A scion of Bakshi family and a passionate philanthropist, Abdul Qayoom breathed his last at 73 in Srinagar on August 2 at his residence in Sonwar. He was buried in the ancestral graveyard of Bakshis at Malteng near UNO office. He is survived by a son, a daughter, and wife.
For the last few months, cancer had confined Qayoom to his home, but it never deterred the philanthropist’sn resolve to help the needy. A staunch believer in destiny, Qayoom went against the suggestion of doctors and family to go for medical treatment of his terminal disease.
Nephew of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, former prime minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Qayoom was born in the Srinagar’s old city area of Khankhai Sokhta in 1938. He did his schooling from Tyndale Biscoe School (C.M.S) Sheikh Bagh. After completing his F.A he went to S.P.College for graduation. Qayoom did not opt for the engineering course he qualified for in Ranchi college of Engineering and preferred instead to stay in his family business on the advice of his elders.
Qayoom was deeply influenced by his father Haji Ghulam Nabi Bakshi’s spirituality. He would attend Sufi mehfils as and when their was an opportunity.
Inclined to spiritual guide of his father Khawaja Muhammad Sultan Mir (Gilitsaz) and training under him exposed Qayoom to the sufferings of humanity. It became his passion to help the suffering in all respects. He would visit hospitals almost daily to share the sufferings of patients and use his influence and proximity with the medical fraternity to mitigate and lessen their burdens.
A philanthropist by heart, Qayoom in 1968 joined the world’s largest social organisation with over 13.5 lakh members- The Lion’s Club. It was Lion’s Club Srinagar along with Red Cross Society of Kashmir that a voluntary blood donation movement was started in the state in 1978. Leading from the front he donated blood more than 38 times to spread awareness.
Along with his doctor friends, he formed ‘Medical Benvalent Trust’ for class-IV employees and their families for medical treatment. He also was the founder member of Golden Heart Project run by Lion’s Club Srinagar along with the legendary Dr Abdul Ahad Guru.
Qayoom was instrumental in establishing the Cancer Society of Kashmir or CSK in 1999 and became its first Vice Chairman. In spite of dealing with his personal and serious health issues, Qayoom relentlessly pursued his aim of serving the suffering humanity of the state. Till his last breath, he served as the treasurer of CSK- the foundation he dreamed, conceived and realized.
From establishing the volunteer blood donation group in mid 60’s to the founder member of CSK in late 90’s Bakshi Abdul Qayoom spent a major portion of his time immersed in social work, helping to ease out the suffering of others.