Blood to Food: Muslims Make Beeline To Help Hindu Labourers In Distress
Ishfaq-ul-Hassan | India Tomorrow
SRINAGAR, April 28—An eerie silence had enveloped the city when 18-year-old Rahul, a non-local laborer from Bihar started groaning with pain.
Stranded after the lockdown, Rahul had been putting up in a rented accommodation in the Habak area on the Srinagar outskirts. His relative was stuck in north Kashmir leaving him alone at his rented accommodation.
His co-worker immediately informed the landlord and within minutes entire locality poured in and shifted him to the hospital. After examining, doctors found that he was suffering from chronic kidney disease and required dialysis.
Locals rang up Deputy Commissioner Srinagar for help and he was shifted to a private hospital. “DC sahib responded well in time and shifted him to a private hospital for advanced treatment,” said a local resident wishing anonymity.
During the treatment, doctors found that he was having a low haemoglobin level and needed a blood transfusion. A message was put up on Facebook and 30 Muslims lined up for donating blood.
“It was touching when I received 30 calls within one hour for blood donation. We had given two pints of blood. We told the people that now blood is not required. We conducted his dialysis till 1 pm and the patient is MashaAllah doing well,” said Dr. Showkat Shah, a critical care specialist, who treated Rahul.
Rahul is not an isolated case. Sample this: Doji Ram of Aligarh had loaded `panipuri’ vessel on his cart when he was asked to return as the lockdown has been imposed in Rajouri town. Shell-shocked, he went home only to be told by his wife that they have limited ration available.
How to feed a family of six was making the 35-year-old restive when there was a knock on the door. `Namaskar’, a team of volunteers greeted Ram and handed over a ration kit before melting away.
“We had exhausted almost everything. Had they not come to our rescue, we may have to go to bed empty stomach,” said Ram, who has been selling ‘panipuri’ (Gol Gappa) in Rajouri for 15 years.
Since the lockdown started, a group of volunteers has been going door to door in Rajouri town to hand over ration to poor families without any ballyhoo. Led by three local media persons, the volunteers collect the essentials from different people and distribute them among the poor and needy.
“Lockdown was announced suddenly and people were not ready for it. So many people are daily wagers and they were the worst hit by the lockdown. Since we could move around because of being media persons, we thought to utilize this privilege for helping people including non-local laborers,” said Tazeem Dar, one of the three people who started the initiative.
So far, the volunteers have covered 1000 families including 150 migrant laborers and slum dwellers. “There are so many people who live below the poverty line. Migrant laborers from Bihar, UP, Gujarat and other states are working here. After the lockdown, they have nothing to feed their families,” he said.