Indian Muslims emerge as true warriors during COVID times

Despite being subjected to a vilification campaign and demonization by a large section of media, Muslims in India are displaying humanity and are taking to the frontlines in the hour of crisis. They offered spontaneous and heroic support to the poor and vulnerable after 1.2 billion of Indian citizens were confined to their homes following the outbreak of coronavirus in India, and began feeding the millions trapped in the quagmire. The very same Muslims who were threatened of being stripped of their citizenship just weeks before the outbreak of the pandemic, rose to the occasion and began helping the poor in their critical hour of need.

Muslims carry bier of Hindus

The Muslim youths carried the bier of the woman for 2.5kms to the cremation ground
The Muslim youths carried the bier of the woman for 2.5kms to the cremation ground. Photo: NDTV

Displaying raw courage young Muslims boldly lent their shoulders to carry biers of Hindu deceased, when even the kith and kin of the deceased refused to go close to the dead body. A team by the name of “Peace For Humanity” stepped forward to carry the biers and accompany the deceased to the crematorium to a non-Muslim migrant from Calcutta who passed away on 18 April 2020, in RT Nagar, Bangalore. In another such display of humanity and communal harmony, Muslim men carried a Hindu woman’s bier when family refused to perform the last rites. In one more incident, Muslim men carried the bier of a Hindu in Mumbai when family deserted the dead body out of fear of the virus. In Meerut fasting Muslim men took out funeral procession of Hindu priest.

MS Education Academy

No one should sleep hungry

Individual initiatives
Since lockdown Nikhat Mohammadi, a Muslim woman with her team of volunteers, is successfully running Mumbai’s largest community kitchen where healthy, hygienic food is distributed among over one lakh people of all religions and ethnicities. Her motto is no one should sleep hungry. A Mumbai mosque feeds and provides ration to 800 jobless labourers daily amid lockdown. Salim Koda, former cricketer feeds over 110000 in Mumbai every day. Residents of Matial Mahal are serving two meals a day. Muslim brothers of Barkas, Hyderabad ditched grand reception to use the money to provide rations to the deprived. A group of youngsters in Bangalore set up the kitchen from their own resources to provide cooked food to the hapless migrants, the homeless and the acute poor in Doddaballapur, near Bangalore. Every evening they cook and distribute 515 food packets. Under the banner, Koi Bhooka na soaye, a sole lady in Deoband, UP, has been voluntarily preparing meals twice a day for 400 people every day since the lockdown began on March 22nd.

Faiz-e-aam-trust-distribute-ration-kits
Faiz-e-Aam team distributing ration kits to needy in First Lancer and Natraj Nagar

Pasha Brothers from Kolar district of Karnataka sold their property for Rs. 25 lakh to feed the hungry. The family bought over 30 ton of rice and truck loads of other groceries. Founded by a Hyderabad youth, Mohammed Shujatullah, Humanity First Foundation has been feeding close to 700 hungry and the homeless people much before the COVID-19 lockdown itself. Khalid Fahad has been feeding 3000 people. And this is one person’s effort.

In a rare humanitarian gesture West Bengal police constable Mahinoor Khatun, broke her savings of Rs 200,000, to feed the hungry. She had kept the savings aside for her father’s treatment. Ameenuddin of Bangalore has been cooking 10,000 meals per day in a busy area called Kalasipalyam. Nasrullah Khan, a 40-year-old businessman from Valsad district, who runs an electric panel manufacturing unit in Vapi GIDC has spent Rs 1.10 crore in more than a month to distribute ration kits to poor families in 35 villages in the district.

Organisations at work
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, one of the India’s oldest Islamic organisations that is always in the forefront during any national calamity, has so far given lockdown relief of 23.73 crores. Besides distributing food packs and ration kits it is also rendering cash support, distributing sanitizers, face masks and other essential items. Popular Front of India (PFI) is also distributing food and other essential relief materials to deserving people in the interior parts of Mangalore, Karnataka to the inaccessible locations. Safa Baitul Maal, a prominent charity organisation, has intensified its activities to help those suffering due to the COVID-19 crisis. They are delivering ration kits to the homes of the deserving. Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Bangalore has been tirelessly providing food and rations to all sections of the society however, its volunteers met with stiff resistance in Dalit colonies. They were forced to go back in one particular area. But the brave-hearts didn’t lose heart and came back to the same locality under police escort to give away food packets to the distraught and hungry people.

Lulu Group donated Rs 25 crores to Modi’s PM Relief Fund. It donated Rs 10 crores Kerala CM’s Covid Relief Fund while donated 5 cr. to UP CM Relief fund.

Hira Welfare Association (HWA), one of the biggest charity organisations, generously and selflessly works day and night to carry out relief operations in Whitefield, Bangalore. Al Ansaar Trust of Bangalore has been working tirelessly among the marginalized communities. Hazrat Usman Ghani Social Welfare Association is doing some great relief work among the urban poor in Bangalore. Bangalore based, Al-Faid Trust met with heads of churches, temples and mosques of their area to determine the actual needs of affected people. Payam-e-Insaniyat, a forum of spreading amity among communities is in the forefront of distributing food aid to the poor and stranded migrants with the help of local police. Starting a full-fledged kitchen for feeding the hungry, Our Nation Welfare Trust on an average serves 3000 meals each day.

Medical help

A garment factory run by Muslims in Ahmedabad supplies PPE to hospitals. The entire cost of producing the PPEs is borne by the Muslim entrepreneur himself. While the hospitals supply the raw material, the migrant Muslim staff, in a state of fasting works assiduously throughout the day to produce kits. Pray Foundation and Our National Welfare Trust, the two leading Muslim charities of Bangalore, are working with Medlife to ensure free reach of medicines to those in genuine need. Mercy to Mankind, a Bangalore-based charity organisation, in collaboration with a host of other organizations, is supplying PPEs to many health centers. Saving Souls, a NGO started by a few young businessmen of Bangalore reaches out to 96 HIV+ patients in the dead of night.

Confronting with demonisation and abuse for weeks, the Tablighis too came forward to donate their plasma to save their countrymen from the deadly coronavirus. Not only Indian members of the Jamaat, but foreign attendees of the Tablighi eventalso came forward to save the lives of Indian COVID patients irrespective of their religion.

COVID frontliners

Dr Mahboob Khan, Superintendent of the Chest Hospital, his wife, Dr Shahana Khan who works at Gandhi Hospital and their daughter Rashika Khan, a house surgeon in Fever Hospital, all three of them are at the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 in Telangana. Telangana IT Minister K T Rama Rao, in his tweet, acknowledges the dedication of three Muslim doctors, father mother and daughter.

Winning everyone’s heart, Dr. Asima Banu, has been serving as the COVID-19 ward’s nodal officer at Trauma Care Center, Victoria Hospital, Bangalore.

Volunteers of Kashmir’s ‘Ehsaas International’ work tirelessly to help frontline workers in Kashmir.

Offers for quarantine facilities

Most Haj Houses in states converted into Covid-19 quarantine facilities. Many Muslim-managed schools have opened their doors to serve as a quarantine facility. Well-known Islamic seminary, the Darul Uloom Deoband, has offered one of its buildings to the government in Uttar Pradesh for setting up an isolation ward for coronavirus patients. Anjuman-i-Islam the Mumbai’s oldest educational institution handed over the Abdul Razzaq Kalsekar Polytechnic New Panvel building to fight COVID-19.

Religion no bar

Several non-Muslims have testified that Muslim volunteers are providing relief to all irrespective of their religion.

Muslims proved themselves as true warriors

Muslim community has committed its services to the nation in various forms. They are feeding millions and coming to the aid of the destitute and needy in so many different ways. The Muslim community which is conspiringly labeled as anti-nationals, by virtue of the charity it gives and the risks it is willing to take to help the underprivileged, has proven that they are the true patriots. And what better time to test this than during the unprecedented crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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