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Islamic Relief Committee Gujarat: a significant, laudable role

When every thing is lost, future still remains. If any one has doubts regarding this, he/she must visit Gujarat and see what is going on there.

Recently, Gujarat has seen one of the most barbarous and heinous genocides. Muslims, the target of this inhuman and unpardonable crime have lost everything. Their houses, shops and factories were reduced to ashes. Their daughters, sons and other near and dear ones were killed or burnt alive before their eyes. They had nothing to eat, drink and even to cover their bodies. Darkness was all around there. Even the hope and will to live were also not there but despite all the bad things happening to them, these people still want to live, thanks to the Islamic Relief Committee of Gujarat (IRCG). This organisation has been providing them every thing, the most important among them being the hope and the will to live.

IRCG is an NGO which has been working for the last four-five months among the victims of the genocide. When the government machinery is supporting the killers in their acts and is doing its best to help them to finish the Muslims and destroy the signs of their own involvement, the victims can only pray to God.

When insanity was prevailing all around and the enemies, which were friends just a few days ago, are in search of their heads, surrounded in such situations only the brave can dare to lead a life. They go on and reach their destination. Same is true with the volunteers and organisers of the IRCG who, despite all the difficulties, have been doing great work in Gujarat. They had done the same last year when the earthquake had brought down every thing in different parts of this state. The problems, this time before them are man-made not the natural calamities.

During their rehabilitation work for the earthquake victims, they were not in danger of losing their lives but this time this danger is very muchvery much present because these volunteers and organisers have been working day and night to help riot victims.

Till now, the IRCG has done a lot for rehabilitation of the victims of genocide carried out in Gujarat. Its work includes from construction and repair of houses, mosques and schools to provide foodgrains, medicines, legal assistance etc.

To carry out the rehabilitation work smoothly and efficiently, the IRCG has divided Gujarat into two regions, i.e., south Gujarat region and north Gujarat region, and two different branches have been assigned to work in their respective regions.

The IRCG is involved in this work in the whole Gujarat but the worst affected areas have been given special attention. It has spent crores of rupees on construction of new houses, repair of old ones, supply of foodgrains, legal assistance, self-employment programmes, etc.

Bulk of expenses has gone to construction and repairs. It has already spent four crore rupees on this work. The expenditure on food grains, medicines and legal assistance is nearly 28 lakh rupees. More than 20 lakh rupees have been spent on books, copies and other requirements of affected students. The IRCG has also distributed a large number of hand carts, wheel chairs, sewing machines and family kits among the victims.

The IRCG has provided monetary as well as material help to the family members of injured. It has also arranged marriages for the girls and widows living in the relief camps and all the expenses on these have been incurred by the IRCG."

To provide employment to the persons who have become jobless due to the disturbances, the IRCG has started self-employment schemes and it has already spent forty 40 lakh rupees on this count. It is also helping people to file complaint about their missing relatives. This organisation has also set up a legal cell and leading lawyers from the state are on its panel to pursue their cases.

The IRCG and other NGOs engaged in rehabilitation work in Gujarat are doing great service to the nation and community, though at great risk. The organisers and volunteers have been threatened many times. Their lives are in danger but despite so many odds against them, they are determined to carry on their work. Main danger faced by them comes when they assist people to file FIRs and claims about their destroyed properties. Their efforts have rewarded them and more than five thousand cases have been filed through the IRCG so far.

According to Rahmbhai Sheikh, a victim whose house and shop were burnt "I could file a case about losing my house and shop, thanks to the IRCG. Same feeling is echoed by Haseebbhai Patel.

What the IRCG has been doing should in fact have been done by the government. The government is also doing relief and rehabilitation work but for those who belong to the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and the BJP.

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