The WISE Prize for Education


Ms Fatma Rafiq Zakaria

Position: Chairman of Maulana Azad Educational Trust in Aurangabad
Country: India
Fatma Rafiq Zakaria is Chairman of the Maulana Azad Educational Trust in Aurangabad, India, which offers quality education and training to the less privileged, with a focus on empowering women and minorities. She is Executive Vice-President of the Board of Governors of the Trust's Institute of Hotel Management. Mrs. Zakaria is also President of the Maharashtra College of Arts, Science, and Commerce in Mumbai, and Chairman of the All India Khilafat Committee, which operates colleges of education.

Mrs. Zakaria's career has spanned diverse fields including journalism, social work, publishing and education.

In 1958, she established an institution of childcare and training for underprivileged women, offering healthcare, education and free meals.

Mrs. Zakaria joined The Times of India in 1970, later becoming Senior Assistant Editor, covering political and cultural affairs. She interviewed leading public figures including Indira Gandhi, the late Prime Minister of India, and Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister. In 1983, she was awarded the Sarojini Naidu Integration Award for Journalism. Mrs. Zakaria is currently Editor of Taj Magazine, a quarterly journal based in Mumbai.

She has played a prominent role in education and served for three years as a member of the Bombay University Senate. In 2006, Mrs. Zakaria was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the President of India for her work in education.

Mrs. Zakaria continues the philanthropy tradition of her late husband, Dr Rafiq Zakaria, a prominent educator and prolific writer on Indian politics and society, who served as a cabinet minister.