Hyderabad : It's a novel way of reaching out to people. Scores of individuals and NGOs are doing their bit to render succour to the victims of recent floods in Hyderabad. However, Safa Baitul Maal (SBM), a city based charity organisation, helped out the affected persons in a unique way. It organised a three day free shopping mela where the distressed families picked up things of their choice.
Pearls Garden, a wedding hall on the Balapur road near Hafizbaba Nagar, was a beehive of activity for the last three days. Hundreds of persons descended here to acquire household articles. Instead of providing money to the needy, the SBM chose to hand over tokens worth Rs. 10000 and Rs. 5000 to the flood victims depending on the severity of damage suffered by them. The affected families were identified after a detailed survey conducted in the rain ravaged parts of the city. At the shopping centre, which concluded on Friday, people were seen picking up whatever they wanted worth the token in their hands.
"There are 170 different articles on display here all worth Rs. 50 lakh. From ration to utensils, kitchen sets, clothes, blankets everything is available here. Instead of thrusting a relief package we have left it to the affected families to take things as per their requirement", said Ghyas Ahmed Rashadi of SBM.
Many women who turned up at the shopping centre were seen picking up mats, bed sheets, blankets while some went for provisions and a few for buckets, mugs and plates. "Instead of taking what is given it is better to acquire things you need most', remarked Shaheen, a women 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 planned to be organised on November 4 and the place will be announced shortly. Pooling its own resources along with the money donated by the philanthropists, SBM purchased different household articles. "Our intention is to ensure that the needy get what they want most", Mr. Rashadi said.
Outreach programmes surely benefit communities.