New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) on Monday said it has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call a meeting of social and religious organisations and volunteer groups to discuss the health crisis confronting the nation in wake of the Covid surge.
Addressing a press conference, JIH President Syed Sadatullah Husaini said: "We have written a letter to the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India. We have stated three things in our letter. One is concern over the various administrative lapses during the second wave that have resulted in shortage of beds, oxygen, medicines and vaccines.
"Secondly, we pointed out the spiritual and moral dimension of the pandemic and how it is a divine warning to prepare us for greater calamities in this world and the hereafter. Thirdly, we have requested the PM to convene a meeting with all religious organisations and volunteer groups to discuss the grave situation prevailing in the country and explore the various means and avenues to collaborate with the government for alleviating the suffering of our people."
Earlier, JIH Vice President Mohammad Salim Engineer, who briefed the media on the results of the assembly elections, also expressed concerns over the second Covid wave.
"The results of the just concluded assembly elections have shown that the people of India have largely rejected the politics of hate and religious polarisation. This is a positive development for democracy and communal amity and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind hopes this trend will continue in the future. The elections of West Bengal were particularly critical as all efforts were made to polarise the electorate along with the misuse of our autonomous institutions.
The JIH said that it hopes that the secular parties will form a pre-poll alliance to defeat the communal forces in future electoral battles and "save the country from hate and injustice".
About the second wave, Engineer said: "Our health infrastructure is falling woefully short of standing up to the massive spike in corona cases. There is acute shortage of beds, ventilators and critical medicines for those affected by the virus. The surge in cases is not only alarming for us but also a threat to the global fight against the pandemic.
"We are paying the price of becoming complacent after the first wave and not planning correctly. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has been consistently demanding that the government must increase its allocation towards the health sector. We support the idea of universal healthcare and urge the government to start moving in this direction as proof of learning a bitter lesson from the second wave."
The Jamaat also said that its cadres are carrying out relief and charitable services such as creating awareness regarding the observance of safety protocols, vaccination and the implementation of recommended health guidelines.
"Our doctors and healthcare professionals are providing free consultation and counseling. Our volunteers are helping people through guidance centres/help-desks/ 24x7 helplines by providing oxygen cylinders, transportation, and ambulance services. We help needy people with food and medicines. At some places, we have started dedicated Covid Care Centers and are trying to establish more such facilities in collaboration with the local authorities," it said.