Mosque now a home for Hindu families
CHENNAI: Disasters often unite people and here is a classic case of communal harmony in the face of adversity.
A "masoodhi" (mosque) at Tambaram has become home to around 200 families, mainly Hindus, after the tsunami waves wreaked havoc on the shores of Tamil Nadu. They eat and sleep with their Muslim counterparts.
Religious differences do not matter to these poor souls who saw everything they had perish in a matter of minutes. For instance, Burkat Nisha, from Panayur, watched helplessly as her father was dragged by the waves. "For me, to be a Hindu or Muslim is too small an issue after what I went through in the last few days," she says, eyes swelling with tears.
These people, mainly fisherfolk from places such as Kovalam, Kalpakkam, Panayur, Padur and other places lost all their belongings to the sea on that ill-fated Sunday morning.Boarded in buses, trucks and other vehicles, they were brought to their temporary homes by the volunteers of Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK).
The volunteers then distributed basic amenities to theses people. Said S Rajendran, a fisherman from Kovalam, "We came here a desolate lot, with just the clothes we were wearing. But the people here welcomed us with open arms, igniting hope in us."
Adds V Uma, a victim from Kalpakkam: "The mosque provided us with all that we asked for, even the injured were taken to hospitals without any discrimination of being a Hindu or Muslim.
"The TMMK said that it had set up such camps in the mosque all over the state. With help from private sponsors and other organisations, food and clothing are being provided to the victims, said A Mohammed Ismail, president of Pallavaram unit of TMMK. "At the moment, we have planned to help anyone who needs it, be it a Hindu or a Muslim. Such feelings do not stand before the crises we face today,” he added.
On Wednesday, the local people were queuing up at the mosque to help the victims. Traders from around the area were seen supervising the distribution of rice and other groceries at the mosque. Large packets of clothes, collected from homes in Tambaram were brought in trucks and later distributed among the people.
According to the TMMK volunteers, traders from the Jain community had helped a lot in providing the necessary provisions to the mosque. Vegetarian food has been arranged for Hindus who want it.
Apart from this, The Indian Welfare and Education Trust (IWET), a social welfare organisation had been assisting the TMMK in its efforts to provide relief to the Tsunami victims, said the volunteers. "We have been providing money and material assistance to the volunteers," said A Faizur Rahman, assistant managing trustee, IWET.
Although the initial problems of the victims have been overcome by the mosque and its volunteers, not many are sure about what the future holds for them.
For instance, G Rani, who lost her belongings while trying to save a neighbour's young son, said: "Where and when do we go from here remains a major question." She also complained that no government official, apart from the Tahsildar, had turned up to listen to our grievances.
Thanks: New Indian Express
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