This Bada Mangal, a Non profitable organisation in Lucknow, named Shoulder to Shoulder participated with full zeal , and it’s Core members along with Volunteers had jointly put up an “All Community Bhandara” .
Poori, Sabzi, boondi, laddoo, and cold water was distributed among the people from all communities who came to the bhanḍara. It started at 10 a.m and continued till 5 in the evening. People from all walks of Life came forward for this Seva, and set an example for Inter-Religious peaceful co-existence.
It was really nice of Maulana Dr Kalbe Sadiq, who not only turned up at the bhandara in the terrible heat but also served the visitors, says Ali Rizwi, a Volunteer.
Shoulder to Shoulder (s2s) Foundation is a Registered society under the 1860 societies registration act. Established in August 2015, It’s head office is in Lucknow.
Basically, S2S is a volunteer-driven organisation set up with the objective of bringing people of different faiths together. s2s believes that peace, unity, and tolerance are essential for human existence and progress to be worthwhile.
By facilitating greater interaction among communities and by providing platforms for recognition of common goals, s2s strives to protect and celebrate India’s religious pluralism and cultural vibrancy.
Today, s2s has thousands of volunteers connected through real life and through social media. The Rapid growth has helped the organisation to diversify operations and take up several charitable causes ranging from health to legal aid.
In a Short span of 2 years , s2s has successfully conducted many joint community events on large scale. Last year, a Delegation that came from University of Tokyo, In an important cross-cultural exchange met Shoulder to Shoulder members at Mahmudabad House, Lucknow, to understand Awadh’s unique syncretic history and S2S’s efforts to preserve and bolster communal harmony.
Good Deeds can also spread like Fire.. we just need to keep doing our role and motivate others passively.
S2S Keeps doing small charitable events like donation drives regularly. But Here is a List of Inter-Faith major events organised by this group :
1. In Sept 2015, S2S organised A Joint Shia-Sunni Namaaz. It was supported and attended by Senior Clergies of Both Shia’s and Sunni’s . It got Praised not only by India, but across the globe. Infact the news of this successful event got printed in approx 300 newspapers of America. The Facebook Live of this event got around 6 lac likes ! This kind of joint Namaaz was again repeated in 2016 at Eid-ul-Azha.
2. In Dec 2015, S2S celebrated Christmas with Mentally Challenged people at Missionaries of Charity, Sapru marg, Lucknow. The volunteers not only distributed but personally Fed the people there.
3. In June 2016, S2S organised an Aftaar in Ramzaan for all communities. How was it different from a normal Aftaar ? It was Hosted by a Gurudwara in Lucknow, at Yahiyaganj. They also arranged for Maghrib Salah, after Aftaar, for the Muslims.
4. In Nov 2016, S2S organised the Langar Hosted at Naka Gurudwara and distributed Sewai and sharbat to around 5000 people.
5. May 2017, They have organised a Bhandara at Bada Mangal. This is their first major event this year.
When you ask, Who is Behind this organisation ? They say it’s a joint effort by everyone who is associated with it.
Asif Khan, a volunteer, says that S2S has been successful largely because it has always been a “people’s movement” and was kept away from influential politicians, socialites or philanthropists backing them. Although many afluent personalities from the city and a few Social activists have now been actively participating in it’s cause, but solely for the reason of communal harmony.
They still don’t have a membership fee, and have never actively seeken donations. Everything is managed by the volunteers and the word is spreading through 3 mediums, it’s website, it’s social media page and it’s Whatsapp group.
Such Initiatives taken by common people in the society are capable of turning into strong pillars of harmony anD peace.
We all should appreciate, learn from it, be a part and hence completely abide to that saying ,
“Be the Change, you wish to see in the world”
– Mahatma Gandhi .