IMRC provides relief to 42 fire-affected labourer families in Duddukuru, Andhra Pradesh

By Raqib Hameed Naik

Andhra Pradesh: On Monday April 4, Sheikh Saleem, 35, a labourer was working in a nearby stone crushing site in Duddukuru village of West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh when his fellow labourers came running and told him that his hut was on fire.

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Saleem and his family used to live in a hut located on tank bund in Duddukuru village. As he rushed home, the whole locality comprising of around 45 huts were already engulfed in fire. He found his wife but couldn’t trace his 4-year-old son, Rashid. After dousing the flames, when fire tenders and locals went inside his hut, they found his charred body.

“We thought that he ran outside the hut on sighting fire, but he didn’t. Maybe he got scared of fire and ran into the hut leading to his death. The incident has crushed me. On one side I am grieving the loss of my child and on the other, grief of losing my home,” said Saleem.


The fire had broken out in one of the huts on the banks of Voora Cheruvu due to cylinder explosion which led to burning of 45 huts, killing one four year old child and injuring another two-year-old girl besides rendering 42 families homeless, without food.

Sensing the gravity of situation and sufferings of poor labourers, US-based relief organization, Indian Muslim Relief & Charities (IMRC) started relief work immediately to help the victims and provided all the 42 fire affected families with utensils, mats and one month ration.


“We provided each family with a complete utensil set which included plates, glass, cooking pots. Also they were given ration for one month which includes rice, flour, oil, spices etc and mats,” Mujahid Sheikh, IMRC volunteer who is overseeing the relief work in Duddukuru, told

“Government has come forward to rebuild their huts, so the IMRC is focussing on other essentials,” he added.

Majority of fire affected families work as labourers in nearby stone crushing sites and hardly earn Rs 200 per day, if they find work. After the fire incident they have been temporarily shifted to a local government school.


“Fire took everything, whatever we had earned. Now we have to build everything from start and don’t know how it will happen in the backdrop of low paying work which is also occasional. The timely incoming of relief materials like utensils, mats and rations is a big sigh of ease as we don’t have to worry about purchasing these things,” said Chand Basha, 38, a victim.