March 30th, 2016
Congrats to all for India’s amazing game a day ago! With this moment of pride for our country, I want to bring your attention to a cause for the nation which I got to know a couple of days because of a friend Bhupinder. He was approached by a man few days back with a letter asking for help for his people, victims of J&K flood that hit them really hard last year.
As a result, they were forced to move from J&K and live in migrant colonies. Their group settled here in Delhi with families, including kids, wives and old people. On hearing their story Bhupinder decided to verify the situation first-hand before he could simply believe in it emotionally. He asked for the address, phone number, etc of the Kashmiri guy and visited the camp location twice on different days (at Shastri Park, East Delhi), the situation looked genuine to him, people there were all Kashmiris (with families). He tried to understand from them as to what they ate, how they managed hygiene-health, water, electricity, livelihood, etc. All he understood was that the adults would go out and work in Markets and Mandis (Subzi-mandi, Anaj-mandi, etc) and do the jobs which they were somewhat aware of from their occupations in Kashmi – things related to fruit packing, labor work, selling Shawls, etc.
However, it is not easy to earn daily bread and butter and secure sufficient food for family and kids, especially when some of the adults had to travel back to native towns to rebuild the houses and also to take care of other restoration work. At the same time, they were so humble and grateful to people of Delhi for being so kind for helping them during this time for distress in the last few months. Somehow, they still have to depend on charities of people donating clothes, food, etc. As understood, there were over 500 families (1800 people) and now about 300 families (1000 people) are left. Many have returned due to recovered/recovering situations in their native locations, some to temporary camps in Jammu. They were also desperate to move back because the kids were getting infected/sick in the not-so-healthy/favourable environment here plus growing heat in the capital (more so for Kashmiri habitants).
Now to sum it all up, on Sunday (27th Mar) Bhupinder, another friend Manik and I planned to help them in their testing times. We did a more rigorous survey to understand their actual condition and their true need so that we could do whatever we could from our side. It was overwhelming to find out that they have been receiving help and support from Central government, DDA, DCP, Delhi Government, various NGOs, and of course, people of Delhi by way of providing with land, security, free routine health check-ups, providing timely water and electricity, clothes, etc but not easy access to food. So, they are still looking for food and the good part is that they are not asking for money!
After assessing the ground situation thoroughly we donated them 2-4 days’ worth rice stock (1000 kg), 1 canister oil, and also some winter clothing. We would have loved to help with pulses, vegetables, etc but we couldn’t manage it all on the same day due to various reasons. Nevertheless, if everyone supports we will definitely be doing it again according to their needs, sooner or later. We have also looped in some NGOs and making efforts for more.
Away from Politics, Cast, Religion and Creed, we living in relatively better conditions, have come across fellow countrymen who need a little support from us. Like in the game of cricket (witnessed on Sunday), perhaps the same way, in the game of life – a more real challenge or an opportunity to come together and Rise to the Occasion and win it for team India on real grounds. I am sure this time it’s not a distant patriotism for Kashmir; its Kashmiris reaching out for help in the neighborhood. It’s not just the distant borders or soldiers that should touch our hearts when the National anthem is played on TV, but for a better Nation, a better response to the surrounding should matter more to us than anything else.
Submitted By – Kapil Chatkara
The Logical Indian urges our community members who want to help them with food, clothes or medical help to please connect with them at [email protected]. They don’t need monetary help.