While torrential rains triggered massive floods and mudslides damaging the southern states of Karnataka and Kerala in 2018-19, students from a Madrasa in Bengaluru ‘Hira Moral School (HMS)’ have donated money for affected people and restoration of houses.
Setting an example for many people, the students from Hira Moral School, have donated around 13 lakhs to the people affected by severe floods and reconstruction of houses in both states. With a strength of nearly 600 students, ranging from L.K.G to VII std, all the students have put sincere efforts to collect the amount and provide relief to these affected and displaced people.
Talking to THG, HMS Secretary Mohammed Shamsheer said, the students were really concerned about the victims and wanted to help them in every possible way. However, sitting in Bengaluru, a very safe place protected from natural disasters, they couldn’t do much. They were curious to know what could do to help those affected people. Therefore, they came up with the idea of collecting money and donating it.
“In the classroom, the teacher explained about the floods of Karnataka and Kerala, which were severely hit. The students were really disturbed hearing about how bad people were traumatized. Being in Bengaluru, a very safe place protected from natural disasters, they couldn’t do much. They had a very detailed discussion and started asking what they could do to help. And because we can’t do much sitting here, the students initially came up with ideas for collecting some money and donating it to them.”
Mr. Shamsheer said they had not expected that such a huge amount would be collected. As it all started with small numbers, by giving cards to students, asking them to take it to their hometowns when they go for vacation and explain about their initiative to family, friends and nearby people. That vacation the kids went home with cards and started collecting whatever possible amount from Rs.10 to Rs.100.
“Meanwhile, we planned a two-day field trip to Coorg in December 2019, just to show that how the floods had affected everyone. We visited the landslide areas, families who were affected during the floods. The kids spoke to these families and were deeply moved. Instead of seeing all the tourist attractions, they visited all these places, including the dialysis centers, old-age homes, etc. We had a stirring experience there, which helped the students to go back and explain the situation to their elders,“ he added.
After returning from the trip, the students from HMS accumulated around 13 lakhs and decided to help both the states as they had enough money. “We helped probably in the reconstruction of two houses in Karnataka and one in Kerala. But the fund wasn’t sufficient, so we joined hands with another sister organization called HWH charitable foundation. While we are an educational institution, this charitable trust helped us identify the families, including what has to be done, and made all arrangements for donating. That’s how we got into this”
They have completed the reconstruction of two houses in Coorg district on Friday, while the one in Kerala’s Wayanad is still under construction.
Mr. Shamsheer says, “It was a good experience and the way in which the kids have taken it so seriously, we were so amazed. They were so touched and fully into it. Usually these kind of things of happen in any school, you can go and say that they were flood victims and everyone will help. But here the students have discussed it in class, went on a field trip to the affected areas. Therefore, collected and donated money, we were so proud of them.”
Mohammed A Madikeri, who runs an orphanage in Kodagu said, small kids from Madrasa came there in a bus with their teachers and donated to all affected families, including orphanages. “They saw the victims and asked their teachers what they can do to help. With the guidance of their teacher, they collected money from family and friends. They donated 10 lakhs to reconstruct a home in Kodagu and 3 lakhs to Kerala. And finally, on Friday, the home was reconstructed.”
All I want to say is that, he said adding, “Every day the politicians and several people are questioning, what they teach in Madrasa? This is what they teach, moral education and values. Hence the students have also shown everyone what they teach in a Madrasa,” Madikeri noted.
In 2018-19, hundreds of people have been killed and lakhs displaced after monsoon rains battered Karnataka and Kerala, which are among the worst-hit states. According to a report by Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre on August 14, 2019, there were 61 deaths, while several others remained missing. Nearly 7 lakh people were evacuated from their homes, with around 60,000 houses damaged partially or completely. And in Kerala, more than 85 people have been killed due to floods and over two lakh people are in relief camps.