J-K: Muslim family turns saviour for filmmakers stranded in lockdown

Bhadarwah: Demonstrating harmony and hospitality, a Muslim family here opened its home and heart — to a film team from Pune stranded after the nationide lockdown was imposed on March 25.

It’s the true spirit of Kashmiriyat, said Nachiket Guttikar who has been staying at the home of Nazim Malik in Gatha village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district for several weeks and counting.

With him are his team members Shamin Kulkarni and Ninad Datar. The team reached here on March 15 to shoot for a documentary and was scheduled to board a flight from Jammu to Pune on March 25, the very day the lockdown came into effect.

The night before, on March 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a three-week lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19. It was evident they had no option but to stay put.

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“The situation was scary when the government announced the lockdown. We were in panic because surface as well as air traffic was suspended and all hotels were closed,” Guttikar said.

Seeing that the travellers were in distress, Malik’s family offered them their house.

`”We were so fortunate that this family graciously came forward and gave us the offer to stay with them,” Guttikar said.

“It has been several weeks since we have been staying with this family. We are feeling at home because of the friendly nature of all the members,” he said.

“I am quite sure this type of hospitality cannot be found anywhere. This is the real Kashmiriyat which we often hear about,” he added.

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The Malik family members also consider themselves fortunate, saying they have got an opportunity to help distressed strangers amid the unprecedented health crisis.

“It is not a favour we made to them. If tomorrow our children get stuck in the same situation, someone will surely extend a helping hand to them,” Malik said.

“The guests are welcome to stay at my home till the situation demands,” he said.

The lockdown has been extended till May 3.

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