Doctor wants to support local heroes, students

Published 12:27am Saturday, November 3, 2012

Those who play a vital role in our community — police officers, firefighters and teachers — will soon be recognized for their hard work.

Dr. Amjad Butt, a cardiologist at the Cardiovascular Institute of Selma, has pledged to give money to a hardworking police officer, firefighter, teacher and student.

“I’ve always believed the police department, the fire department and teachers are probably the lowest paid workers, providing the most for us,” Butt said.

Selma City School Board member Dr. Kirit Chapatwala, said city and county officials will gather sometime next week to discuss the specifics of the money allocations.

“The goal is for the city and county to come together and recognize these people for the hard work they put forth,” Chapatwala said. “Right now we’re looking at giving a $2,500 scholarship [to a member of each group].”

Butt said upon moving to Selma, he had immediate concerns that he knew he wanted to address.

“When I came to this town, my concerns were about what’s going on particularly when it comes to crime,” he said. “I also believe we have an issue of poverty.”

To combat these issues, Butt has decided to reach into his own pocket and give money, to whom he believes, are the most deserving members of the community.

“This is my home, and if I and people like me will not chip in and support our law enforcement, our teachers, our firefighters and make sure the children don’t go hungry —then who else will,” he said.

Another initiative Butt said he would like to get started is a food bank, which would be sponsored by the Islamic Foundation of Selma.

He said he would like to compile a list of deserving families who are in need of food.

“We got approved; we got inspected, and I think we’ll have two [donation times] at least before Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Butt said. “I don’t believe any child should go hungry.”

Both Chapatwala and Butt said they are excited about the scholarship program and food bank because it brings the county and city together for a common cause.

“If my little contribution can make a difference, then it will make my day,” Butt said.

For more information on the scholarship program and the food bank, call the Cardiovascular Institute of Selma at 526-2200.

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