He spends weekends in the company of the have-nots and gives them the much required emotional support and financial assurance. That’s the life of Mr. Mohammed Abdur Rahman, Vice President Global Sales & Marketing of Netmertic Info Solutions Private Ltd, a Leading Technical Training Company headquartered in Hyderabad, with branches in Bangalore, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
It’s unlikely that an IT professional finds it relaxing to spend time in a modest NGO rather than playing golf or unwinding in a spa. Like any senior IT professional, Mr Rahman is articulate and a good listener. Scratch the surface and one comes across a humane person, who feels so much for the poor that he has put aside part of his time and income towards their betterment. Clearly he’s been able to do justice to both worlds. No surprise that Prime Time Research Media Private Ltd recognized his efforts and gave him the 2015-16 Award for best IT and Consulting services as well as best NGO services for empowering women and making children literate.
Mr. Rahman comes from a large middle class family comprising three brothers and four sisters. It’s understandable that the circumstances at home were not very comfortable and in the neighbourhood, child labour was rampant. All this made a deep impact on him.
Along with this, it dawned on him that education and employment are essential to lead a comfortable life and there are no short cuts to achieve this. Having realized that, he had another challenge to face. This average student had to go that extra mile and participate in extracurricular literary activities in college to overcome his introvert nature. The confidence and oratory skills gained from this stint have come in handy during client interactions as an IT professional.
Of course he had never planned to be an IT professional. His professional life led him on; one thing followed the other till he ended up as a Software professional. The beginning was different though. Looking back, a polytechnic course after Class X fetched Mr Rahman a job in a civil engineering firm in Hyderabad in 1996. At that time, working in a civil engineering firm was considered enviable. After all, the IT boom was yet to kick off, so placements in the civil engineering sector were in great demand.
Whenever Mr Rahman met educated jobless individuals he realized how lucky he was to be gainfully employed. Their plight touched his heart. Yet, he couldn’t offer any form of support because he was still settling down in his career.
Then the New Millennium brought a stroke of luck. For the first time he got a chance to work abroad, in a firm in Saudi Arabia. No doubt a plum job overseas widened his sphere but somewhere deep down in his heart he wanted to return to his home and be with his parents and try to improve the lives of the underprivileged in Hyderabad. After a brief stint, he returned to his home turf in 2003 and has never looked back since then. Meanwhile Hyderabad was slowly transforming.
Hyderabad, Hot Seat for IT
Post Millennium Hyderabad began to morph into an IT hub. The large presence of IT companies began to change its landscape. Hyderabad came to be known as Cyberabad and Mr. Rahman knew it was time to switch gears. Netmertic Info Solutions was initiated in 2006 as an ICT training and solutions provider and Mr. Rahman has been associated with it since its early days.
So it’s no surprise that the professional decided to keep pace with the industry by fine tuning his IT skills through certified courses from CISCO USA along with other certifications in sales and networking.
The training stood him in good stead. During the formation of Netmertic Info Solutions, Mr Rahman put in 16 hours- 18 hours of work every day as he took the responsibility of building business lines around core services network training solution and services. Since then, he has added several services including information, communication and technology (ICT), infrastructure solutions and professional services.
Though a compulsory workaholic, Mr. Rahman never forgot the apathy of the have-nots and wanted to improve their lives. He knew he had to make a beginning somewhere and started off by offering financial support for the education of children from low income households. His neighbourhood had many such cases including children of rickshaw drivers and maids.
Helping 2 Hands, The AR Foundation as we all know today has been inspired by Mr. Rahman’s father who had told him to do something for the society and world. “You need to be humble, helpful and make yourself approachable for any kind of help. You can contribute towards education or women’s empowerment. You can offer to help orphanages or bear the expenses of people who can’t afford even basics,” he remembered. This gave him strength to start the foundation.
He continues to remain responsible for his siblings, thanks to his father’s vision. His father taught him to support his siblings, even in the most difficult situations. “You are three brothers and four sisters and I know you will live up to my expectations,” Mr. Rahman recalled.
His mother too has been his guiding force. “I’ve seen my mother cook for two extra people and I was told that this extra food is for those who are in need of it. The same vision is shared by my wife,” he added.
Mr Rahman took meaningful steps into the world of philanthropy by initially associating with a few orphanages. He contributed in whatever possible way to provide financial assistance and food for the children.
And then during a morning walk, he saw women and children begging on streets. Moved by their helplessness, the philanthropist decided to focus on children’s education and women’s empowerment by starting his own NGO titled Helping 2 Hands The AR Foundation. Though it began in 2007, it was officially registered as an NGO in 2014. Whatever the case may be, Helping 2 Hands The AR Foundation has helped uplift orphans and underprivileged, besides opening out opportunities for women’s education and motivating students from Urdu and Telugu medium government schools. Apart from recognizing academic excellence, the students have also been motivated through essay competitions and debates. The philanthropist has also empowered dowry victims by enrolling them for computer classes and English classes.
During summer, 200 bags of water were distributed freely in the old city and backward areas of Hyderabad, wherein each bag contains 100 packets of water.
Helping 2 Hands The AR Foundation continues to associate with orphanages and the latest being Rainbow Orphanage. This year it is hoped that people come forward to adopt children from the orphanage.
And at the end of it, what has philanthropy done to him? By his admission, it’s made him humble, and he no longer lives in a shell.
However all this would not have been possible had it not been for his parental support and value system instilled by them during his formative years. “My parents taught me to work and win people with your work and earn respect rather than just making money. I was told to honour my word as far as possible and never break a promise,” he explained.
Later in life, he has been ably supported by his wife Ayesha Farheen, an image consultant. Hope in times to come, Mr. Rahman becomes a role model to his son and two daughters.
Guess, contentment is one’s own calling.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kavitha Srinivasa is an accomplished writer from Bangalore, who has worked in leading publications like Mint, The New Indian Express and The Asian Age. She moved out of mainstream media some time ago and reinvented herself as a Freelance Journalist. In the process, she rediscovered the joy of writing once all over again