Love Thy Neighbour

In locked down Srinagar, the mother of a child with cancer shares her monthly ration supply with another child battling cancer.

In April 2020, days after Srinagar was under lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shabbir Khanday was wandering in the corridors of the SKIIMS hospital in Srinagar desperately looking for Cuddles’ nutritionists Khushnuma and Rakhia. His 13-year old daughter, Noorena Khanday, who gets treated for Leukaemia at the hospital depends on them for her nutritional counselling and monthly ration. 

Shabbir, a construction worker from Bundgam, Kashmir, has been out of work since August last year. He had to give it up to be in Srinagar for his daughter’s treatment. Now without work, the monthly ration bundle is the only source of food and nutrition for the family. In the chaos of the lockdown, Shabbir had lost his phone, and couldn’t get in touch with the Cuddles team for ration. 

Darzi Shammema, the mother of another cancer patient, Rutba, found Shabbir crying in the hospital parking lot. She heard him out, and without hesitation, parted with half of her daughter Rutba’s ration and gave them to Shabbir for his daughter. 

At Cuddles, we encourage parents to mingle and learn from each other through our support groups so they can help each other out during a crisis. Shammema’s gesture to share her food with a fellow parent and patient is the kind of selfless act that keeps us going. Noorena and her family managed to get in touch with their nutritionist. They received their ration bundle too. But this incident has also allowed us to build a robust local network of grocers and partners who can continue to provide ration bundles to those who can’t make it to the hospital. Local partners like Mohommad Yaseen, who supplies ration bundles to our patients from SKIIMS have even come forward to provide free groceries to those in need. 

Your support helps us provide kids like Noreena with Nutritionists, supplements, eggs, bananas, milk and lassi during the course of their treatment. Support children like Noreena.

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