SRINAGAR: Showing exemplary humanity, people of Kashmir are offering food and other essentials to migrant labourers who are without a livelihood and with nowhere to go due to the prevailing lockdown.
Although the government has announced measures to provide free ration and other things, nothing seems to be visible on ground as people, especially the non-local labourers starve for food with empty pockets.
A group of non-local labourers, staying at Chanapora area of Srinagar, had run out of food and had nothing to eat on Wednesday. When locals came to know about this, they immediately rushed to them with food and other essentials.
“People also posted on social media about the condition of the labourers, which led to many people coming forward to help them by providing food or money,” said a resident of the area.
Javaid Ahmad, a labourer from Uttar Pradesh currently staying at Chanapora, said, “We had no food to eat last night, but we were provided food by locals in the evening. We are a group of 40 people staying here.”
When asked about any relief from the government, Javaid said, “How do we entitle ourselves to relief when we don’t have ration cards?”
In the last few days, appeals have regularly been made on social media for food and other essentials to the non-local labourers in the valley. Such appeals have come from almost every district of the valley.
“We will continue to help needy people in these difficult times. Whatever is possible for us, we’ll try to offer to the people who are in dire need at this time,” said Shabir Ahmad, who helped a group of non-local labourers in Chanapora.
The government has designated helpline numbers for non-locals in Kashmir valley for food and other essentials, but most of the labourers are unaware of the helplines, said Tawseef Ahmad, a local.
A group of labourers staying at Hyderpora area of Srinagar had also nothing to eat two days ago on Tuesday. They, too, were saved by locals who provided them food and other daily essentials.
Shamsuddin, a labourer from Bihar, said, “We were saved by the locals here. We had nothing to eat, our children were hungry. A group of Kashmiris came to our rescue. Thanks to the help of locals, we now have food stock for at least fifteen days. We received overwhelming support and help from locals in these difficult times.”