UPDATE, 26th December, 2017
Leicester Bohras distributed food from their FMB kitchen and winter clothing to the homeless and rough sleepers on Boxing Day.
More photos in gallery.
Although a sad indictment of the state of one the world’s richest nations and a poor commentary on our world today; it nevertheless presents an opportunity for the best in people to come out. In this vein, Leicester Dawoodi Bohras set out to do a little something over the chilly Christmas period when the vulnerable are most in need.
Volunteers aged from five to seventy-three came together to distribute food prepared in the community’s kitchen. Food and warm accessories such as hats and gloves were packed and given out at a local homeless shelter before individuals took to the streets to gift them direct to rough sleepers in the city.
It was a warming feeling to provide a little token to these unfortunate individuals. May they find permanent shelter and good fortune soon.
UPDATE, 23rd December, 2017
Diabetes awareness walks were organized across India today with thousands participating. Health awareness presentations focused on diet, exercise and controlling blood sugar to minimize the risk of diabetes and its effects.
UPDATE, 23rd December, 2017
Syedna’sTUS upliftment drive has focused on 6 areas namely;
General welfare inquiry
Natural (Asian or squatting) style WC conversion
Youngsters readying for faith initiation
Medical check especially diabetes.
In all of these the objective is improve the current health and cultural outlook of the individual and the household. This ranges from checks for medical ailments, specifically diabetes; improvement in living standards and poor condition homes, encouraging the replacement of western style commodes to the more natural squatting style of Asian ones, match-making and marriages for eligible youngsters and other unmarried and preparing youngsters for adult religious life.
Importantly, on each of the five evenings during the drive there are educational lectures – covering each topic. These convey the various spiritual and physical benefits that are inherent in the various aspects of this year’s drive. This has meant that the community is given an insight into the underlying advantages to these particular initiatives. Thus the overall reaction of the community has been enthusiastic and positive in keeping with Syedna’sTUS intent to uplift standards and improve both physical and mental well-being.
UPDATE, 21st December, 2017
The Afternoon Despatch & Courier is one of a number of Indian dailies to pick up on the annual ‘Upliftment’ drive by the Bohras which aims to carry out Syedna’sTUS deeply felt to desire to improve the living standards of the less privileged in the community.
Dawoodi Bohras come together to help others in five-day ‘Upliftment’ drive The annual Upliftment Drive aims to help thousands of families in over 650 towns and cities across India and internationally.
The health and vibrancy of a society are determined by the universal availability and accessibility to basic needs – food, healthcare, education, potable water, sanitation and affordable housing. In keeping with these socio-economic essentials, the Dawoodi Bohra community has come together to begin its third annual five-day Upliftment Drive.
The five-day drive, starting on the December 21 aims to improve the well-being of members of the community as well as society at large. Preparations began in earnest from the Prophet Mohammed’s SAW birthday, which was celebrated last month; his teachings regarding helping the less fortunate and showing kindness to others lie at the heart of this drive. “The various initiatives include a worldwide food distribution drive for the under-privileged, the organization of free medical camps to check for elevated blood pressure and diabetes, vaccinations and eye and dental check-ups. It is perhaps fortuitous that the days of this Upliftment drive come at the same time as when many people throughout the world are celebrating their own season of giving and spreading goodwill,” an official said.
More than 21,000 community officials and members comprising of clergy and community officials, doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, businessmen, homemakers, and students will set out for over 450 towns and cities across India and 200 cities outside the country. Many individuals have flown into the country specifically for this purpose. Students and faculty of the community’s primary educational institute, Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, form the largest contingent of this volunteer group. Together, they will look into the basic needs of the communities, particularly those aspects emphasized by His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, the 53rd al-Dai al-Mutlaq and head of the Dawoodi Bohra community, in his sermons and travels.
In a recent sermon in Mumbai on the occasion of the death anniversary of his father, His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS encouraged community members to take out time to volunteer in the upliftment drive, specifically asking the community’s businessmen and professionals to build and provide homes for those who do not have the means to do so themselves. In addition, he spoke of the need for greater awareness regarding sanitation and highlighted the need for personal counselling for younger generations.
“The Upliftment drive is a direct result of His Holiness’s travels to various cities and villages where he has seen firsthand the unsuitable living conditions of some members of society,” shared the community spokesperson.
“For instance, the Upliftment drive will not only cover major cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Udaipur, Chennai and Indore but also smaller towns and villages such as Ratlam, Rampura, Dungra, Mehegnagar and Sidhpur among others”, he added.
A mobile app has been especially developed to send instructions to volunteers and to enable a robust network and feedback system to ensure help is sent where it is required most. This will also help in the required follow-up after the completion of the five-day drive.
Welfare and food drive begins, December 2017
It is now an annual and, in many ways, perennial collective effort; the worldwide ‘Upliftment’ programs intended to improve the welfare of community members as well as fellow citizens. The program of initiatives began with food distribution and medical camps with the onset of Milad al-Nabi (birthday of the Prophet MohammedSA and will continue formally until the commemoration of the birthday of the late Dr Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA 40 days later. The core effort will cover five days from the commemoration of the milad of Imam ul ZamanAS on the 4th of Rabiul Aakhar to the 7th (21st to 25th December this year).
This year’s Upliftment will again see thousands of dawat’s civil servants and Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah students and faculty, priests, architects, doctors and other professionals fanning out across villages, towns and cities to inquire, assess and act on welfare issues affecting the community. Matters covered will include residential difficulties, food security, health matters such as diabetes and marriage issues for eligible youngsters all of which have been emphasised heavily by Syedna Mufaddal SaifuddinTUS in his sermons and visits across and around the world.
Since Milad al-Nabi several towns in cities have seen medical camps to check for common ailments such as diabetes while food distribution to the under-privileged has also started in earnest. All jamaats have been instructed to implement these health and food provision initiatives and are expected to do so enthusiastically over the coming weeks.
Medical camps are being organized by the community’s Burhani Medical Idara and the Syedna Taher Saifuddin Memorial Foundation among others. They are screening patients for all manner of problems with blood checks, pressure check, BMI, diabetes and children’s vaccinations being among the more common issues attended to.
At the Mother Theresa Old People’s Home in Nasik food was taken on Friday. The patrons were delighted by the various varieties of food that was offered to them and the amil and community members with him were touched by their reaction to this small gesture. Around 100 patrons were given the meals which included both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. There was also the sweet-dish ghulab jaamun. The food was also provided to the nuns and staff of the home. Food distribution among the less-privileged has also been reported from various Indian towns and cities as well as elsewhere such as Boston jamaat’s food packaging initiative in the US.