Amidst the gloom and doom of coronavirus pandemic, the unending plight of laborers and migrants and the devastation caused by cyclone Amphan, there’s a small bit of good news which may not make it to the prime-time television.
Or even if it actually does, may last only a few seconds as the anchor and guests in seven windows would have nothing to debate about.
It’s a spectacular sight—Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) members in Katra, Jammu, preparing <em>sehri</em> (meal before sunrise) and <em>iftaari</em> (meal to break the fast at sunset) to more than 500 Muslims who have been quarantined at Ashirwad Bhawan and other nearby buildings during the holy month of Ramadan has given a befitting reply to those who’ve spent last many months spreading hatred and creating communal divide in India.
The holy shrine, which attracts millions of devotees every year, has never seen such scenes ever before.
During the nationwide lockdown, the Bhawan, a 500-bed facility for the pilgrims, was converted into a quarantine centre.
Not too far from Udhampur and well connected through trains, the quarantine facility saw an influx of Muslim laborers and their families arriving from various parts of the country, just as the month of Ramadan began.
As the number of trains arriving in Katra rose, so did the number of quarantined people at the Bhawan.
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The Shrine Board, which already organizes<em> langars</em> (community kitchen), extended its facility to those put in isolation.
“We came to know that the Muslims at the quarantine centre are observing <em>roza</em> (fast). Keeping in mind that they require meals before the sunrise and immediately after the sunset, we made alterations in our schedule. Not just this, we will also make special recipes for them on Eid,” said Ramesh Kumar, CEO of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.
“Communal harmony and brotherhood are the essence of Incredible India and foundation of inclusive, tolerant and peaceful society,” tweeted Fatima Dar, a Kashmiri.
<p dir="ltr" lang="en">Communal Harmony and Brotherhood are the essence of Incredible India and foundation of inclusive, tolerant and peaceful society..</p>
Amid <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ramazan?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Ramazan</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VaishnoDevi?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#VaishnoDevi</a> Shrine prepares sehri, iftari for 500 quarantined Muslims<a href="https://t.co/1AmsxkySmY">https://t.co/1AmsxkySmY</a>
— Fatima Dar (@FatimaDar_jk) <a href="https://twitter.com/FatimaDar_jk/status/1264186284144308225?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 23, 2020</a></blockquote>
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All this is at a time when the Shrine Board, just like the rest of the holy sites in the country, is reportedly facing huge financial losses due to the lockdown.
Keeping humanity and solidarity above everything, the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has certainly set a big example for others to follow..