The spirit of giv­ing

Ir­fan from Shar­jah vol­un­teered to col­lect and pack stuff for re­lief camps in Ker­ala

Friday - - LITTLE HEROES -

When 14-year-old Ir­fan Mo­hammed first heard about the floods in Ker­ala he did not fathom the ex­tent of dam­age it had cre­ated. He had just re­turned from a va­ca­tion from his na­tive town in Bey­pore, in Kozhikode, where the rains had for­tu­nately caused only mi­nor is­sues.

‘But the neigh­bour­ing city Palazhi was badly hit. The Chaliar river near my vil­lage was in spate. Scores of fam­i­lies had been shifted from area. Since our vil­lage was not af­fected much, they or­gan­ised sev­eral re­lief camps there,’ he says. Keen to help in some way, the 9th grader from Our Own English High School, Shar­jah, de­cided to do some­thing for those af­fected. He and his fa­ther Is­mayil ap­proached a lo­cal char­ity Ker­ala Mus­lim Cul­tural Cen­ter in Dubai and con­trib­uted as much re­lief ma­te­rial as they could gather in a short time. That’s not all. They re­mained all day and night at the cen­tre vol­un­teer­ing to sort and pack all the stuff for camps in Ker­ala. ‘It was a sig­nif­i­cant mo­ment for me to be in­volved in the spirit of giv­ing. I am glad I could do my small bit to help in such a ma­jor dis­as­ter,’ he says.

The ex­pe­ri­ence at the cen­tre, he says, taught him two big life lessons. ‘First, any­thing can hap­pen at any time but we must stand strong, like the peo­ple of Ker­ala did, and refuse to fall.

‘The sec­ond is that we must have a kind heart to help oth­ers even when our own life is at risk. If the peo­ple of Ker­ala did not help each other out in this dev­as­tat­ing calamity, the death toll would have been in thou­sands. Their spirit of unity has be­come a hall­mark for the whole world to learn from.’

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