KARACHI – For Ramadan, hundreds of volunteers from the community set-up tables and dastarkhans with meals at different points of Karachi’s main University Road and footpaths for thousands who will break their fast at the time of maghrib.
Every Ramadan, hundreds of stalls are set up at the corners of city roads by relief organisations, and local residents where homeless people, vendors, rickshaw and taxi drivers, labourers, beggars and even those who do not fast are served free food and drinks for the whole month.
Two decades ago a few individuals started to feed needy people in Kashmir which has now become a tradition adopted by scores of other cities including the capital Islamabad, where roadside iftar stalls feed tens of thousands of people during Ramadan.
“This is my sixth year to break the fast in Karachi, mostly we cannot reach home on time due to traffic jams and scanty transport, at least in Ramadan we can fill our stomachs,” said an Afghan refugee.
One of the organisers, said he, together with his friends, philanthropists, shopkeepers in the area and even common citizens have been providing free iftar meals for the last 20 years for the holy month of Ramadan.
“We do not have to run here and there for finances. A month before (Ramadan), we simply start to chip in and by the end of the month, we have plenty of funds to manage this all,” he said, adding:
“It has become a set tradition now. People trust us, and hand over huge amounts even without disclosing their names.”
“Allah has blessed us with everything. It’s our duty to serve and help his creation. This is the real message of Ramadan,” said a volunteer.
Darul Ihsan Media Desk