Published: 09th December 2020
Here's how this Srinagar DSP's Wall of Kindness is helping Kashmiris fight the chilling winter amid COVID-19
The idea to start a "neutral interface" for people to donate and help others came to Aadil while he was on the ground and enforcing the lockdown
TIME magazine rightly called 2020 'the worst year ever' — people lost their lives, those who lived were restricted to their homes and fear prevailed. But even in these dark times, a few rays of hope are what keep us alive, keep us human.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Jammu and Kashmir Police, Sheikh Aadil Mushtaq is one of those who are not only fighting the pandemic on the forefront but are also taking good care of the people around them. Aadil has started a Wall of Kindness on November 13 in Srinagar where people can donate warm clothes, food and items of everyday use. "The winters in Kashmir are very harsh and people need warm clothes. I realised that we need to do something for the people who were affected badly during the lockdown. We were working on the ground to deliver medicines and supplies to people during the lockdown and that's when I realised that there are so many people who need help and with the winter coming, we needed to do something," said Aadil.
But the wall wasn't their first initiative. It started off with doorstep deliveries of medicines and groceries on 17 motorcycles. "But as the lockdown ended and the country entered the Unlock 1.0 phase, the demand for doorstep deliveries dropped and we shifted focus to plasma donations. We had set up WhatsApp groups as well for those who needed help with food, medicines etc. But now as the demand for these has come down we have shut down the groups except for the one where people can reach out for any help regarding COVID-19," said Aadil.
The idea to start a "neutral interface" for people to donate and help others came to Aadil while he was on the ground and enforcing the lockdown. "While we were organising these programmes, I realised that the pandemic has pushed the people of the valley to a wall and that they need help with the winter around the corner. Unlike the other donations, the Wall of Kindness does not have a bar on what you can donate. Any donation is welcome as long as it is in kind. We don't accept cash donations. people have donated warm clothes — both fresh and used — kangris (firepots used in Kashmir), cooked food, blankets, shawls and much more. A few NGOs with foreign sponsors, like Ehsaas International, have also donated warm clothes in bulk. Ehsaas has donated 300 Pherans (Kashmiri cloaks) to the Wall of Kindness," he added.
Aadil is very particular about the charitable programmes that he helps organise. Once the need is over, he is in favour of shutting it down. "Once we see the donations have dwindled or the demand isn't there any more we will shut the Wall of Kindness. We would try to serve the people in a different way then. We have done the same with our earlier initiatives as well. Whenever the need or the demand fell we shut it down. The Wall of Kindness won't be any different," he said.