ACTNews, BUNER, GORKHA, TRINCOMALEE – Perhaps, many of us do not really pay attention to the vast size of Asia: how the enormous size of this continent has given it rich natural resources, biodiversity, and cultures.
Such diversity can be seen in south Asia, from Pamir mountain in the north to Sri Lanka and its coastal areas in the south. For thousands of years, civilizations have come and gone, shaping the multicultural South Asian society. Like other societies, South Asian countries also have their own problems, from poverty, political instability, to natural disasters. Those who are affected by these problems couldn’t enjoy the Eid-ul-Adha celebration as much as others do in 2017.
Daggar village in Buner district, Pakistan is one of the examples. Its Muslim majority population coexist peacefully with other religious communities. It is located in a valley amid enormous mountains. It is almost like paradise on earth, if only it wasn’t under the threat of terrorism.
“Since 2010, the government has been hunting terrorists around the village. Many acts of terrorism have put fear in the villagers’ hearts, and the military personnel deployed by the government make them afraid even more,” stated Mohammed Anwar, an Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) partners in Pakistan.
Apart from terrorism, Daggar villagers are also crippled by poverty. Many children have to drop out from school, and many adults do not have steady source of income. The economi og Daggar depends on humanitarian relief.
A different story comes from Nepal. In the midst of eight mountains in Nepal lies a district named Gorkha. It is the home of the legendary Gurkha soldiers. The scenic beauty of Gorkha has attracted thousands of tourists to climb the mountains and visit the temples there.
April 25th 2015 marks an unfortunate event that destroyed Gorkha. The town became the center of the earthquake that killed 9,000 people and wounded 22,000 others. Gorkha was grieving, including Taple village, where 80% of the population are Muslims.
“After the earthquake, mosques, madrasas, and houses were destroyed. They did receive aid from the government, but the new buildings in the village aren’t really good,” said Suman Peasad Neupane from Gorkha.
Agriculture was the main source of income in Taple village. Unfortunately, the impact of the earthquake still can be seen in 2017; many farmlands were damaged. The geographical condition of Taple village also makes it vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquake, flood, and landsline. This condition makes it even more difficult for the villagers to make a living.
The last story comes from Trincomalee district in Sri Lanka. Located on the east side of the country near the Indian ocean, the majority of its villagers work mainly as fishermen.
7Living close to exotic beaches with warm climate and plenty of food should bring happiness to its local population. Unfortunately, Trincomalee had to witness ethnic conflicts. After three decades, tension is still high in the society. Consequently, the local inhabitants have to be put under surveillance and restriction. Natural disasters like tsunami, flood, and cyclones have also made life worse for the locals. The worst of them was the 2014 flood that affected 15,000 families.
Natural disasters that hit every year have led to the high number of evacuees in the district. The unemployment rate in the region is the highest in Sri Lanka. Education and medical services are also limited, affecting the lives of many of its inhabitants, especially women and children.
This saddening phenomenon was told by Thoufeek Mohamed Jarook, an ACT partner in Sri Lanka. “The women have to do everything alone, from doing domestic works, feeding their families, taking care of children’s education, and looking for clean water in faraway locations.
Eid-ul-Adha, spreading happiness to the vulnerable
In Buner district in Pakistan, Dorkha district in Nepal, and Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, we can see groups of people who are very vulnerable to the dynamics of the social and geographical condition in each region. These groups, who are mostly Muslims, depends on humanitarian aid to survive. It doesn’t occur to them to eat meat and celebrate Eid-ul-Adha.
By the Grace of Allah, in Eid-ul-Adha 2017 (1438 AH), Global Qurban and its partners visited these three south Asian countries. The qurbani meat packages distributed in Pakistan can alleviate the sufferings of Daggar villagers in Buner districts. Fresh pieces of beef were sent to the neediest, putting smiles on their faces.
“Thank you very much,” said one of Daggar villagers upon receiving the qurbani package.
In Taple village in Gorkha district, Nepal, two cows were sacrificed to give meat packages to approximately 300 people afflicted by the earthquake. The meat packages were also delivered to madrasas for the students who seek knowledge there. They celebrated the Eid-ul-Adha with feast and joyful laughter.
“Our teacher in the madrasa is very nice. He brought 72 of us qurbani meat to be eaten together. I am very happy to stay in this madrasa and to be able to eat meat this year. Thank you, ACT,” said Sahid Husain (13) cheerfully.
In the last location in Sri Lanka, Global Qurban visited Kalladivettuwan and Solaivettuwan village. Qurbani meat packages were given to 400 villagers in these two villages.
In less than two months, the moment of Eid-ul-Adha will be here again. Global Qurban is once again preparing to dedicate the best qurbani throughout Indonesia and the world, including the needy in South Asian countries
Picture sources: ACT, Reuters