Imagine being a young mother of two small kids and losing your husband suddenly. What would you do? Sheerin Banu in India was only 24 years old when her husband unexpectedly passed away from cancer. Now a widow, Sheerin was forced to move back in with her elderly parents and work in a low-wage job to provide for her small children.
She shares how our Udhiyah (Qurbani) Program in 2019 truly lifted her family’s spirits for Eid al-Adha. She shares her story with us below.
Struggling to Provide for Her Family
Sheerin is responsible for providing for her family. This responsibility proves difficult with high food prices where she lives. Her family lacks access to essential, everyday items. Often, Sheerin is unable to buy food, and can’t even afford to pay rent.
What her family eats depends on what she earned that day. A lot of the time, it’s not enough. When that happens, she’s the first to go without food, but her hungry stomach isn’t what hurts most: It breaks her heart when she has nothing to give for the family. Heavy rains in her district have meant that her family struggled a lot without food and water.
Still, she is grateful that their home has not been damaged from the rain.
Sheerin Banu does wire wall hangings and gets Rs 20 (USD 0.28) per one hanging. Since she is a young mom, she can only do 2-3 hangings per day. That means she gets about $0.60 a day for her hard work. When asked about her income, Sheerin says: “I am getting little, and I am doing my best. I work hard to give my kids the essentials. I am their mother and father.”
Working to Make Ends Meet
“Most of the time, I can’t afford to provide my children with simple rice and daal (lentils) two times a day. Sometimes we break plain bread into boiled water and eat that. Mostly, bread and tea is our normal diet.”
To keep warm, the family burns waste plastic and paper, at massive risk to their health. When winter then arrives, and it’s even more difficult for the family to work, there’s no nutritious food and no safe means to keep warm. Cold and hungry, the children then catch pneumonia.
Sheerin Banu said, “Some of the time, my neighbors and relatives help us, but it is not enough to buy nutritious food. A few days before Eid, I couldn’t find work. The tears fell from my eyes, and I worried about feeding my children.”
A Light At the End of the Tunnel
Sheerin Banu heard about our Udhiyah (Qurbani) program through her neighbor. She became one of our beneficiaries.
“If we did not have this Udhiyah meat, we would have spent the Eid day without any meat because we cannot afford it. My family sends thanks to the donors who gifted us this meat. May God reward them all and increase their wealth, to assist all the poor people in the world.
“From the Udhiyah meat, I made three to four different dishes. It made our Eid very special. I want to convey my prayers to the donors supporting us without getting anything in return but our best wishes.
“Zakat Foundation has helped me feed my children with good food, and I am delighted to receive the meat pack. After many days the children could smell the aroma of meat cooking again and feel full. Their regular meals didn’t make them feel full ever. The children are pleased, they laughed, and they played. I cooked Eid meat and gave some meat to my parents too.
May the divine blessings of Allah bring you hope, faith, and joy on Eid al-Adha and forever.
Happy Eid al-Adha!”
If you would like to donate to our Udhiyah program you can do so here.