Spreading festive cheer with free ‘iftar’ to the poor
Using social media to raise funds for their initiative, a group of 40 Muslim volunteers has been distributing 100 ‘iftar’ packets daily to the fasting poor during the holy month of Ramzan here.
“Initially, members of the group began the work by contributing money from their own pockets. But as we kept updating our initiative on social media, help started pouring in, with many coming forward to contribute. So far, we have distributed 4,000 iftar packets costing about Rs 55,000, out of which Rs 30,000 was donated by our group members while another Rs 25,000 came from social media,” says 26-year-old Yusuf Wahab, an LLB student behind the idea.
After offering namaz at around 5 pm daily, the volunteers, who also observe fast, have been carrying the food packets on their bikes to distribute them to the poor for the last 27 days.
The food packets contain a pack of glucose biscuit, a banana, two dates, a snack and a 150-ml water bottle in Muslim localities in Gorakhpur as well as adjoining districts, including Maharajganj and Deoria.
“Those who called us to extend help included our Hindu brothers as well. After Eid, the group has decided to take a step forward by starting a free weekly community kitchen for the poor in Golghar area, which will be funded by both Hindus and Muslims,” adds Yusuf. Yusuf recently also floated a charity organisation Majlis- e-Mohammadi- Islamic Samiti (MMIS) to extend financial assistance to poor Muslims in distress, including medical treatment and marriage of their daughters.