Commentary

“Poor people have no Eid”: Why this Kashmiri orphan girl is returning the charity

Amid the Eid euphoria, one shocking letter has appeared in a Srinagar-based Urdu daily wherein a ten-year-old Kashmiri orphan girl writes how in the name of charity, her family was subjected to shame by a particular person affiliated with a charitable trust. Though the veracity of the letter couldn’t be established, but given the message it carries, FPK translates and reproduces the letter here in the larger public interest.

 

Asalaamualaikum, Uncle!

My name is Kanza. I live nearby your office. Some days back, you paid us a visit at our humble home to find out whether we really are poor and qualify for your charity.

Then again, you turned up at our residence a few days later along with five men. You gave us ration and brought Eid dresses for me, Ami, and for my younger brother. You clicked our pictures and left.

Uncle, do you know that I was only four-year-old when my father, my Baba passed away. No sooner Baba left us, my grandma thrashed my mother and threw her out of her home. At that time, my brother was still in the womb of my mother.

Ami struggled a lot. Not a single relative came to her help. We had none who could have taken care of us. Then Ami started washing dishes and cleaning in peoples’ home to make some living to feed us. Ami wouldn’t feel like eating at all. Those naked abuses she got from the rich people in whose home she worked would fill her belly instead.

Such was Ami’s sense of motherhood though that she would always smile in front of me. But I know how she would cry a river quietly during the night. That was how she would unburden her grievous heart.

I couldn’t even give assurances to my mother that everything will be fine. We poor people always cry like this and unburden ourselves from the agonies unleash by our destinies.

Last night, Ami cried again.

I didn’t understand what made her cry so much, so bad. She cried and cried, till her eyes dried up and fell to sleep. Then I got up to stroke her feet so that she would get some respite, some rest.

While stroking her feet, I saw a newspaper in her hands. I was shocked to see our picture in it. It showed us receiving that ration and clothes as charity from you!

Now, I understood why my mother was crying like a baby.

Last year, the same thing had happened. Similar pictures had become our source of humiliation in our locality. Locals taunted and made great fun of us. When we put up those Eid charity dresses, everyone teased us by calling us “beggars”!

My mother was looked down upon in our locality.

Uncle, I am requesting you to take back your ration and dresses. I love my Ami very much. I can’t withstand tears in her eyes and cannot become the reason for her trouble.

By the way, we poor people have no Eid.

There is another request. Please don’t publish those pictures in newspapers whenever you help any poor people. You don’t have any idea how it dooms those poor souls. Even the blood relations look down upon them.

Thing is, you have no ability in it if Allah has given you wealth. And surely, it is no fault of ours, if we are poor.

May Allah keep everyone happy!

Ameen.

 


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