As if taking cue from the great relief efforts being carried out by the Indian Army in Nepal, at the behest of PM Narendra Modi’s commendable decision to provide all type of aid to Nepal almost immediately after the intensity of damage caused by the earthquake began trickling in, sections of Delhi’s civilian society has intensified its efforts to collect humanitarian aid on war-footing and send it to their brethren in quake-ravaged Nepal. Not to be left behind, certain Muslim organizations too are collecting all type of aid through community efforts and are even hiring a private plane to carry the goods and deliver them to the Nepalese authorities in Kathmandu.
Students of one of the leading private schools in Delhi – Ahlcon International School – have initiated efforts on their own to collect relief material and send it to Kathmandu through the Nepalese embassy in India.
When Ragini and Mahika – students of Class XII in Ahlcon International School in Delhi, expressed desire to their teachers that showing empathy to their brethren in Nepal meant they should stand in their hour of grief, their teachers not only welcomed their initiative but brought the subject to the knowledge of Ashok Kumar Pandey – the Principal. Pandey almost immediately called the two students to the Principal’s room and gave them the go-ahead saying that if the two students really feel something should be done for the Nepalese brothers and sisters, then the school is with them and it will do everything possible to help Ragini and Mahika in their desire to be of help to the survivors of quake in Nepal.
Says Pandey: “It is always our attempt to make our students at Ahlcon International aware of the issues and problems of the world outside and not just see them as a spectator but empathize with them. So when we got to know that certain students wish to do something for quake survivors, we gave them the go-ahead.”
Ragini and Mahika went from class to class, reminding students of the great human tragedy that has befallen Nepal and need to do something. “Most of the children we spoke to,” says Ragini, “said that they would bring whatever they could, tents, medicines, clothes, dry food items, packaged drinking water, etc. the next day.” However, as a note of precaution, the school authorities instructed that whatever the parents willingly feel like sending would be welcome.
Ragini and Mahika are now spearheading the collection efforts on behalf of students while the school authorities are helping them in the logistics like talking to the Nepalese Embassy in Delhi and making arrangements to ensure that the collected items do reach the intended beneficiaries. Enthusiasm is immense among the students and all type of items that may be of use are being collected. To give an example, Wajeeh and Shabih, siblings studying in the same school, have decided to send powder-milk for children besides cough, cold and fever medicines for children.
Not merely the schools, various social and community organizations too have begun the collection drive on war-footing. Social Workers Association, an organization of social workers from North India, is collecting relief material to be sent to Nepal.
Not to be left behind, Muslims of Noida claiming to be ‘Ali walas’ have decided to send relief material for Nepal earthquake victims. Group Captain Siraj Mehdi has offered to arrange an aircraft which will be sending 2 tonnes of relief material to Nepal on Friday.
Informs Col. Badar Zaidi and Ashjay Raza Zaidi of Noida: “We want to send ready to eat food material and some hygienic items. Blankets, clothes, tents, and household items, etc. are also being collected. The community members are even donating cash, which all will be handed directly to the authorities in Nepal.”
Says Col. Badar Zaidi: “This is the lunar month of Rajab in which Imam Ali was born. Imam Ali used to move around in the wee hours of night distributing food to the poor and destitute. While he was the Caliph of Muslims, he made a public announcement that if there was one person in the entire region who slept without food or had no clothes to wear, he should come forward. None came forward.” Col. Zaidi talks of the lofty teachings of Imam Ali which have unfortunately been forgotten. “Through helping our Nepalese brothers in distress, we wish to follow the footsteps of Imam Ali, who will always be a beacon of guidance for all Shia Muslims,” says Zaidi.