The seller gave them clothes worth two months of his income
Numerous NGOs, housing societies and individuals helped the victims of the Damu Nagar fire in which 2,000 houses were destroyed. The tragedy touched the hearts of many who came from all over the city to help, even if they had economically modest backgrounds, like Shamshad Shaikh (50), a streetside clothes vendor from Borivli.
Shamshad Shaikh (in orange), seen here at work in Borivli, says, “If poor people like us start counting before we help somebody, we won’t dare to help.” Pic/Sadaguru Pandit
Shaikh gave the child victims of the fire a fresh stock of clothes, worth two months of his income. Shaikh had gone to Damu Nagar to see the extent of damage. He came across individuals trying to help the residents. He even saw a few women buying material for the victims. Touched by this, he decided to play his part in re-establishing the lives of the victims.
Some local businessmen donated trunks to the victims yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande
“We had ordered new stock only a week before. At the same time, there was a fresh stock of clothes from Diwali, which I had stored. I decided to give it all to the children of Damu Nagar who had only a pair of clothes on,” said Shaikh. Shaikh said that selling kids’ clothes has been a source of income for his family for many decades.
“I have been doing this after my father. We — my brother and I — sell at three places near Borivli station and I have been working ever since I remember,” said Shaikh. While he donated around 50 pairs of pants, 30 shirts and several frocks to the children, he also collected used clothes from his residential colony at Saidham at Borivli, to give to other victims last week. Modestly, he says he only did what was his responsibility.
“What I did wasn’t anything great. I only gave what I had to offer, and to those who needed it more than me,” said Shaikh. He said he didn’t really count the amount of money that the clothes were worth. “If poor people like us start counting before we help somebody, we won’t dare to help in the first place. The money didn’t matter. I just felt like it was my duty,” added Shaikh.