and will be remembered in the world and rewarded in world hereafter by Almighty Allah.
Note: The views pertaining to the subject are derivative from Advocate Sheikh Farooq Habib (Son).