Millions in Kashmir are suffering after a prolonged curfew has led to a humanitarian crisis in the region. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have been confined to their homes with minimal access to life-saving medicine, food and daily essentials: While most shops are closed down, those who manage to open do so only for a short period of time. The shortage of supply has led to inflated prices, especially for baby food & milk and medicines to treat a large number of ill & injured people. With business standing still & wages not being paid, the people of Kashmir are in desperate need of support on a large scale. Al-Mustafa Welfare Trust who is already on the ground helping people has successfully delivered a large international convoy project to ensure that a maximum number of people have been reached.
The Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, Baroness Dorothy Thornhill, Lord Hussain, Mosques across the UK & many more who have joined with us to deliver the large aid convoy organised by Al-Mustafa Welfare Trust in partnership with:
Our Aid Convoy reached Chakothi LoC on the 26th October 2019 and was handed over to the Pakistan Red Crescent (PRC) under the supervision of the International Rescue Committee.
Due to restrictions related to the current conflict in the region, the Indian Red Cross has not yet been given permission to travel the LoC to collect the aid and distribute it within Jammu & Kashmir. The PRC have promised to continue their efforts with the Indian Red Cross to get the relief aid through to Indian occupied Kashmir for the children & families affected by the crisis.
Find out more about the journey of our Kashmir Convoy Project and our international delegation which included Lord Qurban Hussain, Baroness Dorothy Thornhill, Councillor Adriana Gheorghe, Humanitarian Claudia-Elena Manolache as well as activists Ayyub Thakur & Shaista Safi.
"Whoever helps ease one in difficulty, Allah will make it easy for him in this world and the Hereafter. Allah helps the servant as long as he helps his brother". (Sahi Muslim 2699).
Our local team in Jammu & Kashmir has been on the grounds in the surrounding areas of Srinagar and helping to distribute food packs and medicine to the people who need it most. We are able to source products from local suppliers directly and distribute them locally to the families in need.
We have arranged local collection points where people can pick-up their aid pack during the two-hour time period when the curfew is released. Alternatively, if families are not able to travel for collection, our team would deliver the goods directly to their door.
We called on all NGOs, Community Representatives and Friends to accompany us on our purely humanitarian mission as we departed from the UK to deliver aid to those affected by the conflict. Our special humanitarian convoy consisted of several trucks loaded with life-saving food, water and medicine and departed from the Secretariat in Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir on Saturday 26th October 2019.
We headed towards the village of Chakothi (LoC). The convoy was accompanied by the UK Al-Mustafa Response team, National & International Media, International Observers, Human Rights Organisations and UK Muslim Community Representatives.
In addition the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir also joined us with Baroness Dorothy Thornhill, Lord Hussain including our partnership with Red Cross.
The current curfew is a regulation requiring the residents of Jammu & Kashmir to remain indoors for most of the day. Their outside access is heavily restricted and controlled by military forces. With all business coming to a standstill people do not have any financial income as they have not been paid any salaries for months. The restriction of movement also caused a shortage of food & medicine as most shops remain closed. This shortage in supply led to a massive increase in prices, making it very difficult for poor families to purchase essential food item & medicine.
No, they can’t carry day to day tasks as the curfew does not allow people to exit their houses for most of the day. People typically only receive limited timeslots in the day where a family representative can go outside for essential tasks such as buying food & household essentials if they can afford them.
During certain hours of the day, people are allowed to step outside – usually it’s a 2hour time slot in the morning and 2hours in the evening. Our local team performs our aid work during these hours.
We have a warehouse where we keep all of our aid. In relaxed hours of the curfew, people do visit the warehouse one by one to take our relief packs which contain rice, flour, sugar, tea, cooking oil and life-saving medicines.
Since the curfew does not allow for people to gather in one place or travel in a group, our ability to provide aid on a large scale is restricted.
Due to the safety of our team and partners, we are unable to disclose their names and locations. When you make a donation for Kashmir with Al Mustafa Welfare Trust, you can rest assured that your generous donation will be delivered as our local team has full knowledge of the area and can safely provide the much-needed food & emergency relief items.
According to our local team on the ground, there is a shortage of almost every essential food & medical item, but baby foods and medicines are running especially low.
Our team is providing aid in Srinagar and Baramulla mainly at the moment but are planning to reach other areas such as Punch and Anantnag.
All of our team members are local resident, and they are connected with suppliers from the rural areas where restrictions on movement are a bit more relaxed. Furthermore, food and medicines are being bought during the relaxed curfew hours and transported to our warehouse.
News about the relief collection point is being spread out by word of mouth, especially targeting areas where poverty levels are the highest and are identifying families which are affected the most by this crisis.
We communicate with our team through landline phone calls. Communication is very restricted, and we only get 5 minutes to talk with the team to give further instructions and receive feedback on the situation on the ground.
As communications are very restricted and no internet nor mobile phone network is available, we are unable to provide feedback at the moment.
Yes, of course, We are calling on NGOs, Community Representatives, Individuals donors, Mosque Representatives and Friends to accompany us on our purely humanitarian mission as we depart from the UK to deliver aid to those affected by the conflict.
Being on the ground, we realised that aid on a more substantial scale is needed so we decided that we should take action. We are working on getting approvals from official bodies to take our convey from Azad Kashmir and to deliver across the border to reach our brothers and sister in Jammu and Kashmir. We have already managed to get approval from the Prime Minister of Azad Jammu & Kashmir who, in support of our project, will also accompany us to deliver the convoy.
We are very positive that we would get approvals from all official bodies to deliver much-awaited and purely humanitarian convey. However as political tensions are high and unpredictable, there is always a chance that the project will not be delivered as planned. Our team has a put an alternative plan in place for that scenario: In the worst-case scenario, if our convoy is not able to get through to Jammu & Kashmir, we will deliver our aid to the people living in the heavily militarized frontier area of the Line Of Control (LoC) and have been affected by recent war-like situation within the area. We will additionally deliver aid to refugee camps as well as the most affected people by the recent Kashmir earthquake.
No, it is purely a humanitarian effort for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.