KARACHI: Fruit distribution stalls set up for the deserving people by social media influencer and philanthropist Mustafa Hanif were looted and destroyed by attackers near the Jail Chowrangi flyover, where he was selling fruits for Rs10 a kg for those who cannot afford to buy them due to high prices in Ramazan.
Mustafa Hanif has been setting up the stall each Ramazan for the past three years to help people struggling to make ends meet in this time of high inflation. But on March 24, during the distribution of fruits, chaos erupted and people started looting his bags of fruits. Despite repeated requests by Mr Hanif to stop, no one listened to him.
After the incident, he shared his views on social media, in which he described his disappointment.
When Dawn approached him over the phone, Mr Hanif said that such a thing had never happened before in previous years; it was a shock for him, and the number of people that rushed into the tent to steal fruits was overwhelming and beyond their control.
“Our stall was not the only one that was robbed; one near Hasan Square and Burns Road were also looted. It must’ve been a pre-planned plot to stop us, but we won’t,” he vowed.
Further talking about the incident, he said that there were some people who started throwing bags of fruit at the end to their partners, while the respectable ones distanced themselves from the crowd and watched the whole thing in misery.
“We were just 12 to 14 people, the crowd was over 600 easily, and we had no choice but to see the disaster unfold while standing back,” said one of the workers of the charity when asked about what they did after the people resorted to violence.
“I was really hurt by this behaviour and didn’t want to come to the same place to distribute fruits, but when I got home, I cleared my mind and thought about those people who needed my help. So, I gathered myself and got back here,” Mr Hanif said.
According to him, people stood with him and donated more to him after the incident, which gave him the courage to continue his work.
Upon asking, he told Dawn that he didn’t want to file a formal complaint to the police as it would’ve been a waste of time and energy, but instead, he asked for security from the police, and the SHO of the Jamshed Quarters police station agreed to provide security to run his work peacefully.
The next day, police got on board with him to provide security during the distribution of handouts.
He said that he was sad about the incident that took place, but he wouldn’t step down from helping people and would continue his work throughout Ramazan and for many more in the future.
He said that a few people tried to ruin the good work, but he would continue with the help of those who were always along him.
Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2023
Dear visitor, the comments section is undergoing an overhaul and will return soon.