Stepping up its flood disaster response efforts, Dar-ul-Khair, Mirwaiz Manzil launched a special initiative focused on helping some of the most needy families in Kashmir who lost their homes in the recent flood. While Dar-ul-Khair has been doing whatever it could to help provide emergency relief to the flood-affected families – including rescue operations, distributing food and emergency supplies and running temporary relief and medical camps – the new initiative is focused on reconstruction and rehabilitation.
According to a statement issued to KNS, addressing the Friday Congregation at the Historic Jama Masjid Mirwaiz explained: “With thousands upon thousands of Kashmiris rendered homeless as a result of the ravaging flood, there is an urgent need to help needy families rebuild their homes so that they can put their lives back together. In this direction, we have decided to immediately initiate an intervention named the AKH AKIS (all togther) initiative. The initiative is aimed at building homes, community and hope in Kashmir.”
The AKH AKIS (all togther) initiative will bring people together to help some of the most needy families rebuild their homes and, in the process, build and strengthen community and hope in Kashmir. Combining both professional and voluntary efforts, the AKH AKIS initiative will adopt a community-based, community-led approach to mobilize and bring together Kashmiri expertise, resources and volunteers to collectively help some of the most needy families in Kashmir to rebuild their homes that were lost in the flood.
The target for the pilot / first phase of the AKH AKIS (all together) initiative is to help rebuild 50-100 homes. Targeting some of the most economically disadvantaged localities that were most severely hit during the flood, the programme will seek to help some of the “neediest of the needy” families in Kashmir who have lost their homes in the recent floods. The focus will be on identifying and supporting Kashmiri families who – due to poverty and other dire, special circumstances – are truly not in a financial and physical position to rebuild their homes on their own and who truly need the community’s financial help and physical support to do this.
In the process, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq explained that the initiative will build community and hope in Kashmir. “The effort will truly be ‘akh akis” (i.e. all together). We are working to make the initiative as inclusive as possible. Through a united effort and collective voluntary service of those who are in dire need, we will seek to further strengthen the sense of togetherness that has emerged in Kashmir after the flood disaster. By visibly demonstrating what can be achieved when Kashmiris pool their resources, energies and capabilities for a good purpose, we will seek to further build hope and self-confidence in Kashmir.”
To carry out the AKH AKIS (all together) initiative, Dar-ul-Khair has assembled a team of experts and has engaged architects, engineers and builders to conduct surveys, design plans and oversee the building process. An oversight panel is in the process of being formed and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will be directly overseeing the entire process to ensure that it is carried in a transparent, effective and time-bound manner. He also intends to roll up his sleeves and get directly involved by volunteering alongside the other volunteers and teams of builders who will be working on the ground.
Dar-ul-Khair is now urgently requesting donations to support the programme and is also seeking donations of materials, supplies and items needed for home construction, finishing and furnishing in Kashmir. All money and materials raised will be strictly used for the AKH AKIS initiative, benefiting the identified, selected families who will truly be some of the most needy (“neediest of needy”) in Kashmir. To ensure full transparency and accountability, accounts will be externally audited and audit reports will be made public along with detailed progress reports.
To carry out the pilot / first phase of the AKH AKIS initiative, Dar-ul-Khair needs to raise a total of INR 5.2 crore rupees to rebuild 100+ homes. The rough estimated cost for rebuilding a single home (a single story construction with two rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom) is approximately INR 5.2 lac rupees. Through bulk purchasing, volunteer contribution of time/effort and careful planning, costs will be further reduced so that even more homes can be built with the funds and materials collected.
Along with the appeal for donations, Dar-ul-Khair has also made an appeal for Kashmiris to contribute their time, talent/expertise and efforts as volunteers for the AKH AKIS (ALL TOGETHER) INITIATIVE. Volunteer participation – particularly by more professional experts and by youth – is urgently required.
For more details on the initiative and for information on how to donate and how to get involved as a volunteer, people are requested to visit the Dar-ul-Khair website at:http://darulkhair.mirwaizmanzil.org/
Meanwhile, expressing his concern over the renewed escalation of tensions on borders between India and Pakistan as highly explosive, Mirwaiz has stressed upon the leadership of both the nations to observe restraint on borders and LOC. Mirwaiz also expressed his regret over the loss of life and property on the both sides of Line of Control across the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Mirwaiz stated that people of Jammu and Kashmir have borne the major brunt of border tension between the two nations in terms of damage to the life and property.
Terming the lingering Kashmir dispute as the major cause of tension between the two nuclear armed neighbors-India and Pakistan, Mirwaiz stated till the Kashmir issue is resolved instability and mistrust between the two countries cannot be addressed.
Mirwaiz stated that the need of the hour was that India and Pakistan should restart the stalled dialogue process and involve the leadership of Kashmir also in order to find an amicable solution to the Kashmir dispute.