Eid in lockdown, special meals in community kitchens, prayers at home - Hindustan Times

Eid in lockdown, special meals in community kitchens, prayers at home

ByKushagra Dixit, Noida
May 25, 2020 11:25 PM IST

With several areas of the two cities being containment zones, Noida and Ghaziabad saw deserted mosques as people celebrated the festival of Eid in their homes and offered prayers indoors. Stating that this is one of the most isolated Eids they have ever experienced, imams of different mosques in Noida supported the social distancing and praying at homes, saying this is for the well being of everyone.

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Meanwhile, community kitchens in Noida prepared special meals for poor and migrant workers on Monday, with the community kitchen at Mamura, one of the biggest in the city, adding sewaiyan (sweet vermicelli) to its menu for over 12,000 people.

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“A festival is a festival but given the current scenario this is the best we could do. For Eid, we decided to change the menu for a day so instead of regular khichdi or sabzi-chapatti, we prepared poori, sabzi, pulao and sewaiyan for lunch and it was distributed among 12,000 people, including those living in the slums of Chijarsi, sector 62 and 63, and the shelter home at Mamura, including others,” said Vir Singh, a tehsildar and head of the Mamura community kitchen. He added that though the number of takers of meals have dropped by two to three thousands due to the reverse-migration, meals are however still being served.

At the Harola community kitchen as well, the menu was made special to mark the occasion. “We replaced regular khichdi with poori and sabzi for Eid today and about 8,000 meals were distributed today,” said Rajiv Malhotra, head, Harola community kitchen in Noida.

According to the imam of Greater Noida’s Shahberi mosque, Muhammad Zakir Nadvi, only five people went to the mosque as a festive gesture to offer prayers, while it was made clear for others to offer prayers at their respective homes.

“Last year, over 2,000 people offered prayers on Eid at the Shahberi mosque but this year, it was only five of us. Word was spread that people must read namaaz and celebrate Eid within their houses. Right now, the highest priority is to fight this pandemic,” said Nadvi. He added that the mosque at Sector76 and the Jama Mosque at Sector 8 also bore a deserted look, with only five people offering prayers, against a gathering of over 10,000 seen last year.

Raza, who works as an electrician, also had a distinct Eid. While his family was stuck in the Sarfabad area of Noida, which was declared a containment zone and sealed a few days back, he got stuck elsewhere and now lives at a friend’s place in Bhangel, Noida.

“On Saturday night, my area was declared a containment zone while I was still out installing an AC somewhere. My family suggested I stay out and go to a friend’s place so I can still continue my work. This Eid is so different, when even indoors, I can’t celebrate with my family despite being in the same city,” he said.

Zakir Ali, a resident of Ghaziabad’s Dasna, also said that the Eid was different, but he supported the call of social distancing.

“Everyone in our area stayed indoors and it was clarified earlier only that the mosques will remain closed. This is the first time when I did not go to the mosque on Eid, but I understand. It’s this pandemic that we need to stop first. Thankfully, our country is safe from its clutches as compared with the way it spread in Italy and the US, so we support the administration,” said Ali.

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