A tale of communal harmony in WB amid COVID-19 crisis

A tale of communal harmony in West Bengal during coronavirus crisis

Elderly impoverished couple at Bhangar in West Bengal's South 24 Paraganas district. (DH Photo)

At a time when the country is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, a heartwarming incident of communal harmony has come to the notice in the Bhangar area of West Bengal’s South 24 Paaraganas district. Local Muslim youths have come to the aid of an impoverished elderly couple facing starvation.

Purnendusekhar Mukhopadhyay and his wife Lalitbala Mukhopadhyay have been living in a small hut near a semi-forested area in Bhangar II block for the last few years. After they were allegedly driven out of their home by their son, Mukhopaduay, a priest, was earning is livelihood by performing pujas in the nearby areas.

But public transport stopped functioning due to the lockdown, Mukhopadhyay was unable to earn his livelihood. He also has poor vision in due to cataract. His wife suffers from Arthritis.

“I used to earn my living by performing pujas in the nearby areas. But with the lockdown, all that has stooped. I have no other means of earning and was barely surviving eating puffed rice with my wife,” said Mukhopadhyay.

 

However, when some local Muslim youths came to know of their suffering they were determined to help them. Mofizul Molla, Ziaul Molla, Azan Ali along with their friends are engaged in loading and unloading commodities from trucks. Their earning have also stopped due to the lockdown,

But despite their own hardship, they not only gave Rs. 500 to the elderly couple but also raised about Rs 1500 from their friends to buy food grains, vegetables and other edibles for them.

“I could barely hold back tears after seeing their condition. We have helped them to the best of our abilities and urged local administration to help them,” said Ziaul.

Fortunately for Mukhopadhyay and his wife, the local administration came to their aid soon after the supplies given to them by theyouths ran out.

“All we can give them (the youths) is our gratitude,” said Mukhopadhyay.