A Muslim woman from Jammu and Kashmir has donated her savings of Rs 5 lakh, meant for the Hajj pilgrimage, to the RSS-affiliated ‘Sewa Bharati’ after apparently being “impressed with the welfare work” done by the outfit amid the lockdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Khalida Begum, 87, who saved Rs 5 lakh for Hajj, was forced to defer her plans for the pilgrimage due to the lockdown.
Hajj is the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the holiest city of Muslims. “Khalida Begum ji was impressed with the welfare work done by the Sewa Bharati in Jammu and Kashmir during the tough time the country is passing through due to sudden outbreak of COVID-19 and decided to donate Rs 5 lakh to the organisation,” Arun Anand, head of RSS media wing Indraprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra (IVSK), said.
The woman wants that this money should be used by the community service organisation Sewa Bharati for the poor and the needy in Jammu and Kashmir. She had saved this amount for performing Hajj, plans for which she deferred due to the present situation, Anand said. “Khalida Begum ji was among the first few women in Jammu and Kashmir who got educated in a convent. She is the daughter-in-law of Colonel Peer Mohd Khan, who was president of the Jana Sangh,” he said.
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Jana Sangh was also an associate of RSS and later became the Bharatiya Janata Party. Anand said despite her age, she had been very active in welfare works for the women and the downtrodden in Jammu and Kashmir. Her son, Farooq Khan, a retired IPS officer, is presently serving as an adviser to the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor.
Meanwhile, since the lockdown was announced, Sewa Bharati volunteers across the country have been providing food and other essential items to the needy. The Sangh-affiliate’s volunteers were seen on Saturday managing crowd and providing food to them at the Anand Vihar bus terminal in Delhi.