Cuttack: Service to humanity sees no religion, caste or creed. This has always been true and has been validated even more during the pandemic when the whole of mankind has come together to fight a common enemy – COVID-19.
A group of Muslim youth, about 20 of them, have been working silently to help COVID-stricken people here under the umbrella of their Cuttack-based organisation ‘Cuttack Muslim Youth Association’ (CMYA).
“We have been helping people since the first wave. There is a marked difference between then and now. Now, lower-middle and middle-class people are suffering a lot. Some have lost their jobs. Some have faced a huge loss in business due to lockdown. They hesitate in asking for help. They are contacting us on our helpline numbers. We are providing them monthly ration secretly,” said Sakib Khan, Working President of CMYA.
Sakib and his friends in the team are raising funds by collecting money from their friends and relatives and whoever is willing to give.
All the boys cook healthy food, pack, and deliver it at the doorstep of the families who have contracted the COVID-19 virus and are in home isolation.
“We distribute food among roadside dwellers around Chandi Temple, College square via Buxi Bazar, Daragha Bazar, Dolamundai, and Bajrakabati Road on a daily basis,” he added.
“We have a month’s supply of ration ready. This enables us to reach out to people as soon as we get a call. During the course of our work, we have observed that there are many people, government, and other organisations to help people but it is middle-class people who are suffering. We get many calls from such families,” said Sakib.
“We provided over 200 packets of ration in a day in the first phase. Now we get nearly 10 calls a day for ration,” he said.
“There are some people, who are living all alone because their children are staying out of the city. When they are affected with COVID, they don’t have a helping hand even for getting the basics from the market. When we get a call, we immediately help them,” he added.
“The situation is really challenging for everyone now. Some of our team members are also down with COVID. Still, 10 active members of our organisation are helping people following all the safety measures such as wearing double masks, gloves, and liberal use of hand sanitisers,” said Sakib.
“Last year during our team members had sanitised all the places of worship in the city,” he said.
CMYA was working in the education and health sector before COVID.
The organisation had also reached out to people in Kendrapada during cyclone ‘Yaas’.
Besides, they have been organising blood donation camps, online drawing, and essay writing competitions with COVID as the theme to engage children.
“Cuttack is a city of brotherhood. We keep this in our minds while helping people. Now people from other communities have also joined our team. We will fight this situation unitedly,” said Sakib.