Village that has Gandhiji’s name, but no govt help
Haji Isa Khan was 14 when Gandhi visited an encampment in a fort at Mewat on December 19, 1947. Those were turbulent days just after Partition. Khan was among thousands of Meo Muslims from Alwar and Bharatpur who were on their way to Pakistan when they stopped at Ghasera in Haryana, around 45 km from present-day Gurgaon.
“He [Gandhi] was accompanied by two women. He started his speech by addressing Meos as the backbone of India...,” The place where Mahatma Gandhi addressed Meos in 1947 is today a school, the only in Ghasera village. Khan, now 83, recalls. It was a defining moment when thousands from the community heeded Gandhi’s advice and stayed back. Historians say, an estimated 70,000 Meo Muslims settled in the area. The place came to be known as Gandhi Gram Ghasera. But 69 years later, locals say they are still awaiting government help to turn around their “miserable lives”. “Except for Gandhiji’s name, we have been given nothing… There are no jobs for our children and no job avenues for us,” said Noor Mohd, one of the 25,000-odd residents.