By Pervez Bari
BHOPAL: By serving the humanity in their distress, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Bhopal Unit has proved that virtues of humanity, compassion, charity, sympathy and mercy still exist. Donning the hat of Good Samaritan, the volunteers of the unit started relief work in all directions of the city of Bhopal, where ever it is needed without any discrimination.
After the nationwide lockdown announced on 22nd March, the JIH Bhopal unit, with all the necessary permissions from the local government, started community kitchens for distribution of food packets to the needy on a war-footing. For the first time any organisation did relief work at such a large scale covering different areas of work at the same time. The volunteers supplied cooked food packets and ration kits to the poor and needy people in the city.
According to Shakeel Khan, in-charge of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Bhopal Unit said, “His organisation is committed to serve the humanity and has proved its strength, coordination and ability to manage and deliver the best possible support to the society.”
Relief work programmes of the unit:
The relief work areas of the unit include setup of community kitchens; distribution of dry ration kits; relief work at Habibganj Railway Station; relief work in Quarantine Centres; relief work at national and state highways; Eid celebration with poor and needy ones; free food vehicles & creating business opportunities.
The JIH unit has setup 8 community kitchens operational at different locations of Bhopal to cover the entire city. More than 200 Jamaat volunteers started working for free food packets delivery to the poor and needy. More than 10,000 food packets are delivered every day, mainly in slum areas and to the needy without any discrimination of caste, creed, colour and class.
While continuing the food packet distribution, the Unit has also started supply of dry ration kits in the month of Ramadan with a complete package. It distributed almost 4,270 dry ration kits to the needy families.
When the Government started Shramik Express (Special trains) for migrants, the Railways enforced a new rule to report at railway station at least 1:30 hours before boarding the train. In such a situation it has been noticed that people who are willing to travel reached railway stations 8–10 hours before the scheduled departure and waited outside the railway station as they were not allowed to enter the platform without confirmed tickets.
This has left the passengers with no choice but to wait outside the railway stations under 40+ degree temperatures. At this time JIH Bhopal Unit came into action and took the responsibility of Habibganj Railway Station, and started providing free food packets and water to the people waiting outside the railway station.
The JIH Bhopal Units also sought permission from DRM Bhopal to allow them doing relief work at railway platforms so that they can provide food packets and water to the passengers in the trains passing through Habibganj railway station.
Eid celebration with poor
The volunteers of the unit celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr by distributing fruits, biscuits and cold drinks in the slum areas mainly to the needy families of new Arif Nagar. A startling fact came to the fore that the poor inhabitants of the area residing beside the railway tracks, moved by the plight of migrant workers travelling in trains towards their homes in UP and Bihar, have decided to mitigate their sufferings by providing them food packets.
They collected Rs.5/- from each household and started preparing vegetable biryanis, pooris, vegetable curries etc and packaged these food items to deliver to the passengers. Sometimes they had to supply the food packs in running trains by throwing it inside through windows. This crowning gesture of these have-nots puts heads down of many of us, who are far better off, to shame and no words are forthcoming to acknowledge their good deeds in these times when by and large people are at their wits’ end.
Relief work at Quarantine Centre
The Unit also took responsibility of three Quarantine centres and started providing food, water and other necessary items on daily basis to the centre absolutely free of cost. The Quarantine Centres are: - Rajeev Gandhi College, Mahaveer College, Abbas Nagar & Gulshan Garden, Bairagarh.
National and State highways
During the lockdown 4.0 migrants from different states and cities started moving towards their home towns. This led to the chaotic situation for the migrants at National and State highways. At this juncture also JIH Bhopal unit came into action and setup stalls on highways providing free food, water, fruits and juices for migrants, free milk and biscuits for their children, sanitary pads for women, and some essential medicines for the needy ones and also provide free shoes and slippers to the migrants passing from Highways. Jamaat volunteers are working 24 x 7 on highways serving the migrants.
Now the JIH Bhopal Unit has decided to run free food vehicles in different parts of city. These vehicles will reach to different areas and announcement of free food will be done from these vehicles so that the needy persons can collect the free food packets from the vehicle.
Creating business opportunities
As the lockdown has a big impact on the nation’s economy and people started losing their jobs in different sectors and industries. Several small scale businesses are almost on the verge of shutdown leaving a big chunk of professionals and qualified persons jobless. At this juncture, JIH is planning to create more than 1,000 business opportunities in Bhopal for professionals whose salary range would be between 10 to 25 thousand per month.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, officially formed in April 1948, specifies its guiding principle as "Iqaamat-e-Deen". It has involved itself in various humanitarian and relief efforts in many parts of India.
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