Hyderabad: Ramadan, a pious month for Muslims where they wake up for ‘Suhoor’, in the middle of the night to have food, a Sunnah that would help them fast the following day. But taking the responsibility to wake people for Suhoor is not an easy job to do, not a common job as well.
Meet the ‘Sehariwla’ or ‘Zohridaar’ as the word goes for them, are people, who have taken up the responsibility of waking people for ‘Sehr’ usually most of them are ‘Fakeers’ who visit the areas for charity, while a few of them are daily wagers, all in the hope of getting paid in the end for their service throughout the month as a token of appreciation in forms of donations, alms.
These ‘Zohridaar’s’ usually seen in Kurta, a scarf around their necks, traditionally dressed in a lungi, moving on bicycles beating the drum with a stick, calling out loudly to wake up are found mostly in all Muslim dominated areas around the city. Risala Abdullah area in Falaknuma is found to be woken up by two Zohridaar’s named Saleem Pasha and Habeeb.
On having a little conversation with these Zohridaar’s here’s what they have got to say. Saleem Pasha who visits around five localities within one hour says, “We start at 2:30 am and move around the localities for around one hour. At the end of Ramzan month, the families reciprocate our services by giving us a pair of clothes, groceries, and money” also adds he is been doing it for last two decades. These Zohridaar’s divide the localities and come to agreeable terms so there be no quarrels in the end of the month when they will be receiving their donations or the token of appreciation for their service. Says another Zohridaar Habeeb, “We believe in allowing those who regularly visit the locality have rights over that area. We go by this practice”.
Nowadays few ‘ sehriwalas’ use loudspeaker and CD players to wake people for Sehr. They play the traditional qawwali’s while moving around the localities. Says Amjad another Zohridaar “A few families instruct us to stand in front of their house and go only when they ask us to leave. It could be to ensure that they wake up from bed at least due to the blaring”.
Syed Munneruddin, 45 yr old impaired Zohridaar, a resident of Kamatipura in old city is doing this for the past 30years. He has two sons and a girl who study in a local school. Says Muneer who moves around Kamatipura and the surrounding areas with his 8-year-old son “I hold a microphone and recite ‘naath’ (renditions in praise of Prophet Mohammed), Telangana today reported.