Delhi's Faisal Khan distributes food among fasting Hindu women during Navratri

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa • 1 Months ago
Faisal Khan (Extreme right in black T-shirt), with his mother and brother making vrat kits
Faisal Khan (Extreme right in black T-shirt), with his mother and brother making vrat kits


Malick Asghar Hashmi/New Delhi

Those passing by a building in the Ghaffar Manzil area adjacent to the Jamia Millia Islamia University of Southeast Delhi during the Navratri festival would notice some hustle-bustle.

Here, Faisal Khan and his team of "Khudai Khidmatgar,' (That in the English language means Servants of God) are busy preparing and distributing 'Vrat Kits' (food for those fasting) for the needy people who are observing fast in reverence to the Goddess, female divinity.

He told Awaz-the voice, “We have identified the areas where the people who are fasting and they need these kits. Our volunteers and workers deliver it to them as soon as the messages come.”

Faisal Khan and his team have been engaged in this mission for the last four years.


Khan family busy in packing food for Hindus fasting during Navratri festival

He told Awaz-the Voice on the phone that he had not launched this project for political correctness. “I am not doing this to please the present dispensation; I have been doing this for the last four years.”

Faisal says he never keeps track of the number of ‘vrat kits’ his NGO distributes during Navratri. “The demand determines the number of kits we prepare and distribute."

Since most Hindus observing fasting during the festival dedicated to the Goddess abstain from eating grains for nine days, fruits are their main food and these are included in the ‘Vrat Kit.’ For this reason, Faisal says, the ‘Vrat kits' cannot be stored and therefore have to be cobbled and distributed quickly. 

These kits also contain sago, peanuts, makhana (fox nut), potato chips, etc.


Khan family busy in packing food for Hindus fasting during Navratri festival

These days, apart from the volunteers of Khudai Khidmatgar, members of Faisal Khan's family also chip in packing the food.

Vrat Kit’ is distributed in the Jasola, Okhla, and Taimur Nagar areas of southeast Delhi.

Faisal Khan says, ‘vrat kits’ are distributed among women working as domestic help, at the construction sites, and as daily wage labour. Our workers recognize most of them and they know they are genuinely fasting.

Faisal Khan says that he has been distributing 'Ramazan Kit' among the poor during the 30-day Muslim fasting month. He says that during those days he thought of being a help to Hindus who kept prolonged fasting during Navratri.

He says the scope of this idea will further increase in the coming times.

Faisal Khan says the objective behind his project is to bring about social harmony and peace in society. “We should participate in the happiness and sorrow of people of all religions. This will lead to communal harmony and brotherhood,” he said.



Faisal Khan in a Mathura temple

With this motive, he established Khudai Khidmatgar in 2011. His NGO has sponsored a delegation to the Kumbh Mela to assist authorities in making arrangements for pilgrims. He also organized an all-religion conference on Eid-Miladun Nabi to convey the message of Prophet Muhammad to people of all religions.

Faisal Khan, 50, hails from the Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh and lives in the Jamia Nagar area of Delhi.

He has studied at the Aligarh Muslim University and picked up social work as his profession.

He has also set up a house for the homeless in Jamia Nagar called “Sabka Ghar” where followers of all religions live together as a community.