The Jamaat wins over Hindus and Muslims through its community kitchens feeding hundreds daily during the lockdown in the MP capital
Pervez Bari | Clarion India
BHOPAL – Under the lockdown enforced in the country in the wake of Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, Bhopal unit of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) reached out to the poor and underprivileged sections of the society with compassion, charity and humanity. Donning the hat of Good Samaritan, volunteers of the Jamaat, who fanned out in the entire city to help the needy.
Through their humanitarian services, these foot soldiers of Islamic generosity proved that humanity still exists in the world. These Muslims rose to the occasion setting aside their own woes as victims of hatred.
At a time when a global pandemic is holding the entire nation hostage, crores of daily wagers, migrant workers and low-income groups having lost their jobs have no means sustain themselves. They are totally dependent on charity for their daily bread.
Under these circumstances, JIH Bhopal started its relief work wherever it is needed without any discrimination. After announcement of the lockdown on March 22, the Jamaat set up community kitchens for food distribution covering almost entire city. The relief work started on a war-footing from March 24 after fulfilling all the legal obligations with the local administration authorities.
This is the first time any organisation carried out relief work at such a large scale covering. Reiterating his organisation’s commitment to serve the humanity, Shakeel Khan, in-charge of Jamaat-e-Islami, Hind Bhopal Unit said, “Thanks to our strength, coordination and ability to manage and deliver, we could be able to offer the best possible support to the society in times of a humanitarian crisis.”
Relief Work programmes of JIH, Bhopal
• 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.
Setup of Community Kitchens
JIH Bhopal Unit immediately started working after nationwide lockdown declared on March 22. It set up eight community kitchens at different locations of Bhopal to cover the entire city. More than 200 Jamaat volunteered deliver free food packets to the poor and needy.
More than 10,000 food packets are delivered every day covering each corner of Bhopal city. These food packets are being delivered mainly in slum areas without any discrimination based on caste, creed, colour or class.
Later, while continuing the food packet distribution, JIH Bhopal Unit started distributing dry ration kits in the month of Ramadan with a complete package. It distributed almost 4270 dry ration kits to needy families.
When the government started Shramik Express (Special trains) for migrants, Indian Railways enforced a new rule to report at railway station at least 1:30 hours before boarding the train. In this situation, it has been noticed that people willing to travel reached at railway stations 8–10 hours before the scheduled departure of the train time and waited outside the railway station as they were not allowed to enter the platform without confirmed tickets.
This left the passengers with no choice but to wait outside the railway stations under 40+ degree temperatures. At this time also, the JIH came into action and took the responsibility of one of the railway stations of Bhopal namely Habibganj, which is about 7 kms from the Bhopal main railway station, and started providing free food packets and water to the people waiting outside the railway station.
In addition to this, the JIH also applied for permission from DRM Bhopal to allow it to do relief work at railway platforms so that they can provide free food packets and water to the passengers in the trains passing through Habibganj railway station.
JIH also took up the responsibility of three quarantine centres and started providing food, water and other necessary items on daily basis to the centres absolutely free of cost. The quarantine centres are Rajeev Gandhi College, Mahaveer College, Abbas nagar and Gulshan Garden, Bairagarh.
During the lockdown 4.0, migrants from different states and cities started moving towards their hometowns. This led to the chaotic situation for the migrants at national and State highways. At this juncture, the JIH Bhopal unit set up 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 and provide free shoes and slippers to the migrants passing from Highways. Jamaat volunteers are working 24 x 7 on highways serving the migrants.
In the coming days JIH Bhopal Unit has decided to run free food vehicles in different parts of city, these vehicles will reach to different areas (Mainly slums) 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.
As the lockdown period has a big impact on our nation’s economy with people losing their jobs in different sectors and many small-scale businesses are on the verge of shutdown, the JIH, Bhopal Unit is planning to create more than 1,000 business opportunities in Bhopal for the professionals whose salary ranges between 10k to 25k per month.
It may be mentioned here that Jamaat-e-Islami Hind was officially formed in April 1948. Its guiding principle is “Iqaamat-e-Deen” (“Establishment of the Islamic way in all aspects of life”). It believes Islam is the complete way of life. Ever since its formation the jamaat has involved itself in various humanitarian and relief efforts across many parts of India.