A pro-freedom group comes forward to help affected

A pro-freedom group comes forward to help affected

IQBAL KIRMANI

SRINAGAR: Coming to the aid of the flood- affected people, pro- freedom group Muslim League is clearing the debris of houses damaged by deluge in the twin localities of Shutrashahi and Shutrashahi Teng free of cost.
Coming to the help of the distressed residents of Shutrashahi and Shutrashahi Teng, ML headed by the incarcerated Masarat Aalam launched project ‘Akhuwwat’ on October 21. Camping in ‘Masjid Mustafa’, thirty volunteers from across the Valley work from morning upto late evening. They take breaks only during the time of prayers.
The 30 member volunteer team split into three groups and then start their operation clean up.
Secretary general of ML, Abdul Ahad Parra, while taking to Kashmir Reader said that party belongs to the society and it is “our duty to serve them.”
“We are trying to clear the debris and pull down damaged houses, which would otherwise cost the affected people extra money,” Parra said.
While the office of the pro- freedom party in Rajbagh is itself under dilapidated condition they decided to help people first rather than taking care of their office.
The ML volunteers are equipped with slab cutters, bulldozers, tippers and all the other machinery to help them to take away the rubble so the ground is cleared for the house owner to begin his rehabilitation plans.
There are 45 houses that have collapsed in the twin localities of Shutrashahi and Shutrashahi Teng. Locals say that on an average masons charge between Rs 80 thousand to one lakh to clear the debris.
“I have been paid rupees 75000 by the government, all of that money would be spent on the removing of debris,” a Basharat said. “What is left for me to rebuild my house,” he said. However, the help from ML has relieved him for sometime.
On priority ML cleared the collapsed houses of Sikh families in the area.
“We are not here to help only Muslims. On priority damaged houses of minority community were first cleared from debris,” Parra said.
All the district heads of the party have been asked to join as volunteers while Parra himself monitors the work in the locality.
“It is the local mohalla committee who tells us which house to clear first,” Parra said. The program launched by the party will save approximately Rs 30 lakh of the twin locality, according to Parra.
The month long program is aimed not only to clear the debris but to also save the wood, bricks and tin sheets. “We save the various material that would be helpful to them when we clear the ground,” other member of the ML said.
“They can invest that money now on rebuilding and on other important things,” a volunteer told Kashmir Reader.
“There will be shifts and we expect more volunteers to come and join us that will help us to work faster,” Parra said.
Balwant Singh praised the efforts of the volunteers. “It has surely helped us a lot. Even a small help is praiseworthy and this is a really commendable job they are doing,” he said.
“Its like adopting an area and setting an example for others,” Parra said.
Shutrashahi is located behind the civil secretariat. Locals were aghast over the government response to the prime location. “Government works from this area and they never bothered to think about our situation,” a local said.

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