Srinagar: After setting an example in rescue and relief operations during recent floods in the Valley, a group of young Kashmiri student volunteers is gearing up to provide warm clothing and bedding, including traditional pheran to thousands of affected families before the onset of winter.
The group named ‘Heal Kashmir’ run by the students pursuing higher education in various states of India has started a vigorous online campaign to make their ProjectPheran#ProjectWarmth a success.
In the initial phase the volunteers will provide bedding and warm clothing, including pheran, sweaters, warmers, kangri (fire pot), coal and hot water bottles to at least 10,000 flood-hit people.
The group has established collection centres in many parts of India, where cash and kind is being received.
“We want to provide some succour to the affected families in the harsh winters. And ProjectPheran# ProjectWarmth is the first step in this direction. We’ll provide warm clothing to at least 10,000 flood-hit people in the beginning. To make this project successful, our volunteers will visit colleges and educational institutions in almost all metropolitan cities of India,” Zayd Qureshi, a group member told Kashmir Reader Saturday.
The group, he said, will also upload a short duration promotional video on Facebook and Twitter to target the international audience.
“We’re sure that there are people in other countries who want to help the affected families. We’ll act as a bridge between the donors and the victims,” he said.
Qureshi said the group needs Rs 8 lakh to purchase fabric for pherans and to get it stitched by the tailors. He said that a textile factory in Sonipat has been identified which offer fabric at cheaper rates.
“This task is difficult but not impossible. The people in India and here have wholeheartedly contributed in the relief work. And we hope they’ll continue to lend us a helping hand,” Qureshi said, adding that once the fabric is purchased, Kashmiri tailors will stitch it at concessional rates.
Qureshi, who is doing MBA in a Haryana university, also lauded the role of his fellow students hailing from different states of India. He said that non-Kashmiri students remained on the forefront in collecting donations and despatching relief material for the flood-hit people.
“The students from other states felt our pain. They worked tirelessly to see that the flood-hit people get some relief. We have no words to thank them,” Qureshi said.
The Heal Kashmir, he said, came into existence shortly after the floods ravaged Valley, leaving hundreds dead and tens of thousands of people homeless.
“When the floods hit Valley, we collected donations and brought relief material to Kashmir. We tried our best to reach the affected areas with relief material like ration, water, and medicines. We’ll continue with our relief work as long as it is required,” Qureshi added.