Social media influencers and vloggers are usually known to promote their daily lives, review new products or generate hype about brands and much more.
But a Muscat-based media influencer has through her social media platform urged her huge followers to take active interest towards volunteering works in the wilayats of Al Khaburah and Al Suwaiq that was badly hit by Cyclone Shaheen.
Rosh Khanzada swung into action upon a call from One More Drive (OMD), a group of car enthusiasts, in collaboration with the Oman Automobile Association (OAA).
The cyclone which wrecked the Sultanate of Oman early October had left many wilayats devastated. She decided to volunteer and also encouraged others to go out and help the people. The worst affected were the wilayats of Khaburah and Suwaiq that saw volunteers work unitedly and lift the spirit of Shaheen stricken people.
“The large number of people watching my videos and content, where I personally rode to deliver food packages to citizens, have had a positive impact. I got a huge number of DMs (direct messages) asking how they could join in as well. It is the spirit of helping out for a good cause that needs to be promoted, along with all the mundane things we find on social media,” she explains.
Rosh was able to deliver them in time for their urgent need for food, toiletries, baby pampers and women’s hygiene products. The next day she herself drove and delivered canned food and other essentials.
In Al Khaburah, Rosh along with a group of 12 to 15 volunteers cleaned up debris strewn around houses. Cars, which were caked in mud and unable to start were manually moved out with the help of ropes and clothes. “It was amazing to see the efforts of this association by way of helping stranded families by swabbing the floors, recovering vehicles stuck in garages and providing fresh meals and other essentials during a crisis. It is during times like this that we all should come together and help out. I was only able to help about four families myself, but what mattered is that I could at least help some if not all.”
Through her Instagram updates, they were able to get about 50 sponsored meals, which they personally delivered to residents at Khaburah beach side.
Many others like Nihal Nawaz, Rameez Raheem, Rafeek K P and Joshua Varghese also helped in the process. Hashir from Qurum Restaurant chipped in with the meals.
Rosh was invited by Afrah al Khamis, a makeup artist, with whom she had worked earlier on shoots, to join the Omani Women’s Association (OWA) over the weekend. She also accompanied them and went further into Al Khaburah for more relief work. On all her trips as a volunteer she noticed several government organisations helping out and doing tremendous jobs, working in extremely hot weather conditions.
Rosh’s husband Ahmed, a financial advisor, who drove to Al Khaburah twice during the weekends with OMD saw humanity at its best. He says “volunteering was my way of expressing gratitude and giving back to the society that I am a part of and is satisfying for the soul.”
Joshua Varghese, a SRM student, along with friends Rameez Rahim, Nihal Nawaz and Rafeek, formed groups for relief work and stocked supplies like food, water and other essentials. “I was sad to see how a cyclone had destroyed houses in Khaburah, Suwaiq. “There was a glimmer of hope in their eyes and the will to start from scratch again. I was delighted to see how all of us, from different walks of life, had come together for a cause.”
Inspired by influencers and NGOs going out of the way to render help, Nabeela Farshori, a digital marketing analyst and social media influencer, decided to join hands with ‘Save Oman Beaches’ to clean beaches in Muscat. At the Al Hail beach they pulled out buried fish nets, dead fishes, plastics and tyres. She called upon kids to volunteer such missions and take up the task of helping each other.