SRINAGAR: Seeing poverty ridden people in his village Farooq Ahmad Mir develops a zeal for charity, social work since his childhood. Mir, 40 who hails from Hartrath Singhpora village of Pattan town in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district, realized his dream to help people in need soon after he started his own business.
Mir’s father Ali Mohammad Mir was running a small fruit business which was not enough to raise a large family. Mir is survived with nine siblings among five are sisters and four brothers. Mir said that while observing his father is not able to raise the children at ease, he thought of joining his father’s business. He says he had an eagerness to help those who were facing more extreme situation than his own family.
In 1996, Mir gave up his schooling and joined fruit business with his father. “While seeing poverty ridden children in my school, i always wanted to help them. This always persuades me to start some work at the early age”, he said.
Soon after a under Matric Mir started earning in his business, he did not forget his commitment of helping those in need. To begin with, he started donating small amount to people in his village and poor friends. Mir always had big dream to become a successful businessman so that he can help more and more people.
In 1996 when Mir bought his first car, he started providing transport service to emergency patients in his village as the area had only a dispensary without availability of ambulance.
After successful journey in fruit business Mir tried his luck in real estate on small scale in his own locality in 2002. In a short period of time he spread his estate business network from Pattan to Srinagar and Jammu too.
Passionate about social work, Mir has kept 25% share out of his profit in his estate business for charity. He donates major part of the amount for wedding of poor and orphan girls besides donating for religious affairs and orphanages.
Zahoor Din Lone, a local resident who is a budding sculpture artist of Kashmir told that Mir is known for his social work in his area especially helping poor. “He used to provide help to many but initially he was helping people personally. Now he is also taking part in social issues like roads, health care etc”, he added.
Mir said that he does not want to publicize his social work but want stories of people working for society in anyways to reach public especially youth as an inspiration. Apart from helping people financially, Mir also finds time to accompany downtrodden and helpless people to different government offices and public representatives to get their grievances redressed. He also plays a vital role in his area by taking up issues related to health care, education and other basic amenities with the concern authorities whenever required. It was after the vigorous efforts of Mir along with other residents, in 2006 the area got first ambulance service from the government.
Sensing growing addiction of gambling and drugs among youth, since 2010 Mir started promoting sports and providing logistic cum financial support to youth in his village to curb the menace.
According to locals he has organized several cricket tournaments for the youth and provided them necessary equipments. He also involved some of his friends to organize sports activities for the youth in his area.
Mir said that he did not like politics and he did not want to be a politician but wants to remain a social worker throughout his life. Javid Ahmad Lone, a 10th pass shopkeeper said that he was a drug addict and a gambler before Mir counseled him. “Mir not only counseled me but also helped me to fight this addiction. Since last one year i am with Farooq Mir Sahab and i have also started to contribute my bit in social service under his guidance”, he said.
Pertinently Mir’s Village was hub of gambling and many big gamblers were from this village. Mir persuades them for business and other work to give-up gambling. He also motivated them for religious activities.
Mir did not confine his work to his village only but in 2014 during devastating floods, he lends a helping hand, provides transport service by making his 13 passenger vehicles, 5 load career tippers available to the flood affected people. During the days of flood that hit many area of Kashmir valley especially Srinagar city, Mir published a public notice in a local daily that ‘if anybody needs any help, he is ready to reach out’. Mir also reached out to the flood victims in most affected Rajbagh area and HMT locality in Srinagar by providing them food items.
In his own locality he also helped flood affected people in Matipora, Singhpora, Baliharan, Khanpeth, Hanjiwera, Kensuth Colony and Harthreth. He provides people affected with deluge free tents, an dlanger for nearly ten days. Mir also started free langer and accommodation for non-resident labourers who were stuck in flood situation.
Mir said that the work he tried to do during floods was only possible due to the support of youth of his village who worked shoulder to shoulder with him.
Mir says that he has a dream to build an old age home which he wishes to fulfill very soon. “In present scenario elderly people are often seen is hapless situation and many sans care due to prevailing busy life and prevailing complications of day to day affairs. Old age home is need of time and I would try my bit”, he said.
Mir has a message for youth that they should play active role in social work and helping people. He believes this way Kashmir can be a better society adding that this is what Kashmiriyat is all about.