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, days after Srinagar was placed under lockdown like the rest of the country, Shabbir Khanday was wandering in the corridors of the SKIMS hospital of Srinagar desperately searching for Cuddles’ nutritionists. His 13-year old daughter, Noorena Khanday, who gets treated for Leukaemia at the hospital also relies on it for monthly ration and nutrition therapy.  

In the chaos of the lockdown, Shabbir lost his phone, and along with that the numbers of nutritionists Khushnuma and Rakhia who assessed Noorena’s nutrition and would give her the bundle of monthly ration. Shabbir, a construction worker from Bundgam, has been without work since August last year. He had to give up working to be in Srinagar for Noorena’s treatment.   

Darzi Shammema, the mother of another patient, Darzi Rutba, who also suffers from Leukaemia, found Shabbir crying in the hospital parking lot. She heard him out, and without hesitation, parted with half of her daughter Rutba’s rations and gave them to Shabbir for Noorena. Cuddles nutritionists Khushnuma and Rakhia heard about this kind gesture and ensured that the first supplies for the month of May and last month’s ration which Noorena’s family missed out on reached them.  

The vendor, Mohommad Yaseen, who supplies ration bundles also offered free rations to Shabbir in the future if he was unable to collect them from the Cuddles team in the hospital.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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