SRINAGAR: Afaq Rashid (30), a colon cancer patient despite his illness has been volunteering at the SMHS Hospital on several occasions to take the injured to the wards, procure medicines for the needy, and distribute food among the attendants (especially during shutdowns & Uprisings).
The volunteerism of this young man is unheard. Afaq who is Daily wage In Power Development Corporation (PDC) is volunteer since 2014. Afaq Rashid hails from a poor family in Batamaloo locality of Srinagar. Afaq like other volunteers is seen busy all the day outside hospital premises during the times of urgencies.
Tall, lean Afaq, sporting a long beard, shows apparently no sign of cancer. His voice is soft and prim. No one can say he takes a dose of chemo therapy every month and blood infusion sometimes twice a month.
He looks brave and alert, like any other volunteer in the hospital. In 2015, a persistent pain in the stomach landed him in the hospital where a medical examination declared him a cancer patient. In January 2016, Afaq said, he was operated upon, but his health condition never deters him from his volunteer will to serve mankind.
The seventy year old Kashmir conflict besides militancy, encounters, curfews, hartals from last 26 years has definitely brought lot of sufferings to the Kashmiri people at several fronts i.e. economic, social, health, education etc, but at the same time this conflict has made Kashmiri’s courageous and created a sense of volunteerism among the people especially youth.