Kashmir Indepth

Kashmiris offer helping hand in times of distress

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, March 24 (KINS): At a time when entire world is gripped under coronavirus, Kashmiris are coming forward to help people in times of distress.

One such example is CEO of Kashmir’s Own Padman Peerzada Aaqib. He has provided 700 boxes of sanitary pads to all quarantine facilities housing female students in Kashmir.

“After going through a Tweet of SMC Mayor Junaid Mattu that some quarantined female students are in desperate need of sanitary napkins, I felt an urgent need to step forward and extend my helping hand to those in need. Stigma already stops people who menstruate from asking for period products. As we are practicing social distancing, it was even more difficult to provide pads to those in need of them. But Alhumdulillah I with the help of Junaid Mattu managed to deliver 700 boxes of sanitary pads to all the quarantine facilities housing female students,” Aaqib told Kashmir Indepth News Service.

He said the fight against coronavirus is a shared responsibility and everyone has to play due role in tackling the contagion.

“I would love to provide transportation facility to SMC or some volunteers agencies as well. I have a mini truck and if they need it to deliver basic necessities to the needy people or for some sanitization and sterilization they can contact me,” he added.

SMC Mayor Junaid Mattu has expressed his gratitude to him. “A total of 700 boxes of sanitary pads are being delivered to all quarantine facilities housing female students free of cost – as promised. Thank You to Mr. Aqib from Seha for prompt volunteer action,” the Mayor posted on Twitter.

Similarly,  Gulshan Books Kashmir, a publishing house in Srinagar has donated 1,000 books to various quarantine centres.

 “We really feel happy that we have donated 1000 books for those who have been kept in quarantine centres,” Gulshan Books Kashmir owner Sheikh Aijaz Ahmad said.

Several hoteliers have also kept their hotels available for those who are to be quarantined.

“Tiger Zinda Hai lets clap for mr Irshad (owner of Shah Abbas Hotel)  who came all the way to offer keys of his hotel to help us,” Tweeted District Development Commissioner Srinagar Shahid Chowdhary.

In another Tweet he wrote, “Tiger zinda hai II: Friend Mr Suhail Bukhari just handed over keys of his luxurious 48 bedded hotel for putting in any use.”

Kashmir’s prominent businessman Abdul Hameed Bhat has decided to donate Rs 10 to help strengthen the medical sector and also kept an ambulance available.

He has also made his generator available for any quarantine centre with free of cost. “I am not only a businessman but also a responsible citizen. I appeal our business community to come forward and help people in these tough times,” he said.

Amid this crisis NGOs and other organizations are also helping out people in distress times. Help Poor Trust is helping people who cannot afford their medicines and provide them medical assistance.

“The patient inflow is less in the hospital due to the COVID-19 but people who need any kind of medical assistance we are available round the clock,” said Ali Mohammad Lone, founder of the Help Poor Trust.

Bashir Nadwi, one of the members of Athrot said, “There has been a shortage of face masks in the market. We have a target of manufacturing one lakh face masks for free distribution in Srinagar.”

Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema, an amalgam of various religious bodies in Kashmir and Anjuman-e-Auqaaf Jamia Masjid on Tuesday urged people across Kashmir to form Mohalla committees and to collect Baitul Mall (charity) for helping poor and destitute in the present challenging times.

The MMU and Auqaf urged people to form small groups of youth volunteers in every area who would identify the families who are in dire need of food and other essential commodities.(KINS)

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