When Government, Media Hounded Out Tablighis; Bengaluru Hospital, Muslims Served Humanity
By Gurmehar Bhalla
(Special to India Tomorrow)
BENGALURU, JULY 23—At a time when the Narendra Modi-led regime was hounding Tablighi Jamaat and spreading canards about the pan-international Muslim religious movement, a unique work for humanity by constructing a hospital was being silently done for the people of the country by Muslims in Bengaluru.
This everlasting and eternal contribution to mankind makes me and every conscious human being to prostrate before Islam and the ideals cherished by its everlasting principles for humanity. During the coronavirus outbreak, instead of understanding the main reasons behind the spread of the outbreak in all its seriousness, the government was busy spreading poisonous lies about Tablighi Jamaat through fake propaganda and witch-hunting of its followers.
It was a depressing time when the community was being repressed by goons with saffron flags trying to foist them on the handcarts, demanding Aadhar from the Muslims, banging plates and lighting lamps. Vis-a-vis the humiliation, the Muslim community in Bengaluru lightened up the entire humanity by constructing a hospital, providing food to the hungry and oxygen cylinders to the terminally ill patients.
Mercy Mission spreads humanity versus state governmental apathy
In Bengaluru, Dr. Taha Mateen, Mehdi Kaleem, Jamaat-e-Islami Karnataka Chief Dr. Belgami Mohammmad Saad and other civil society members devoted their time in knowing finer details of the COVID crisis like testing, hospitals, beds availability and ambulances for ferrying patients and concluded that the state government also went into lockdown which led to the crisis in Bengaluru. Ismail Shaikh who works with Mercy mission, said, “We are seeing what happened in Italy and New York and decided we will not let the same thing happen here in our city”.
Mercy Mission runs more than 40 chapters in the city where medical professionals like doctors, IT professionals, engineers and members of civil society wholeheartedly participate in the humanitarian task of combating COVID 19 crisis. One thing is clear that when Mercy Mission can work so well, then why not the government. It all depends on the intention to serve the people with kindness.
Muslim Buried bodies of Hindu & Christian Covid-19 patients with their respective religious rites
Ismail Shaikh who works with Mercy Mission is a volunteer who cremates COVID and Non COVID dead bodies with the religious rites of the faith of the deceased. He says, “In Cloud 9 hospital, a 15- day infant passed away due to Corona and his mother too was Corona positive. She called me and said that I must recite the Hindu mantra “Ram Naam Satya Hai” while we cremate the dead child. We did what she said and cried a lot at that moment. The mother, too, cried a lot when she was interacting on phone with us. We cremated many COVID bodies but this instance was painful and heart touching for us. One day I received a call from a Christian girl who said that her father, who died of Corona, should be buried as per the rituals and the body should be taken from the hospital. She, too, was quarantined and told us that she will pay whatever money we wanted. It was a hair-raising incident for us and the way Corona virus had wreaked havoc with the lives of the people,” he said. Shaikh works as an IT professional with a prominent Multi-National Company (MNC).
Youth MLA Rizwan Arshad said that he was contacted by some relatives of a deceased Christian COVID patient whose dead body was refused to be buried in the Christian graveyard as the management denied the burial. Arshad, somehow, found another alternative graveyard where the dead body was laid to rest. Surprisingly, none of the pastor was ready to recite the funeral prayers. Taking this peculiar situation into consideration, a Muslim boy named Asif rose to the occasion, read verses from the Holy Bible and performed the last rites.
There are thousands of such examples where the Muslims have demonstrated their commitment for the cause of humanity and performed the last rites as per the religious traditions of their faiths which is commendable. When some people are spreading canards against Muslim vegetable vendors appealing to the people not to buy vegetables, there are Muslims who are doing whatever possible for the decent and dignified burial of their Hindu and Christian brothers.
Right wingers were busy demand swab proof from Tablighis
Bengaluru has seen the worst as most of the patients who turned up for treatment at the government’s Victoria Hospital were at their last stage and 97 percent died on the ventilators. Patients had been running from pillar to post seeking ventilators, beds and ambulances but their effort had been futile leading to fatalities. All general hospitals were transformed into COVID centres and general patients suffered the most. Private hospitals have been charging anywhere between Rs 25,000 to Rs 35,000 for one day Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facility and were not ready to admit patients unless a bonafide COVID report was furnished. During this crisis, Dr Taha Mateen converted his HBS Charitable Hospital into dedicated COVID hospital and Shifa Hospital at Shivajinagar into COVID hospital. Currently, only COVID and dialysis care is being undertaken at the two hospitals. The hospital is charging a negligible Rs 300 to Rs 500 for dialysis when private hospitals were taking between Rs 4000 to 5000 for dialysis.
Online Clinic provides relief and succour to COVID patients, families
Another important mission being running an online Mercy Clinic where more than fifty medical experts work on a single platform to provide relief and succour to the help-seekers. The clinic receives between 50 to 100 calls on a daily basis for those who don’t get medical treatment for non-COVID ailments and beds for admission. The Karnataka branch of Jamaat-e-Islami has started ‘Doctors for Humanity’ initiative as a form of online clinic under the direct supervision of noted urologist Dr Belgami Mohammad Saad. Patients are getting benefits out of zoom meeting with the panel of expert doctors.
According to Dr Saad, he has received a number of calls during the last few days. There are two options, medical and other is non-medical, comprising bed and ambulance, queries of which are received on a daily basis. Currently, 45 specialist doctors are working in the team of doctors for humanity. Another group of 30 volunteers is engaged in providing bed and ambulance services to the needy.
Public healthcare professional Dr Selvia Karpagama says that image of government is always strong but here the Muslim youth through their sheer dedication and sincere work have carved a unique image for themselves in the eyes of the people which is several notches higher than the government. People are dying of lack of oxygen and Mercy Mission volunteers are ensuring door to door delivery of oxygen cylinders for patients in need.
Bengaluru was the safest but government negligence made it a COVID containment zone
A minister in his statement said that Bengaluru can be saved only by God. The situation was better till June 27 but after this, as many as 1500 patients were detected. The entire government machinery has collapsed. MLA Rizwan Arshad said that the government was overconfident in dealing with the crisis and had no proper planning for implementing lockdown. There has been serious corruption in the healthcare department and the current mess created in the city is due to the government which is now trying to wash its hands off saying that the situation has gone out of control.
Rahmat Group feeds migrants
The return of migrants to their native places from Bengaluru is still going on. Currently, 3 lakh migrants have travelled outside the city in 238 special trains. Initially, the Shramik trains were stopped under pressure from the builders lobby and the decision was challenged by civil society and social groups. Mercy Mission, All India Central Council of Trade Union (AICTU) along with ‘Bangalore with Migrants’ social groups took keen interest and resolved the migrant grievances.
Tanveer Ahmed of Mercy Mission says “None of the migrants in Karnataka knew about the arrival and departure of Shramik trains. As of today, we call the migrants to Tripuravasi Palace where they are fed with good food, drinking water and accommodation. Their numbers are counted and then dropped to the railway station. En-route during their travel, the food needs are taken care of by Rahmat group. Currently, only a few migrants are left. Earlier, 50,000 food packets were prepared for distribution on a daily basis”, he said.