The outbreak of COVID- in December, 2019 in Wuhan city of China spread like jungle fire in just few days, thus became cosmopolitan in nature. While there have been a number of theories reported behind the outbreak of this fatal virus, the matter of the fact is that people from all walks of life are suffering badly. I can say that (though I may be countered and argued) the virus has directly attacked the rich while as it has indirectly compounded the miseries of the poor. For most of poor people, the hunger proved and is proving more deadly than the deadly Covid itself.
In Ganderbal district, following the outburst of the pandemic, there have come up many NGOs, trusts and volunteers which have come forward and are leaving no stone unturned in killing the hunger of the poor and needy. Delivering food kits, medicines, baby food, masks and the like have been the top priority of the volunteers to drop them at the doorsteps of the needy. One such volunteer has been the Pied Piper of the district. He has become the ray of hope for poor in the district. He is the harbinger of assistance for those poor unreached people who otherwise are unreached by the government itself. But he himself is a handicapped devoid of both the legs.
Yes, Mohammad Amin Sofi, a resident of main town of Ganderbal, Beehama is devoid of both of his legs and is leaving no stone unturned to reach to the needy to fill their stomach. Amin is a well known social worker in the district and is helping poor and needy from his own pocket. He has been able to deliver food kits to more than two dozen households only in Zalpora Sumbal. He has been a front-runner and has declared himself as a volunteer for many (any) organizations aimed at helping the poor. He has got his car modified in such a way that the three (03) parts of his car beneath the foot viz accelerator, brake and clutch are in his hands reach. All these three parts have been stemmed up by the car modifier so that Amin can run his car smoothly with his hands only. Amin is reaching to the people in multiple ways.
At the commencement of the Covid-19 pandemic, Amin took to social media’s facebook group ‘Voice of Ganderbal’ and wrote, “I am putting myself available 24x7 with my car. Anybody having any medical emergency may ring me on 7006XXXXXX). My service will be available to and fro”. Amin was lauded by one and all on this social media group that is the largest Facebook group of district Ganderbal.
Further, under ‘Reach-out-Initiative’ which has coordinated many organizations in the district following the outbreak of the virus, Amin has expressed himself being a volunteer here too. Recently, there was a call from this Reach-out-Initiative vis-à-vis the blood donation from the individuals, Amin rushed and declared his A ve blood ready anytime anywhere when needed.
Hitherto, he has delivered hundreds of food kits to the needy and poor. He has not reached to poor of Ganderbal residents only, but to the people living in nearby Srinagar district as well.
Few days back, Amin got a call at around 9:15 pm in the night from one of the organizations to deliver the food items to one of the poor family at Rainawari. Amin, after getting the address dropped the call, left his bed and children aside and started moving towards the destination of the destitute.
“There were huge barricades installed and no one was allowed to move ahead at Rainawari Chowk. I then tried my level best to motivate the concerned police officer on Nakka duty to let me go but all failed. I pleaded before the official that I am a social worker and fingered towards foot items to be delivered to a poor family here around Rainawari. That too failed. I even boarded off the car and sit on the roadside keeping in ‘mind my no legs’ would entice someone to let me go. But every attempt failed,” he said.
The Nakka was so tight and strict that Amin had to move go back and found some other alley and finally reached to the destination. Amin dropped the food kits into the hands of the poor lady and in return got the blessings for a sweet night ahead. “I can’t sleep unless and until everyone’s stomach in my eye and reach gets filled,” Amin said.
Since this Covid19 pandemic has thrown the livelihood of lakhs of poor into chaotic twister coupled with the normal life already having gone out of gear, poor people especially daily wagers, migrants, footpath vendors, auto-wallas, labourers etc have landed in utter frustration.
Government has already taken several initiatives. NGO’s and other organizations too have come forward and delivering to their best. In such a situation, people like Amin Sofi, being devoid of legs, is not less than an Angel for those who find it hard to meet the two ends meet.