Wall of Kindness
By Mudasir Ahmad Gori
There is a new spree these days going on in Kashmir; it is called Wall of Kindness. While some people admit and acknowledge the new initiative, there are others who believe it is used to publicize and advertise their respective organizations.
It would be premature to say which of the two narratives is valid or vice versa. However, we need to understand certain things. I will try to put both narratives in the frame and leave it to you to decide what you can make out of it.
So firstly I will speak in favour of it. Donating clothes, books, boots, or other consumable items if they get used by a needy, is indeed a kind act. Nevertheless, these people, who have nothing to eat, nothing to wear, get a chance to use them.
This way any poor fellows can survive if the intention behind the act is genuine. People belonging to a poor community can get the upliftment somehow. These clothes anyhow used even can also help those, who have nothing to put on. The boots will certainly give comfort to the barefoot. The nippy that we experience in Kashmir is bone chilling. Therefore, one can easily understand the importance of these donated clothes. It’s not all about clothes. It’s about all other things that these needy people badly require, maybe food, maybe books, presuming a boy is not able to afford books or stationary for his/ her studies, if donated books and stationery items help them to continue their studies that way, then it must be appreciated.
The initiative whoever started must be appreciated in the sense that there are people who have a concern for the society, which they are a part of. This has contributed to the civic sense among people also. It again tantamounts to social harmony which is in fact very important and is the need of the hour.
Given the fact that we have created ten feet long walls around our houses, we do not know about our neighbours. The same neighbours about whom our beloved Prophet Mohammad (saw) said that “I felt when Almighty Allah spoke to me about the rights of neighbour, I had an impression that we may have to shelve out a share of our properties with them”. One can easily understand the essence of social harmony here. Again it is not about neighbours only but about the needy ones that are around our vicinity. It is our duty to help them. The point is that these walls of kindness being organized in towns may be of help in the sense that many people from different vicinities can come and collect the required things. It is even a little more difficult to have a door to door access therefore, it may be taken as a novel initiative for helping out people. Here I must admit and suggest that these walls of kindness need not be limited to District level only, they need to be narrowed done to town levels, block levels and certainly to the village level.
Now coming to the other part of it, this really sounds strange that if we do a kind act do we need its cognizance? Is it necessary to mention the name of the organisation that is working? It must be done only with the intention to please Allah and to help needy people. However, if we are really concerned, why should we donate the used products? Why not buy them new clothes.
Why not get them new books. There is a possibility that some may try to earn a fame on the pretext of the wall of kindness. In some of the cases I have come across one of the working NGO stating that they have received bed sheets with blood clots, some books half torn and no doubt some boots which are not useable. Hence many tattered things people donate certainly not to help people but to lessen the burden of their garbage that has been stored in their respective homes for ages, which actually further humiliates the needy people instead of helping them.
Though they take these things because they believe that something is better than nothing. This must not be aimed to highlight the name of the donor or the organization. You do an act of kindness and do not expect anything in reward. Just do it for the sake of Allah and seek his reward only.
Summing up I can say that if the intention is good then there is nothing wrong with a wall of kindness. In fact, there must be many walls like this, a wall of charity everywhere. But if you want to publicize yourself, it certainly doesn’t serve the said purpose then. What more, people can at least wash the used clothes, iron them and donate them instead of unwashed and torn things. Here comes the part of these organizations, they must get these things repaired, books bound and clothes washed.
Lastly, who will set the standard to differentiate whether it is done as an act of kindness or simply advertisement? More so how do we get to know about the intentions of the people, in fact, that’s where the point lies. We are no one to award certificates of kindness or advertisement; it must be left to God just the way I leave it now to you to decide about the wall of kindness.
(The writer is a research scholar and can be reached at [email protected])