Hyderabad: Several NGOs and individuals in the city are doing their bit to help the flood-affected families, whether it is providing food, clothing, or essential items. Safa Baitul Maal (SBM), a city-based charity organisation, has found a novel way to help the victims. It organised a three-day free shopping mela where the distressed families could pick items they wanted.

Pearls Garden, a wedding hall on the Balapur road near Hafizbaba Nagar, was a beehive of activity for the last three days. Hundreds of people descended here to acquire household articles, clothes, and blankets. Instead of providing money to the needy, the SBM chose to hand over tokens worth Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 5,000 to the flood victims depending on the severity of the damages they had suffered.

The affected families were identified after a detailed survey conducted in the rain -ravaged parts of the city.

Ghyas Ahmed Rashadi of SBM said, "There are 170 different articles on display here all worth Rs. 50 lakh. From ration to utensils, clothes, and blankets everything is available here. Instead of handing a relief package, we left it to the affected families to decide what they wanted."

Many women turned up for the event and were seen picking up mats, bedsheets, and blankets while some picked up provisions and buckets, mugs, and plates. "Instead of taking what is given, it is better to take things you need most," said Shaheen from Hafizbaba Nagar, clutching a brand new cooker.

More such shopping melas are in the offing in the coming days in the rain-affected areas. The next shopping mela is scheduled for 4 November. The venue will be announced shortly. Pooling its own resources along with the money donated by philanthropists, SBM purchased different household articles. "Our intention is to ensure that the needy get what they want," Mr. Rashadi said.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with NewsMeter. An alumnus of the University of Hyderabad and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also a contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, consumer, health, human interest and data stories. You can follow Sumit on Twitter @sumitjha__

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