Zakat related tragedies have become a common occurrence in our country, with statistics claiming a total of 251 deaths in the last 35 years. 27 people died in 2015, five among whom were children. No punitive actions were taken after the incidents.
Donations from the local rich to the poor are laudable, but they must be dealt with in a practical way. People tend to announce that Zakat will be donated in small areas of towns and villages. This invites thousands of poor people to rush to the venues, which aren't large enough to accommodate them. The stampede that takes place causes death and injuries.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Zakat Board and the individual contributors should come up with a solution to this problem. The board should implement mandatory rules to be followed by private Zakat contributors. Prior announcements in congested locations could be prohibited. Islamic scholars' committees formed in every union can collect Zakat from contributors and distribute them accordingly. They should also hold awareness programmes to educate people about how Zakat should not be organised in a way that costs human lives.