Srinagar: With hospitals in Kashmir bursting with patients injured in forces’ action in various parts of the Valley, a group of young volunteers are working tirelessly at Bone and Joint Hospital, Barzalla to give a helping hand to the needy. The group has vowed to work for the cause of humanity during these days of unrest when the Indian forces have unleashed a reign of terror on the civilian population.
A group of seven friends, all businessmen, started a voluntary organisation ‘Islamic Youth Volunteer Forum’ way back in 2005. The group however started working in 2014 when the floods submerged Srinagar and its peripheries. “Initially we donated money from our pockets. Then people started to contribute money after they came to know about our work. We only accept money from those whom we trust and who are honest. We don’t want black money to penetrate in this forum and dent its reputation,” said Basharat, one of its founder members of the group.
The group started voluntary work at Bone and Jone Hospital on July 8 at around 4 pm when the injured people started to pour from different parts of the valley following protests that erupted after the killing of Hizb Commander Burhan Wani. “We are serving the people who are in need,” said Basharat.
This forum serves free food to the patients, buys them free medicines, pays for medical tests and also helps socially backward families financially.
“We offer meals four times a day to patients and their attendants. We even offer food to the hospital staff. We welcome anyone who is in need of help to come here,” Basharat said. “We also welcome anyone willing to work with us for the betterment of society.”
The group serves 1200 plates of rice and vegetables every day. Their daily expenses shoot up to Rs 25000 per day. The patients here, majority of them from poor class, said they don’t have to worry about anything as the free service provided by this forum is truly their love for humanity and devotion for their people.
There are around 35 volunteers in this forum and most of them have joined recently. One among them is Saliq, who is pursuing Masters. ‘I can’t stay at home when my people are dying,” he said. Helping others is the only aim of his life, he added. There are other youngsters who are in high spirits and are working day and night to help the injured and their families.
Basharat said they provide food till 2:30 am in the morning. “We never sleep. How can we go to sleep when flock of injured are coming each day. It gives us restless nights. People want us at this time.”
Some of the volunteers said that they have not gone to home since they came here.
Majority of patients said that if this forum was not there, they would have been left to die by the hospital authorities. One patient, who claimed to have been turned away by the medical officer said that the forum is bearing all her expenses.
This forum is maintaining a record of everything it got as donations and that has been spent during these days.
Basharat thanked the water works department for sending three water tankers every day. He alleged added that Indian security forces are not allowing relief and aid from other parts of the valley to reach to the hospital and are attacking and threatening truck drivers. “Most of the relief now is sent by local residents and also from other parts of Srinagar city” he said.
Dr. A.R. Budoo, Medical Superintend of B&J Hospital said this forum was not needed here. “We have enough resources to help the patients. Their assistance is not needed at all.” He further said we cannot even tell them to vacate as they have support of people.