Irfan from Sharjah volunteered to collect and pack stuff for relief camps in Kerala
When 14-year-old Irfan Mohammed first heard about the floods in Kerala he did not fathom the extent of damage it had created. He had just returned from a vacation from his native town in Beypore, in Kozhikode, where the rains had fortunately caused only minor issues.
‘But the neighbouring city Palazhi was badly hit. The Chaliar river near my village was in spate. Scores of families had been shifted from area. Since our village was not affected much, they organised several relief camps there,’ he says. Keen to help in some way, the 9th grader from Our Own English High School, Sharjah, decided to do something for those affected. He and his father Ismayil approached a local charity Kerala Muslim Cultural Center in Dubai and contributed as much relief material as they could gather in a short time. That’s not all. They remained all day and night at the centre volunteering to sort and pack all the stuff for camps in Kerala. ‘It was a significant moment for me to be involved in the spirit of giving. I am glad I could do my small bit to help in such a major disaster,’ he says.
The experience at the centre, he says, taught him two big life lessons. ‘First, anything can happen at any time but we must stand strong, like the people of Kerala did, and refuse to fall.
‘The second is that we must have a kind heart to help others even when our own life is at risk. If the people of Kerala did not help each other out in this devastating calamity, the death toll would have been in thousands. Their spirit of unity has become a hallmark for the whole world to learn from.’