Young Muslims of Gaya Provide Free Oxygen Cylinders to Hundreds of Covid Patients
NEW DELHI — As the country is facing unprecedented health crisis due to massive surge of Covid-19 cases, young Muslims in Bihar’s Gaya district have come forward to help the suffering people by providing them oxygen cylinders free of cost.
Local businessman Shahjahan Khan and a political activist Naiyer Ahmed are among those noble souls who have provided around 1,000 cylinders to Covid patients. Shahjahan and Naiyer have done their services under two separate banners in Gaya. While Shahjahan provided oxygen cylinders under the banner of Youth Committee Aliganj, Naiyer did his service under Bari Road Welfare Committee. Young volunteers at both of these committees say they have rendered their services while observing fast in this month of Ramadan.
Shahjahan told Clarion India over the phone from Gaya that they have formed the Youth Committee Aliganj for this purpose. The group members are bearing the cost of oxygen cylinders by collecting money from among themselves. They deliver the cylinders to patients at their doorsteps. Within days their service became so popular that they started receiving up to 600 calls per day for oxygen cylinders.
However, a week ago their service came to an abrupt halt after the local administration prohibited sale of oxygen to private entities.
“When we went to refill cylinders, the vendor refused citing an order of the district magistrate. We were providing cylinders to Covid patients round the clock,” Shahjahan said, adding the requests for cylinders were still coming.
The Bari Road Welfare Committee also had to suspend its service. Its convenor Naiyer Ahmed, who is a ward councilor at Gaya Nagar Nigam, said that his team helped around 500 people by providing oxygen. After the local administration restricted the availability of oxygen, Naiyer has taken to social media seeking withdrawal of the order. Through his Facebook page he has appealed to the district magistrate of Gaya to review his order. Public initiative should not be discouraged, he told Clarion India.
“We are told that the government hospitals are being given priority for oxygen. General public given a token for availing oxygen on the basis of Covid-19 positive report and aadhar card. I request the district administration to permit the Bari Road Welfare Committee for refilling oxygen. We want to support the needy and provide oxygen cylinders to them,” said Naiyer.
Badrul Akhtar, an associate of Naiyer in the relief work, said despite observing fast their young volunteers were quite enthusiastic. “They feel that this is how they are able to fulfil the purpose of fast which is to understand the pain and sufferings of others and help them accordingly. We are working according to the message of God,” said Akhtar.
This story first appeared on clarionindia