By: Shazia Yousuf
With the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan, we see the storming of billboards all over the city with mouth watering Iftari deals. “Mc Donald’s Fast and Feast”, “(W)holy Chicken (at Nando’s)”, “All you can eat deals” and tons of other “Buy one get one free” meal offers swarm the billboards all across. With the advent of Ramadan, the entire country seems to be invaded by these inviting meal deals that tempt you to go out and spend money as if there will be no more food offers after Ramadan, or people would stop eating once the month of Ramadan is over.
This food wasted in the garbage could actually be so sacred for a person who has not seen the face of food in a long time. According to Mahatama Gandhi:“To a hungry man, a piece of bread is the face of God.”
Food is the most fundamental expectation and the right of every human being on the face of this earth. Yet there are millions of people in this world who wonder if they would be able to survive the next day. With the arrival of the month of Ramadan, many people continue with their day long fast for infinite number of days as they have nothing to open or keep their fast with.According to a report prepared by the UN’s World Food Program, “every 10 seconds, we lose a child to hunger and this is more than the deaths caused by malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis combined”.
If we take a look at our own country, there is food insecurity all across Pakistan due to increase in global food prices, natural disasters and frequent political crisis. A report prepared by the WFP suggests that the number of undernourished Pakistanis has increased from 78 million in 2005-2006 to 96 million by the end of 2010.Josette Sheeran, the head of the WFP, talks about why, in a world with enough food for everyone, people still go hungry, die of starvation, use food as a weapon of war. According to her, there's a silent Tsunami of hunger as food prices have increased drastically. Her vision: "Food is one issue that cannot be solved person by person. We have to stand together."
How can we help? The easiest way is to be aware, and spread awareness among others. We need to realize that millions within our country and outside need our help.We can start with cutting down our expenses. Instead of spending on Iftari deals and buffets, try and look for “Ramadan Iftari Programs” that are being held for feeding needy who do not ask for help. There are many big and small organizations that have taken up this task.
Take up the responsibility of feeding and clothing families associated with those who work for us. Put your zakat (charity) funds to the best possible use. Evaluate your zakat fund accurately to make sure you spend the exact and correct amount on those who deserve it.You can help by donating online, donating via text message, taking online quizzes, and creating awareness by spreading the word on social media and among friends. Bloggers could help by adding a banner on their blog.
So let’s make a deal – The Ramadan Deal. Be conscious, be aware and believe. Believe in the “Power of giving”. Giving heals. It cures you from within. It purifies the soul if done with a selfless attitude. We must also not forget:“Alms fall first onto God’s hands, before reaching the hands of the needy”.
Let’s indulge in the Ramadan deal!