SRINAGAR, APRIL 20: As the Ramadan starting date is approaching, Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan today interacted with religious leaders, Imams and Khateebs of prominent mosques to seek their support and cooperation in fighting COVID-19 pandemic in the Valley during the holy month that commences later this week.
Advisor Baseer Khan stressed that in the wake coronavirus outbreak, it is the responsibility of every section of the society to adhere to the advisory of the Health Department to pray at home during the holy month of Ramadan.
He asked the religious leaders to use their influence in the society and spread awareness about observing the social distancing norms to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole, CEO Wakaf Board, Secretary WAKAF Board, Joint Director Information Kashmir and various prominent religious leaders attended the meeting.
The Advisor said that the Government alone cannot fight the emerging situation unless public cooperates with the Administration in its efforts to prevent and contain this pandemic. He said that religious leaders have a crucial role to play in order to bring about a positive behavioural change with regard to the significance of maintaining social and physical distancing during this crisis.
The religious leaders assured their full support to the Administration in the efforts to combat COVID-19 and unanimously resolved not to hold social and religious gatherings till the advisories are in place. They said that religious places have been closed to avoid any mass gathering.
Religious leaders during the interaction also highlighted issues demanding regular supply of electricity during the holy month of Ramadan, home delivery of essential commodities in vulnerable areas and reaching out to the people who are in need of essential supplies.
The Advisor assured them that there will be no power curtailments during Sehri and Iftaar hours in the holy month of Ramadan and assured the participants that the Government would leave no stone unturned to reach out to the last person, and sought public cooperation for better results in the fight against the deadly virus. He said that he had set up helpline desk in his office to redress all issues, grievances, complaints and other matters related to Covid19 management.
He asked all concerned to ensure there is no public gathering at any religious place and directed taking strict action against people who are found violating the norms to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. He asked Wakaf Board that they may also carry out inspections to report any violation to the Divisional administration.
Speaking on the occasion, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K. Pole also asked the religious leaders to spread awareness in the community and said that the concerned departments would share advisory with the general public on important matters of public health. He conveyed that information and health bulletins about improving and maintaining immunity during the holy month would be shared with the people to fight this disease.
Ramadan starting date is April 23 and the fasts among the Muslim community will continue till May 23.