TRANSPARENCY IN WAQF BOARD

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Taking a cue from the mega reformative spree initiated by the ruling dispensation to improve the working of every sector and Government department in J&K, especially after the bifurcation of the erstwhile State into two Union Territories, many other social and religious organisations are also following the same steps and taking several significant decisions for brining transparency and accountability in their working so that they can serve the masses in a much better way without any chance of misconduct or misappropriation of funds. The Waqf Board of Jammu & Kashmir is one such organisation which is responsible for the upkeep and welfare of various ancient shrines and other religious places located across the length and breadth of the Union territory. Further, keeping proper check on the donations at these shrines and to ensure that the money thus accumulated is spent only for welfare of shrine, providing facilities to pilgrims besides welfare of people, also comes under the domain of Waqf Board. But, during the last few years, like other department and sectors, the board was also lacking necessary check and accountability, thereby raising several questions on its working and management. Soon after formation of Union territory, necessary changes were made in the managements of all such boards, with induction of several new faces having a honest and stain-free background, which not only gave the much necessary boost to these organisations but also improved their working significantly. The Waqf Board, during its meeting on Thursday, has taken several new decisions, not only for welfare of shrines but also to ensure several facilities to pilgrims, which were earlier missing from years. During the meeting, where it was decided to hold counting of donation boxes in all shrines under camera surveillance supervised by the Board representative along with officials from bank and police to establish transparency, on the other hand it was also decided to switch-over to online transactions for any purchase or expenditure. Moreover, now the board has also decided to make necessary arrangements for receiving donations online, so that people can contribute without any problem. The members also accorded necessary approval to construction of a first-ever modern Cancer Hospital in J&K. These people-friendly decisions by the Board show that very soon, it would emerge as a productive organization working for welfare of masses besides revival of our spiritual traditions.