Muslim Social Workers Arranging Vehicles, Bearing Conveyance Expenses of Muslim, Hindu Covid-19 Inmates
Syed Khalique Ahmed | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI, MAY 16—While the Central government is extending financial assistance worth thousands of crores of rupees to revive industries hit by lockdown owing to coronavirus menace, it is not doing anything to send back the Tablighi Jamaat and other people who were kept in quarantine centres and have been cured or did not develop COVID-19 symptoms even after 40 days.
The task of sending these people have now fallen on the social activists of the areas where quarantine centres are located. The Delhi government administration is only issuing passes to individuals with certificates of Covid1-9 negative and vehicles passes while vehicles and entire expenditure of transport is being borne either by the local social workers or the inmates themselves.
While SDM(Rohini) SDM (Rohini) Nagendra Shekharpati Tripathi refused to talk to this scribe when he went to the Sultanpuri quarantine centre, many of the inmates where were getting to leave for Jaipur and other places after completion of 40 days at the centre said that many of their colleagues had run out of money and their travel expenses were being paid by the by local social workers.
“Many of us don’t have any money. But we are thankful to the local social workers who are helping us monetarily so that we are able reach our houses safely”, said one of the inmates, requesting anonymity for fear of any further action against him.
The local social workers, all of them Muslim residents of Sultanpuri, are not only helping Tablighi Jamaat and other Muslims in escorting them to their houses but also Hindus. “Within Delhi and national capital region (NCR) and even upto the boundaries of the neighbouring states, we are not charging any money from anybody, be it Jamaatis, other Muslims or even Hindus or those belonging to any other faith. We are providing free transport service to everybody within Delhi and nearby areas, including Kandhla”, said Mohammed Usman, President of the Sultanpuri Fish Market.
“Government is not providing any conveyance to anybody. Only private people and social activists are providing vehicles to transport inmates from quarantine centres to their homes”, said Usman.
“We are making arrangements for buses and other transports for other states like UP, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir but the expenses incurred on it are paid either by inmates or their relatives. In case of inmates who are poor and don’t have money, we are arranging money for them from the local people. We are doing it for pleasure of Allah only and nothing else. People of Sultanpuri are doing selfless service, with no strings attached”, said Usman.
Haji Ghulam Rasool, who runs taxi service, said he dropped as many as 34 Hindu inmates, besides many Tablighis, at their homes with the national capital, free of charge. A young girl inmate, was not initially willing to sit in my vehicle. But she boarded it after being insisted by government officials. The Hindu inmates first went to a temple and then to their houses. After I dropped them, the young was very happy and touched my feet. “She burst out emotionally saying I have not seen people better than Muslims who are giving service free of charge”, Haji Ghulam Rasool narrated.
“I told them that all non-Muslims are also my brothers and sisters. I am not at all scared of their diseases. To be very true, none of the non-Muslims brought to quarantine centre were COVID-19 infected. They were brought on suspicion only”, Haji Ghulam Rasool said.
As it was time to break Ramzan fast for Haji Ghulam Rasool, the young girl arranged for ‘iftar’ for Haji sahib at her home.
Haji Ghulam Rasool said that he dropped Hindu inmates to Shalimar Bagh, Azad Market, Dilshad Garden, Punjabi Bagh and other areas, free of charge.
Out of 849 inmates at Sultanpuri centre, almost half of them have been sent to their homes. Social activist Mohammed Usman said that another batch of 200 Tablighis belonging to Tamil Nadu were being sent by a special train on May 16 night. Usman and his colleagues have so far transported more than 300 people to their homes.
Usman expects that all the inmates would be at their homes before Eid festival.
Regarding death of two inmates-one of them Mohammed Mustafa from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu-one of the activists on conditions of anonymity said that the two deaths took place either due to lack of food or unavailability of medicines when the quarantine centre was just set up and there was no facility.
“However, after this no death took place as government improved the facilities of food supply by setting up a canteen at the premises itself. Three times food is available to all the inmates as also to those observing fasts. NGOs are providing ‘khajur’ and fruit etc for ‘iftar’ for those observing fast. There is adequate supply for everything”, said Usman.
Usman said that more than 80 Tablighis, who were tested Covid-19 positive and recovered later on, gave their plasma for treatment of serious Covid-19 patients in hospitals.
“All the inmates, including Tablighis, have tested Corona negative at least five times. That is why they are being released and sent to their homes”, said Usman.