‘They need spe­cial care’: Two UP schools adopt kids left fa­ther­less by lynch mobs

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - Anuja.Jaiswal @times­group.com

Ali­garh: The red box­ing gloves over­whelm Ikran’s three­and-a-half feet frame. But the six-year-old can swing a mean left. He re­cently won a dis­trict-level tour­na­ment where he was the small­est and most un­der­weight kid around. Ikran’s fa­ther Rak­bar Khan had no such skills. Even if he did, it would not have been of much use be­fore a fren­zied mob that lynched him in Ra­jasthan’s Al­war dis­trict in July last year on sus­pi­cion of cow slaugh­ter.

A lit­tle dis­tance away from Ikran, nine-year-old Sar­faraz is happy to goof around. There’s lit­tle in com­mon be­tween them ex­cept that both lost theIkran (right) tries hand at box­ing with an­other stu­dent of Madrassa Chacha Nehru in Ali­garh. Ikran’s fa­ther, Rak­bar Khan, was lynched by a mob on sus­pi­cion of cow slaugh­ter in Ra­jasthan’s Al­war in July last year

ir fa­thers to mur­der­ous hordes and are now in a school for poor chil­dren of all faiths run by Salma An­sari, wife of for­mer

vice-pres­i­dent Hamid An­sari, in UP’s Ali­garh.

Two of Ikran’s brothers, just 10 and 4, are also there. Three more kids — chil­dren of an­other cow vig­i­lan­tism vic­tim, Ma­zloom An­sari, who was beaten to death and hung by a tree in Jhark­hand in 2016 — will join them this month.

Salma An­sari told TOI she has re­ceived names of 60 such kids — Hin­dus and Mus­lims — who need sup­port. This has prompted her to set up a sep­a­rate fa­cil­ity at Madrassa Chacha Nehru to ac­com­mo­date100 such chil­dren. Apart from re­li­gious train­ing — na­maaz is read and bha­jans sung — the 4,000-odd stu­dents are also im­parted reg­u­lar ed­u­ca­tion.

“They need spe­cial care,” Salma An­sari said. “One can’t imag­ine the trauma some­one so young goes through when their guardians are killed so bru­tally and pub­licly.”

As kin of lynch­ing vic­tims re­main en­tan­gled in fi­nan­cial trou­bles and long­drawn court cases, An­sari’s school is not the only one com­ing to their res­cue. TOI vis­ited a char­i­ta­ble in­sti­tute for girls, The Sana School, that is also help­ing re­build lives of those on whom lynch­ing has cast a long shadow. Three of Ikran’s sis­ters, Sahila ,14, Sahima, 11, and Ikrana, 8, are among 55 stu­dents there. Two of Sar­faraz’s sis­ters will be en­rolled soon.

Hos­tel war­den Shama Parveen said los­ing care­givers at such a ten­der age can of­ten cause chil­dren to act out.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.