Even as India is battling the coronavirus crisis, some heartening stories of solidarity are beginning to emerge.
A Muslim woman from J&K has donated Rs. 5 lakh, the savings for her Hajj pilgrimage, to the RSS-affiliated group Sewa Bharti, reports Financial Express. Khalida Begum, 87, had saved up to perform the Hajj this year, but was unable to make the journey because of the lockdown this year. She then donated the amount to Seva Bharti after being “impressed with their relief work.”
“Khalida Begum ji was impressed with the welfare work done by the Sewa Bharati in Jammu and Kashmir during the tough time the country is passing through due to sudden outbreak of COVID-19 and decided to donate Rs 5 lakh to the organisation,” Arun Anand, head of RSS media wing Indraprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra (IVSK), said. “Khalida Begum said that she wanted that she wanted the money to be used by the community service organisation Sewa Bharati for the poor and the needy in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
“Khalida Begum ji was among the first few women in Jammu and Kashmir who got educated in a convent. She is the daughter-in-law of Colonel Peer Mohd Khan, who was president of the Jana Sangh,” Arun Anand said. Anand added that despite her age, she had been very active in welfare works for the women and the downtrodden in Jammu and Kashmir. Her son, Farooq Khan, a retired IPS officer, is presently serving as an adviser to the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor.
Seva Bharati is an NGO that works among the economically weaker sections of Indian society, including tribal and indigenous communities. It also works among urban slum dwellers and resettlement colonies by introducing welfare and social service programs, such as free medical assistance, free education, and vocational training. It runs about 160,000 activities throughout the year in 602 districts.
During the coronavirus crisis, Seva Bharti volunteers have made thousands of masks and sent them for distribution. They had also set up community kitchens at the Anand Vihar bus station in Delhi where thousands of migrant labourers had gathered a few days ago.