Author: Ashiq Hussain
Srinagar: Fehmeeda (name changed) was at wit’s end on how to survive after her landlord threw her out. A divorcee, she had moved to a rented room with her mentally-challenged son. However, she was unable to pay the rent due to financial constraints. One night, her landlord stormed her room and threw her out. Crying and shrieking, she pleaded, but to no avail.
Enter Mooj Kasheer, a local charity, Fehmeeda got a new lease of life. “They arranged a room and paid the rent. They gave us other daily essentials and medicines for my son. They also cleared my debts. They promised to keep helping me in the future as well,” she said.
The world came crashing down around visually impaired Aamina Begum (name changed) when her husband was diagnosed with a heart ailment. Doctors advised her to get a pacemaker implanted for his survival. With no money, she had lost all hope of saving her husband. A local tipped Mooj Kasheer, which transferred Rs 65000 into her account.
“My son was our lone breadwinner. But he died in a tragic accident. My husband’s illness was the last straw. Then Mooj Kasheer came like an angel from heaven,” she said.
Fahmeeda and Aamina are not isolated cases. Mooj Kasheer Welfare Trust has become a ray of hope for hundreds of underprivileged families. Founded by 22-year-old Amir Rashid Wani in 2019, the trust has 83 volunteers spread across Kashmir. From monthly stipends to marriage assistance, the organization is silently reaching out to the families who are suffering in silence.
“Last year we provided marriage assistance to 78 orphan girls. This year, our target is 250. We provide them with everything from cash assistance to other wedding items. We are currently focusing on 40 girls whose marriage is scheduled after Eid,” said Amir.
During Ramadan, the organization provided food and ration kits to hundreds of orphans. “We deliver iftar kits and sehri to around 300 children every day. Besides this we have been arranging food for the poor and orphans for the last 3 years now,” Amir said.
Mooj Kasheer also runs a 24×7 ambulance service to ferry accident victims and other patients to the hospital. The trust is planning to start a Polyclinic and Diagnostic Centre to provide free consultation and medicines to the poor, “It will be for Below poverty line (BPL) and AAY ration cardholders. We are planning to cover orphans too,” Wani added.
Cut to a group of seven friends who started a voluntary organization to help the students who are unable to sustain themselves. “Our main purpose is to help the poor and orphan students. We donate them books and stationery. When they are promoted to the next class, we ask them to return the books so that they are given to a new batch,” said Umar Dar, one of its members.
The friends also run a helpline for drug abusers. “I was a chronic drug abuser for many years. I used to steal money for drugs. I faced many problems at home. This group took me to a drug de-addiction center for treatment. Later I was taken to the rehabilitation center where I spent almost 3 months,” said Manzoor (name changed), a former drug addict.