Eid in Pune: Celebration of sacrifice to help Kolhapur, Sangli flood victims

At least 300 Muslim families in Pune have decided not to “celebrate” Eid as such, donating the money to relief instead
Muslims in Pune donate towards relief operations in Kolhapur and Sangli.(HT Photo)
Muslims in Pune donate towards relief operations in Kolhapur and Sangli.(HT Photo)
Updated on Aug 12, 2019 02:41 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Pune | ByNozia Sayyed

PUNE In Pune, the emphasis this Eid-Al-Adha on Monday, August 12, is clearly on reaching out to the afflicted in Kolhapur and Sangli.

Following a week’s incessant rain and water release from dams, most of Western Maharashtra is experiencing severe floods with at least one lakh residents displaced.

At least 300 Muslim families in Pune have decided not to “celebrate” Eid as such, donating the money to relief instead.

Azaz Kazi, a social worker from Pune, is travelling with relief trucks to flood- affected districts on Eid. He says, “This will be the first Eid I will miss; I will be traveling to Sangli and Kolhapur with food items and other necessary items we have collected to donate.”

Kazi adds, “There are four trucks fully loaded. Also, it is not only me who has decided not to celebrate Eid, but there are as many as 300 such Muslim families in Pune who have chosen not to celebrate. All these families have donated an amount they had saved to buy animals to sacrifice and new clothes for their fmailies. This is just a small gesture to remember those who lost their lives in this flood.”

Ghulam Husen, who is a professor in Economics in Pune, tells HT over the phone from Sangli: “I have been in Sangli for eight days now and have been trying to rehabilitate as many victims as I can. Looking at the situation here, no pious Muslim will choose to celebrate Eid. Many Muslims have lost their homes, livelihood and have nothing to eat. Many who bought animals to slaughter, lost them in the flood. It is just not possible to celebrate Eid after seeing such calamity and suffering. Hence, to show our support, we too have chosen not to celebrate Eid and be there for these victims.”

Basmah Ahmed, a Pune marketing consultant, adds: “There are many people who went missing, lost their lives, many lost their houses and in such times, celebrating Eid, seems wrong. To extend our support, we have chosen not to celebrate Eid. It is just a gesture to show that we are with them.”

Basmah Ahmed’s family has also donated an amount towards flood relief for Sangli and Kolhapur.

In a humanitarian act of some note, a student’s group named Sarhad Jammu and Kashmir Students Association announced that it will adopt 100 students from flood-affected Sangli and Kolhapur districts and help them financially for a year.

Javed Wani, coordinator of the association, said, “Maharashtra has always helped us in crisis and this time we have decided to help the state. We students will help out 100 students of flood-affected zones by providing them financial help. This help will be extended for a year,” says Wani, adding, “it is to prove our love for Maharashtra.”

Wani is not yet clear on how the association will go about the process, but is committed to making it happen.

Kolhapur Muslims down, but not out

Every, the Muslim community in Kolhapur would feast on Sheer Khurma indulgence marking Bakr-Eid (Eid-ul-Azha), also known as the festival of sacrifice. But this is no normal year. With at least one lakh people – almost one-eighth of the population – affected by the floods in living memory and broad swaths of the city still under water, many have no homes to go to, and no mosques to attend.

Shahin Mujawar, a house wife, wept as she described her ordeal, “We won’t be able to celebrate Eid. Our relatives are homeless, my family has been separated when the flood came in, and some are at different relief centres while a few are at home. There is no reason to celebrate when everything is lost.”

Gani Ajrekar, President, Muslim boarding, said, “Every year we begin the Eid celebrations by offering the namaz in the morning. However, many areas are flood-ravaged near Nagala Park, Shahpuri and a lot of villages have submerged in water. People have lost their homes, and we find no good reason to celebrate with this loss. It’s heart-wrenching to see our own people in distress.”

“We have decided to offer a common kurbani (sacrifice) today from all the Muslim community and save the rest of the money for the flood victims. At least 400 people have taken shelter at the Muslim boarding. We plan to share Sheer Khurma with them and celebrate Eid, instead of conducting a big event and calling politicians, which we do every year,” added Ajrekar.

A prominent Muslim preacher, through a WhatsApp video, has urged the residents to celebrate Eid in a simple way. He also asked the Muslim community to forgo kurbani in favour of flood donations.

Sameer Maner, a 27-year-old from the city, has decided to visit and provide help to some of the villages that are affected by the floods, by donating with wheat, medicine and some daily essentials. “When you see these people, you can’t celebrate anything,” he said.

Rafic Saudagar, drove a van filled with hand-me-down clothes and food packets donated by family and friends. “The situation is worse in some parts. I wanted to bring the donations directly to the rehabilitation centres as there are high chances of corruption if the donations are sent through somebody else.”

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