UNITED WE STAND
Volunteers collect commodities for needy
KITCHEN GARDENS, KEHWA CULTURE COMES TO RESCUE OF PEOPLE
Srinagar, Aug 4: With parts of Kashmir facing acute shortage of essential commodities in the wake of continued curfew, people are overcoming the problem by sharing resources within their localities.
In several city localities, mostly in downtown, volunteers have started a drive to go house-to-house and pool in essential commodities for the needy people, who are suffering in absence of them and hardly have any food left at home.
The drive, however, has been launched ‘away from the public glare’ so that the needy ones don’t feel embarrassed to receive the help from their brethren. “After all, everybody has a dignity. Kashmiris have always preferred to live with dignity than beg for money or food. But it has been sixth day of curfew today. So we thought it appropriate to see if we can pool some commodities from those who have them in store. This includes rice, flour and vegetables,” said Zahoor Ahmad, a resident of Nawa Kadal in Shahr-e-Khaas. “We are strictly telling people not to disclose the drive because here self-esteem is very dear to people. They won’t see others donating anything to them. But then in this hour of crisis, it is our moral responsibility to help the poor people in whatever the way we can. That gives jus a sense of belonging to the community.”
The drive is being held at a time when, in many areas of Srinagar, volunteers have established blood donation camps for the injured rushed to different city hospitals. Alongside, several volunteers have established Langars (makeshift kitchens) for patients and their attendants in the healthcare centres like SMHS, SK Institute of Medical Sciences Soura and Lala Ded Hospital.
Interestingly, the volunteers are making use of kitchen gardens. “There are many people in Srinagar who maintain kitchen gardens where they grow different vegetables. We collected vegetables from them and distributed it in some localities,” said Muneer, another volunteer at Hazratbal. “We also talked to some shopkeepers and collected rice bags from them. We are trying out level best to make this drive successful. But a massive effort by one and all is needed so that our neighbours don’t suffer.”
According to volunteers, many people were required to make the drive successful. “Almost entire Valley is reeling under the curfew and therefore facing acute shortage of essential commodities. So such a drive needs to be launched in every locality, in every Mohalla so that people don’t suffer. For instance, if my home has adequate rice for now, I can share some of it with my neighbour who needs it,” Muneer said.
However, with this drive being in its infancy, several areas in Kashmir Valley are reeling under shortage of essential supplies like rice, vegetables and milk. “The markets are completely closed for the past one week. There is hardly a shop open in old city. So we are unable to procure anything,” said Ghulam Rasool, a resident of Habba Kadal. “So curfew is obviously a big trouble for us. Milkmen, shopkeepers, vegetable vendors and bakers are beaten if they attempt to sell the commodities. So in such a situation, people are bound to suffer.”
Meanwhile, due to non-availability of milk, people have started reviving the traditional Kashmiri Kehwa (milk less tea) culture.
In some areas, people have themselves started dumping the garbage to avoid any health hazard in their localities.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 4 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 4 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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