Cold Weather Relief for People in India and Kashmir
Extremely cold weather and icy winds in South Asia have placed millions of people in dire need for relief. Unfortunately, the poor are usually hit hardest in these situations. Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) has responded to this need by supporting the distribution of warm blankets to vulnerable people in India and Kashmir, who lack the comfort of indoor heating and often live in inadequate housing that does not offer the shelter required to protect them from harsh weather conditions.
As temperatures decreased into the 30s in South Asia, casualties of the cold weather began to be reported. As a result, officials in New Delhi, India area shut down their schools. The nearly freezing weather has also disrupted the lives of the disadvantaged in Southern India and Kashmir. ZF representatives in both areas have responded to the distress of the poor with the distribution of warm blankets in urban slums and rural villages.
ZF representatives reported delivering blankets to people who were previously without a single warm piece of cloth to cover themselves from the harsh weather. Instead, they would spend their nights sitting next to small fires that are fed by pieces of wood. Alhamdullah, blankets were distributed to hundreds of poor and needy people including the elderly, widows, orphans, and disabled persons.
Noor Bano, a thirty-year old widow living in the Nizam Nagar slum of New Delhi, India is one of the many beneficiaries of the blanket distribution effort. Noor has had little support to help her with her two children since her husband’s death four years ago, and is also currently unemployed. Her house lacks proper roofing and the one blanket the family owned was not enough to cover and provide warmth to her and her children. As a result, her children were continually being treated for reoccurring infections of pneumonia. Noor has received two new warm blankets from ZF representatives. For Noor’s family, and so many others, ZF’s Cold Weather Relief blanket distribution has been life changing.