In an act of kindness on Eid-ul-Fitr, people from all religions of Vattayal in Alappuzha district united to collect money for the surgery of 36-year-old Mohammed Rafi, whose both kidneys failed, thereby sending a message of communal harmony.
Instead of celebrating Eid, Muslims in the area chose to pass on the hat for the noble cause in which their Hindu and Christian neighbours joined, which was fully supported by Valiyakulam Juma Masjid.
"On this important day of Eid, a large number of people are coming out avoiding the celebration to help Mohammed Rafi, who is from a poor family. He is also a good singer. More than Rs 35 lakhs is needed for his kidney transplant operation and the group cutting across religious and party lines are approaching everybody in the locality for the noble cause," Joseph Stanely, a retired postmaster told ANI.
"There is no religion here, only human relationship. We are all for communal amity. It is our maiden duty to help a young man who is in distress. I am from a Christian community. There is no religious or political difference for helping our brother," he said.
Saleem Mohammed, who joined the group on Eid said that the Mahal committee is also fully supporting their initiative to collect money for Rafi.
"On Eid day, everyone is with their family celebrating but there are people like Rafi who need the support of the society to lead a normal life. So, we are all here to collect money for his operation. There is no religious or political difference," he said.
Another native, Haris said that due to COVID-19, the Eid celebration is already a subdued one.
"The country is going through a tough time. We are all in it together to tide over the crisis. When Mahal committee, the Chairman of Alappuzha Municipality and others joined together for this cause, I too joined. There are many who have donated money to this fund cancelling their plans to buy a new dress. Some even donated money kept aside for Eid celebration," he said.
Illikkal Kunjomon, chairman Alappuzha Municipality, said that Sufi, father of Rafi, was a known singer in the region, a talent that his son inherited.
"It is good to see people joining together, forgetting all religious and political differences on Eid. Here, we have launched a scheme called Karunya Nagaram to help people in poor families like Rafi," he said. (ANI)