By Asad Virani in Mumbai
A group of Mumbai volunteers serving the community at large during the desperate days of Covid-19 are true Khoja heroes.
Anjuman e Azadar a Karbala (AAK) is a group of 12 young men who have brought kindness and relief to the streets during the city’s lockdown.
Over the last few days AAK volunteers have distributed face masks, hand sanitizers and gloves to police who are patrolling the streets of Mumbai.
Food for the most needy
Last night they distributed takeaway food packets to the homeless and relatives of patients at a government hospital.
Tonight they will distribute around 500 food baskets to the underprivileged in an area called Madh Island. These are people living in slums who are daily wage earners and have no means of buying daily essentials for themselves.
Each food basket weighs 15kgs and contains:
- 5kgs rice
- 5kgs wheat
- 1kg masoor dal
- 1kg moong dal yellow
- 1kg sugar
- 1kg oil
- 1 packet tea
- 1 packet salt
- 3 Dettol soaps
- 1 ltr milk
Always there in emergencies
AAK do a great deal of voluntary work for the community as well as humanity at large, supported by a group of regular donors and local fundraising to carry out these activities. They have a monthly scheme of Rs 100 from members and at regular intervals hold a draw. The winner can nominate a needy member of the community to have their expenses paid to go on Ziyarat and Umrah.
We are thankful to Allah to be safe in our homes and stocked with the essentials needed to cover us for a few weeks, but the plight of these daily wage earners is very sad.
AAK have always come forward during emergencies to support the needy whether they are from the Khoja community or the wider community, Muslims or not.
This includes relief in Kashmir during the floods, and building septic tanks in Rotegaon village (50kms into Aurangabad) during a drought three years ago.
This is the true message of Imam Husain – to serve humanity.