Kashmiris Rise In Solidarity With Turkey, Syria
Relief pours in
As the aftermath of the devastating 7.6 on the Richter scale earthquake continues in Turkey and Syria, help has been pouring in from various parts of the world. India has been on the forefront of sending rescue teams, and aid to assist operations in the earthquake hit region.
Apart from official aid sent in by the government, hundreds of organisations and individuals too have been sending relief materials to Turkey and Syria, with more than 29,000 losing their lives after a massive earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale hit the region last Monday, organisations from all over the world have been sending relief materials and monetary aid.
In Kashmir, various non governmental organisations (N.G.Os)and even individuals have come together to collect and donate relief material including food, blankets, and other essentials. We the helping hands, a Srinagar-based NGO, spearheading the relief collection operations, said that it is receiving an “unexpectedly” massive response from Kashmiris who have been donating for the survivors of the earthquake.
Umar, who runs the NGO said that they got in touch with the Turkish embassy in New Delhi, who provided a list of the items survivors of the earthquake needed. The NGO shared the list on its Facebook page.
The list of the items provided by the Embassy included clothes, kids wear, shoes, shawls, blankets and the quantity sought was expected to be collected in ten days. “However, Kashmiris donated in huge numbers and quantities. And we were able to collect all the material within five days,” Umar said.
Umar’s NGO is not the only one collecting relief for the earthquake hit region. Ehsaas International, another Srinagar based NGO that works on educational upliftment has started a donation drive in cash for the victims.
In a span of less than 24 hours people have donated over five lakh rupees Turks and Syrians. Kashmir based courier service, Fastbeetle has also expressed its willingness to help the region. “Our hearts go out to the victims of the recent earthquake in Türkiye. The loss of life and property has been devastating, and it’s a reminder of the fragility of our existence.
Mohammad Rafiq, a cosmetic shop owner, came all the way from Sopore in North Kashmir with material for babies. “We saw it on social media and we came here on a humanitarian basis. We are also parents, we feel restless seeing their condition. There is so much heartache,” Rafiq said as his eyes were moist.
Mohammad Rasool, a fruit farmer from Shopian also came out to help. “Our Prophet told us to feel the pain of humanity. We should help others in need,” he said.
Manzoor Ahmad, a resident of Koker Bazaar, Srinagar, came with 10 sleeping bags. “We know our situation here. And they are also our brothers, sisters and children,” he said.
Meanwhile, various organisations in different parts of India have also started collecting materials and funds to help out the people in Turkey and Syria. Miles2Miles, a Delhi based organisation raised close to 20 lakh, after which relief material was bought. Other smaller organisations too have been sending food material, blankets and other materials.
Likewise, Fatima Charitable Foundation, another Delhi based organisation has collected books, blankets and food as relief material. All of which has already been dispatched from India. “We have been told there is a requirement of tents and sleeping bags, for which we are trying our best,” a member from the organisation said.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has said that India has sent emergency relief material comprising life-saving medicines, protective items and critical care equipment valued at over ₹ 7 crore to quake-hit Turkey and Syria.
Highlighting the efforts of his ministry in providing emergency relief material to Turkey and Syria, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted, "India is providing assistance to the two countries in the spirit of its age-old tradition of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam".
On February 6, three truck-loads of relief materials were arranged at the Hindon air base comprising life-saving emergency medicines and protective items within 12 hours, the ministry said in a statement. Efforts are being made by organisations all over the country to send relief material to the earthquake hit countries, where so many have died and thousands are missing.