Ramzan under lockdown: the indomitable spirit of the Walled City.

Ramsan is a month where everyone is watching Old Delhi. From holiday shops to restaurants that come alive at night, Old Delhi is one of the places where you can experience a holiday in all its splendour. But this Ramsan, who starts at midnight between now and tomorrow, will tell a different story. Because of the blockage, take all precautions and stay in the room. This means that no common and generous altar is spread with friends. How do the residents think they’ll get the holy month? Well, it starts with realizing the true spirit of Ramsan – helping those who need it most.

We have produced kits with dry rations, dates and fruit. These are foods with which believers violate their fasts. We are in an ongoing process of fundraising for these families. We also meet people who refuse to accept free kits; for them we have proposed a subsidized rate. We also encourage everyone to pray from home, says Abu Sufiyan, member of the Delhi Youth Care Association.

Because freedom of movement is limited and many facilities within the walled city are completely closed off, the residents help the migrant workers who live in their area. Mohammad Iftikhar, owner of Al Amaan Foods, helped his employees and some of their friends with food and shelter. Besides, he says: Since the restaurant is closed, we will try to prepare as many dishes as possible at home and make them available to everyone who needs them.

A photo of Chitley Kabar Bazaar taken in 2019 during the Ramsan period shows that even at dawn the bazaar is still crawling with buyers.
Photo: Gokul U.S./Hindustan Times

Mohammad Naved, whose family has been making sweets in Matya Mahal for over 80 years, settles in the bazaars of Chawri and Churi Valan to distribute rations and food. Many of the homeless we used to feed have been quarantined. That’s why we’ve focused our attention on those we can find in our region, he said.

Read: Oath of Mubarak: Song of the walled city

Some volunteers were trained by small teams and spread to other parts of the city. Our diet, which consists of 10 kg of Atta (wheat flour), 5 kg of rice, 5 litres of oil, 3 kg of sugar, legumes, salt and dried oils, can feed a family for a month. Our teams have already stored them in their regions, including Shakurpur Basti, Sadar Bazaar and others, said Asim Hussain, president of the Red Fort Bazaar Store Owners Association. Special Iftaar kits, which contain packages of names (dry snacks), soft drinks, dates, bananas and samosas, are also distributed daily by your team.

Interaction with Etty Bali @Balinsky.

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