Gujarat Muslims Hailed for Taking Lead in Covid-Related Relief Work

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Covid care centre in Gujarat mosque
They are at the frontline offering services such as providing oxygen cylinders to cremating dead bodies
Waquar Hasan | Clarion India
NEW DELHI – Muslims in Gujarat are at the frontline to help the patients and the deceased who have been victims of Covid-19 by providing oxygen and necessary medicines, setting Covid care centres in mosques and madarssas and cremating the abandoned dead bodies.
With regard to Muslims’ contributions in the fight against the pandemic, a video of Surat-based businessman Anil Vasvani has gone viral. In the video, he talked about how he was in shock after seeing all those who were helping Covid patients and cremating abandoned dead bodies were Muslims.
He went to the civil hospital and brought dead body of his close friend who died due to Covid-19.
“In the basement of the hospital, there were several dead bodies. When I went there to take the dead body, I saw some selfless people at work. They were bringing the bodies to the ambulance. Then, there were around 8-10 people who were giving service at the cremation ground in Jahangirpura.  There were 10-12 people who were serving at the civil hospital. I’m telling you this because I was myself in shock seeing that all those people were Muslims,” said Vasvani.
Calling them “the pride of India”, he saluted them and their culture in which they were brought up. He marveled at the way they were helping people at such a time when everyone is apprehensive of Covid-19.
“I humbly request you that please always remember those people who are helping you in this hour of crisis. When everything becomes good and normal, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christians should not abuse each other. Please maintain this brotherhood,” he says in the viral video.
Not just in Surat, Muslims are helping people in different areas of the state. The Gujarat unit of Jamaat-e-Islam Hindi is helping patients by tracking resources and offering oxygen to the needy. The Jamaat has formed a Covid Task Force at the national level. Its Gujarat unit is coordinating with the task force.
According to state president of Gujarat’s Jamaat, Shakeel Ahmed, Muslims in Gujarat are fully involved in Covid relief works.
“Covid centres have been set up in various mosques and madarssas. There are 8 or 9 mosques and madarasas which have undertaken such jobs. Apart from that, there are many small Muslim groups who are involved in Covid-related relief work. Many Muslims are cremating dead bodies and some are providing food to those who are in line for ambulances or medicines,” Ahmed told Clarion India over the phone from Ahmedabad.
In Modasa town of Gujarat, Jamaat is going to set up a Covid care centre containing 80-beds in collaboration with a local NGO and influential people. It is also planning to supply oxygen to the Covid care centres.
In Vadodara city, an Islamic seminary called Darul Uloom has set up Covid care centre in its campus consisting of oxygen fitted beds and isolation wards.
“The cases are rising rapidly and the demand for hospital beds is huge. We decided to open the facility because we want to help people. The facility has been running since last week. We have been able to provide treatment to a good number of people,” its principal, Mufti Arif Abbas, was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying about the Covid centre.
In Vadodara itself, a portion of a mosque in Jahangirpur has been coverted into Covid care centre which is equipped with 50-bed along with oxygen.
In Surat’s Kosamba village, a Muslim NGO, the Rehman Education and Charitable Trust, is providing oxygen cylinders and necessary medicines to patients irrespective of religion. So far it has provided 300 oxygen cylinders.
“Our religion directs us to help humanity and what better time to do it than the holy month of Ramzan. We are a charitable trust, so funding is never a problem. Since it is the month of Ramzan, more and more people are donating zakat money to aid us in helping those in need,” Mohammed Ilyas, a manager at the trust, was quoted by The Print as saying.

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