by Khalid Bashir Gura
SRINAGAR: On the Phase-II of the Mission Wushnaer, a serpentine queue of unprivileged people waited in the lawns of Lal Bazar’s Bilaliya Education Institute on Sunday, on the eve of the start of Chila-ie-Kalan, the harshest 40 days of Kashmir winter. Wushnaer is a Kashmiri word meaning warmth and various like-minded individuals and institutions have joined hands to set up Mission Wushnaer.
As the harsh winters are forcing people to add layers of clothes and ensure winter necessities at home, many unprivileged within and outside Srinagar, are grappling with the cold and poverty. In order to give them some support in fighting the harsh winters, Kashmir Welfare Trust (KWT) in association with Food for Poor, Food for All Group and Moral Education, Environmental and Relief Council (MEERC) of Private School’s Association Jammu and Kashmir launched this mission.
The Mission Wushnaer extended its warmth with the distribution of electric blankets, woollens, heating gadgets, Kangris, Woollen dresses, hot water bottles, thermals, woollen caps. Besides that food kits for one month, cycle, blankets were also distributed among the needy. To empower the specially-abled sewing machines were distributed besides school books among underprivileged students.
The programme which started in the afternoon was attended by GN Var, President (Private Schools Association J&K), Mantasha Rashid (Food for Poor Group), Dr Rafiq Ahmad (Ex-Director Education), Prof S Khurshid Ul Islam (Kashmir Education Initiative, Infaq Foundation), Mohammad Shahid ( President Coaching Centres Association), Shafaqat Gillani (Autism Welfare Trust), the staff of Kashmir Welfare Trust and its volunteers.
According to a statement, around 80 identified beneficiaries were provided among identified beneficiaries in rural and urban Kashmir.
Manzoor Ahmad Wangoo, a businessman who has devoted himself to the philanthropic cause said that there is poverty in Kashmir and we wanted to raise awareness among other privileged fellows about the issue and contribute to the noble cause to alleviate suffering and poverty. “I do not want anyone to extend a hand in front of another and that’s why my dream is to alleviate poverty, empower and rehabilitate the identified underprivileged families,” Wangnoo said adding that we ensure children are also educated to that the families can address their livelihood problems. “The programme’s aim is to share and care.” The successive lockdowns especially pandemic has broken the back of our economy he said.
Under the Mission, these groups offer the families – identified through a process involving residents, basic tools to stay warm. No cash is being given, organisers said.
“We have so far reached 250 families and we intend to cover 500more,” one individual who is associated with the exercise said. “Besides the winter-related items, we have distributed nearly 1000 food kits during the programme.”