In a heartwarming tale of compassion, the Sewa Nyaya Uththan Foundation (SNUF) gave a new lease of life to a young man after suspected cattle thieves killed his father. Rajneesh struggled to make ends meet and provide for his family when he received an unexpected gift from SNUF that changed his life forever – an autorickshaw.
On March 14 last year, 50-year-old Sewaram Gangwar, who was running a small eatery, was found dead with his neck slashed in Tiyuliya village of Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district. He left behind two sons in their twenties – Rajneesh and his younger brother Rahul. His wife had passed away a couple of months earlier due to an old illness.
The brothers used to help him during the day. They would go back home at night, but Sewaram often slept on a cot adjoining the eatery in the open. He was found dead on the same cot last year.
After the incident, the brothers had no option but to shut it down. “We cannot bear to go to the same place every day where my father was so brutally killed. There is an additional reason for closing the dhaba down, and that is security. None of us feels safe to spend the night there or even stay up late for work,” he had said.
Although SNUF had reached out to Rajneesh after the incident with some financial help, Rajneesh explained his situation, seeking a permanent solution to his financial problems. Moved by his plight, the Foundation decided to help him get back on his feet by gifting him an autorickshaw.
He was overwhelmed with gratitude for SNUF’s support. He knew this gift was his chance to start afresh and provide a better life for his family.
On March 23, 2023, Uttar Pradesh police arrested three youths named Munawwar Khan, Mozim Khan and Musharraf Khan, who were hiding after stabbing Sewaram. Police said the murder took place after an altercation between the deceased and the trio over Rs 4.
The accused reportedly lured the eatery owner away on the pretext of apologising for the fight between them on March 11. The Dhaba owner fell for their friendly talks and went along with them. The trio later brutally stabbed him to death.
Few people remember Dharam Sahu, a man in his early 20s, from Darbhanga, Bihar. Dharam was killed by a Muslim mob last year because he tried to stop one Mohammed Azmal Nadaf from stalking and harassing his married niece. This poor man’s death did not make it to mainstream media headlines because acknowledging a Hindu as a victim of religious persecution is anathema to many.
Sewa Nyaya Uththan Foundation, however, reached out to his family and offered them much-needed financial support. Dharam left behind his wife, whom he married less than two years ago, and a daughter. His daughter was three months old when she lost her father to that carnage.
On June 15, 2022, Dharam and other men from his family confronted Azmal and asked him to stop harassing Kajal. Kajal is Dharam’s niece, who had turned down Azmal’s proposal and married into another Hindu family. Azmal also used to call her in-laws from unknown numbers to cause problems in her marriage. He even threatened to kill Kajal and her husband.
When Dharam asked him to stop interfering in Kajal’s married life, Azmal was so incensed that he gathered a mob of 20-25 people within minutes. They viciously attacked Dharam and his family together while chanting “Allah-o-Akbar”.
The mob included many Muslim women.
Dharam succumbed to many injuries at the Darbhanga district hospital.
Dharam was a cab driver in Gurugram along with his brother Ajay. After his death, Ajay left the job and returned home as he was concerned for his family’s safety and well-being.
To help this family battling financial distress, SNUF gave him one lakh fifty thousand rupees to kickstart their lives with new hope and courage. We hope that this money will help them tide over difficult times.
SNUF recently received the Sree Narayana Guru Award for Social Work for its exceptional work in rehabilitating countless victims who have faced heart-wrenching atrocities.
A Muslim woman, her parents and a cleric in Kanpur allegedly brainwashed a minor Hindu boy to convert and marry her.
Simran, daughter of Mohd Haneef and Jameela Bano, coerced Nikhil Singh (16) to marry her. She is a divorcee and has two kids from a previous marriage. Reportedly, she lured the boy, and her family groomed him for a year before the conversion.
Sewa Nyaya Uththan Foundation (SNUF) filed a complaint with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) for Nikhil. The Commission took prompt action and brought Nikhil home after police arrested Simran, her parents and the cleric who led the Nikah.
Nikhil’s story reminds us that young Hindu boys are just as vulnerable to these vile traps as Hindu girls.
Similar crimes targeting minor Hindu
Nikhil’s case isn’t an isolated story of an underage Hindu falling prey to conversion Nikah. There is a well-reported pattern in such crimes targeting the Hindu community, especially in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, where Hinduphobia is a common and permitted practice.
For example, in Pakistan, every month, grooming gangs from the majority community abduct and forcibly convert as many as 20 underage Hindu girls, who can never see or connect with their families again. What’s worse is that such gangs force these girls to marry much older Muslim men (or sell them into prostitution).
Such crimes are a regular affair, especially in the Sindh region. These abductors take pride in such heinous activities because they insist they are doing “good work”. Police, judiciary and the government have refused to investigate these cases.
In India, many states are looking for ways to counter ‘Love Jihad’ – a pattern of crimes wherein men from the Muslim community fake identities to lure Hindu women. They forge these relationships only for religious conversion and sexual exploitation. These men often conceal their religious and/or marital identity till the woman is completely disconnected from her family.
These patterns aren’t restricted to the sub-continent alone. In April, the UK stirred a diplomatic row with Pakistan when the British Home Secretary Suella Braverman called for a crackdown on “Grooming Gangs” led by British Pakistani men in England.
She said, “(We see) a practice whereby vulnerable white English girls — sometimes in care, sometimes in challenging circumstances — being pursued, raped, drugged, and harmed by gangs of British Pakistani men, who work in child abuse rings or networks.”
We put a smile on the face of Preeti Patel, a single mother of two who left an abusive marriage a few years ago. Preeti lives in her parental house in Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh. and struggles to make a living by selling bead necklaces. Sewa Nyaya Uththan Foundation (SNUF) helped her utilize her tailoring skills to generate a new source of income.
So far, Preeti has tried to generate income by making necklaces sold at a mere INR 170 for 12 pieces. It takes her a month to make and sell them. With such a weak source of income, Preeti could barely send her elder child to school. When we spoke to her, she didn’t know how to manage schooling for the second child. Her parents do odd jobs at a school nearby to sustain their living and, therefore, cannot support her much financially.
Since she knew how to tailor and mend clothes, SNUF gifted her a sewing machine to increase her livelihood prospects. As one can see in the tweet below, she was grateful for receiving the support.
SNUF works with several disadvantaged women from vulnerable Hindu families by providing them with the tools and resources they need to lead dignified lives. Many women like Preeti need support to unleash their full potential and become self-sufficient.
Recently, SNUF received the Sree Narayana Guru Award for Social Work on September 15, 2023. The award, presented at the Pondy Lit Fest, recognised SNUF’s outstanding efforts in rehabilitating vulnerable people who have endured profound hardships. Furthermore, the foundation has played a vital role in supporting tribal and Dalit refugees from Pakistan by offering them immediate shelter and sustenance and establishing educational centres where hundreds of refugee children receive free education.
Many people fled their homes to safer places when the Yamuna River flooded the streets of Delhi due to heavy rains. But, for a group of displaced Pakistani Hindus in the Majnu Ka Tila area, there was no safer place to go. These families could only watch helplessly as the rains consumed all that they had. They were struggling for essential supplies when the Sewa Nyaya Uththan Foundation (SNUF) team intervened.
Delhi Refugee Camp
Ten families fleeing religious persecution in Pakistan arrived in India hoping for a better life. However, they had a rough start to their new lives because of the flood and heavy rain. Upon receiving this information, the SNUF team immediately reached the area. We distributed ration supplies for a month among these families. Further, we also provided health care supplies for the children and elderly.
Earlier, SNUF had provided table tennis for children in this Delhi camp. After all, games are essential for a healthy childhood that every child deserves, irrespective of their family’s financial situation. SNUF is determined to serve and work diligently for the brighter future of all these vulnerable groups.
Since the partition of India and Pakistan, Hindu communities have sought refuge in India from the relentless religious persecution of Hindus in Pakistan. In Delhi, a refugee camp is established in the Majnu Ka Tila area. The families that arrive here are generally from economically backward sections of Pakistan. They spend most of their money on passports, visas and other necessities for reaching India.
According to Human Rights Watch’s 2019 Report on Pakistan, as many as 1,000 women from minority families are abducted and forcibly converted to Islam every year, and the government does little to stop such incidents. After being abducted, these girls are often forcibly married to unknown men, raped, sold off, or forced into prostitution.
It is also well-documented that there are several freely-operating radicalized groups that promote Islamic rule, violent jihad (holy war), and hatred towards non-Muslims in Pakistan.