Shailendra Dubey and his friends, all residents of Bhopal, rise early, before the crack of dawn during the holy month of Ramzan, before the city’s other inhabitants wake up for ‘Sehri,’ a pre-dawn meal consumed by Muslims before commencing fasting.
While Mr Dubey and his friends aren’t fasting themselves, they are chipping in, by preparing food for the fasting kin of Muslim patients undergoing treatment in Bhopal’s hospitals, reports IndiaTimes.
On May 19th, Shailendra’s father suffered a cardiac arrest and was rushed to the Hamidia Hospital for treatment. While attending to his father, he noticed a Muslim woman, whose family member was admitted in the same ward as Shailendra’s father, drinking only water during ‘Sehri’ due to the lack of access to edibles, at such an early hour.
This was enough to move Shailendra to action. He called his friends, and they all decided to start a ‘Sehri’ distribution service during Ramzan. All of them are students of the Rishiraj Dental College, and as they do not have a regular source of income, they took a collective decision allocate a sum of Rs 50 from their pocket money towards this cause.
Shailendra told IndiaTimes, the ‘Sehri’ meal consists of an omelette, 4 stuffed paranthas and a glass of milk with raisins.
While one friend takes the responsibility to deliver the food, five others cook ‘Sehri’ in their respective houses. The youngsters used social media to broadcast the message and have asked people to call and mention the number of food packets they need, and the hospital they are in.
Shruti Soni, who happens to be one of the members of the group, recalls delivering the food to an old lady, who blessed her. Mishti Manjhi, another member, braved fatigue after her college exam, to deliver the meal to two women in the Hamidia hospital. She fondly recalls how these recipients were happy to receive the food and showered the young volunteers with blessings.
From one meal delivered on the first day, today, the team claims to have delivered food to around 35 people, at Bhopal’s Hamidia, Sultania and Kamla Nehru Park hospitals.
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The youngsters admit that this initiative has brought about a change in the mindset of their families. Shailja Dubey, a member of the group, stated that as she belongs to a traditional Hindu family, her family did not support this endeavour initially, but changed their minds when they saw people appreciating the food and initiative. Shailja, like the rest of her team, is optimistic and says this service will continue through Ramzan.
Featured Image Credit: Mahmud Mahmud.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)