It was heartbreaking to see a post on Aljazeerah which reads that Modi sought forgiveness from India’s poor masses after the 21-day lockdown stung millions, leaving the poor hungry. While it is understood that the lockdown is the best option at this time, Modi was accused of inadequate planning.
“We will die of walking and starving before getting killed by corona,” said migrant worker Madhav Raj, 28, as he walked along the road in Uttar Pradesh.
This pathetic tale is the same with African countries, that is if they do not witness something worse. Yesterday, President Buhari announced that some certain areas will be under lockdown to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to be at home without starving.
While the Federal and State Governments (Lagos for example) have been trying their best, the truth remains that, providing relief for the overwhelming populace is a task that seems impossible. In a nation, people feed from hand to mouth; the majority of the people have to go out to get what to eat daily.
It follows that if a state like Lagos is on lockdown for a week or two without aid for the poor, the crisis will snowball into an economic avalanche. Hunger might lead people to defy orders, making themselves vulnerable against the interest of the general populace. Defy orders may not just mean leaving home, it could mean an increase in crime.
Amirbee Shaikh Yusuf, 50, a homemaker in Mumbai’s sprawling Dharavi slum said, “We have no food or drink. I am sat down thinking how to feed my family(sic). There is nothing good about this lockdown. People are angry, no one is caring for us.”
CALL TO HUMANITY
Yesterday, we published an article where we mentioned two orphans and our intent to provide relief materials to the extremely poor to compliment the effort of the government. Glory be to God, someone is in talks with the orphans. Read article: https://knowislam.com.ng/stay-at-home-looking-beyond-our-privilege-covid-19-bashir-lucas-samson-lukman/
This is the time that the human race needs to look beyond religion, race, colour, ethnicity and political affiliations. This is the time that humans so desperately need the ‘Mohammedic’ tradition of the distribution of wealth.
From our end, we have suspended all projects where fundraisers are involved until the end of the COVID-19 siege. Whatever we receive would be channelled towards the extremely poor who would find the #stayathome order painful and unbearable without food. We also urge religious organizations to do the same. This is a service to God.
Churches that receive tithes from their members can use these funds to support the government in their respective states by feeding the poor with this money. It is disheartening that following the social distancing order, some pastors have designed new methods of receiving tithes from their followers. We call to save humanity. Feeding a poor person with one’s tithe in this time of hardship is, indeed, a godly service.
In the US, President Donald Trump just signed a $2 trillion financial stimulus package while the UK unleashed a a £330bn package of bailout loans alongside an extraordinary offer of wage subsidies to combat the economic threat the Coronavirus poses. India’s $23.6 billion economic stimulus plan has proved to be insufficient for an overwhelming population with high poverty level.
Though, the government is proving to be trying its best in Nigeria, not totally relying on the government is the wisest idea. With our population and economy, the resources are few.
CENTRALIZATION OF DONATIONS
This morning, we discussed the suggestion raised by President Buhari on number 60 of transcribed speech which reads,
“60. At this point, I will ask that all contributions and donations be coordinated and centralized to ensure efficient and impactful spending. The Presidential Task Force remains the central coordinating body on the COVID-19 response.”
At the end of our discussion, we came to the conclusion that the idea that all contributions and donations be centralized to ensure efficient and impactful spending may undermine effectiveness.
Over the years, Nigerians have mastered the art of getting each other’s backs. Every now and then, fundraisers flood our social media space, with food and medical assistance rendered to people. Perhaps, it would be a more productive approach if this tradition is followed to complement the government along with those who have made donations to the government in billions. Local NGOs know how to reach the locals better.
LET’S DO THIS
This morning, representative of the KNOWISLAM PROJECT team spoke with Aisha Adams of Sidiqqah Kitchen (An NGO that has fed thousands of people across Nigeria with no religious target). We aim to receive donations from those who are willing with a part of the fund going to the NGO, as we believe they will do well in providing relief packages to the extremely poor in Lagos. The remaining funds would be used for the same purposes in different states across the nation.
While many are not Dangote or UBA that will donate Billions to the government, individuals can contact REPUTABLE AND RELIABLE foundations that share the same purpose.
If you are willing to be a part of this through us, kindly send your donations to;
Account Number: 0113094562 UNION BANK
Account Name: KNOWISLAM PROJECT (#12000 was received yesterday)
Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman for The KnowIslam Project (Knowislam.com.ng)