Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation

Service. Justice. Inclusion.

Woman Who Entered Religious Conversion Trap Through Abusive Marriage, Gets Financial Help To Restart Life 

Woman Who Entered Religious Conversion Trap Through Abusive Marriage, Gets Financial Help To Restart Life 

Lakshmi Kumari hails from Uttar Pradesh, where she lived with her parents and a younger sister. She got married to a man from her community (Hindu, scheduled caste), but the marriage did not go well for her. She says the man was an alcoholic and would beat her often.

One day, she met ‘Tillu’, who was her classmate in the village government school. They exchanged numbers and began talking. Tillu told her he liked her even in school and could take her out of the abusive marriage. A distressed Lakshmi agreed to this proposal. She eloped with him.

They went to Ludhiana district of Punjab. There, they rented a place to live together. Tillu proposed that they should get married; Lakshmi readily agreed. After a few days when she went with him to what was supposed to be a wedding ceremony, she saw a bearded man and a few other men with skull caps. The venue was a factory workshop. Lakshmi learnt that Tillu’s real name is Sohrab and he is Muslim.

Though taken aback, Lakshmi accepted the new reality. In her own words, she knew little about Muslims and assumed that they are just another jaati group.

However, one thing irked her during the nikah ceremony. The cleric offered her cow meat to eat. Lakshmi, though an occasional meat-eater (“chicken only”, she said) flatly refused the offering saying her family worshipped the cow and did not eat it. The cleric refused to preside over the ceremony. The offering of beef was supposed to be a mandatory ritual for her conversion to Islam before nikah with Sohrab.

Those present quickly arranged for another cleric, who said he would solemnise the nikah without the beef ritual. Lakshmi was renamed as Neha. They married and returned home.

As per what Lakshmi told us, Sohrab’s attitude towards her changed drastically in the days to come. He would mock her Hindu rituals and beliefs, mistreat her, did not give her money to run the house, sexually abuse her. He would also go out of Ludhiana for about 15 days every month, saying he went for work. However, he would produce no money. Lakshmi worked as a receptionist at an office to run the house. Things changed for the worse when she became pregnant and could not go to work anymore.

She learnt to her horror that Sohrab was already married and had a son. She understood that she had fallen victim to a loveless conversion trap.

But she was at an advanced stage of her pregnancy and could not separate from him. A daughter was born, and Sohrab named her ‘Inayat’. With an infant, Lakshmi could not go to work anymore. To run the house, she requested her father from UP to come and live with her. Her father had cut off ties with her after her elopement, but seeing her in distress, he shifted with Neha, and brought her younger sister along.

Her father found work in Ludhiana as a labourer on a salary of Rs 10,000. In the days to come, however, the salary turned out to be woefully short as there was house rent to pay, expenses to bear including that for a baby, and Lakshmi’s younger sister needed to be sent to school.

Sewa Nyaya Utthan’s founder Swati Goel Sharma met Lakshmi in Ludhiana. She heard Lakshmi’s pitiful tale and offered to help, but on the condition that she separated from Sohrab. 

After some reassurances, Lakshmi agreed. Swati promised her Rs 5,000 every month till her daughter was old enough for her to go to office. When Sohrab left for his routine trip to UP to be with his first wife, Lakshmi and the family shifted to a different location and cut contact with Sohrab.

After some months, Sohrab sent her a video showing him giving triple talaq (unlawful) to his first wife. Sohrab texted to Lakshmi that he would be a committed husband from now on. But Lakshmi did not respond. She shared the videos and the text with Swati.

Since then, Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation has been helping Lakshmi financially. Her sister goes to school. Her father goes for work. Lakshmi is currently learning tailoring.

You can watch all video testimonies by Lakshmi, below:

Single Mother Of Two School-Going Children Who Works As Cook, Gets A Cycle To Commute To Work

Single Mother Of Two School-Going Children Who Works As Cook, Gets A Cycle To Commute To Work

Shri Haldar works as a cook in residential societies of Noida city of Uttar Pradesh, bordering New Delhi. She earns just enough to get her two children educated – a girl studying in class 11 and a boy who will enter college this year. Shri is a widow; her husband died of an unknown illness only three years after her marriage.

A brave resilient woman, Shri has single-handedly raised her children as her in-laws have no employment either and no other son.

When one of our team members met Shri, she was using a very old cycle for commuting to work that looked like it was on the verge of breaking. Asked why she was not buying a new one, Shri said she would when she able to save some money after paying for the schools and her house rent and other expenses.

The next week, the team member of Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation Shri to a cycle store and bought her a cycle of her choice. She was ecstatic. Shri is not someone who would ask anybody for money, but she accepted it when we told her it’s a small gift for the exemplary way she has raised her children without any support. Shri is herself uneducated and cannot read or write Bangla, her native language.

You may see a video below. We have blurred Shri’s face on her request.

Also some pictures”

Shri selecting a suitable cycle for her, we always allow our beneficiaries to select products of their choice.

Accident-Hit Husband Of A Seven-Months Pregnant Woman Gets Crucial Support For Medical Treatment

Accident-Hit Husband Of A Seven-Months Pregnant Woman Gets Crucial Support For Medical Treatment

Rani Rajvanshi lives in Bengal’s Dakshin Dinajpur district with her husband Utpal and a three-year-old son. Last week, when she was home attending to her child and household chores, she heard a terrible news that her husband had met with a bad accident.

Rani, who is seven months pregnant, informed her parents and in-laws and rushed to the spot. She found Utpal badly wounded on his head, face and legs, his arm fractured. Utpal’s cycle had collided with a car that had fled the spot. With help of her relatives, Rani managed to get her husband admitted to a government hospital in Kaldighi area of Gangarampur in Dinajpur.

Before her pregnancy, Rani and Utpal were living in a rented accommodation in New Delhi where she worked as a househelp in residential societies while Utpal worked as a security guard outside a factory. When the couple discovered that Rani was pregnant, they shifted to Bengal in the hope that they would stay there till the child is at least six-months old and then move to Delhi again. There are little means of earning in Bengal, they felt.

The accident turned their life upside down. The biggest concern was money.

Rani, who knew Sewa Nyaya Utthan co-founder Swati Goel Sharma, called her up in panic. Between sobs, she managed to tell her that her husband was facing risk of life and she had no money to save him. The relatives were as poor.

After listening to her woes and going through the medical test reports, Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation promised her monetary help with the treatment. Utpal, who had been unconscious for two days, was taken to a private hospital near Kolkata where he underwent a surgery of the fractured arm and operations of eye and nose. The bill came out to be Rs 1.5 lakh that our Foundation paid for.

Utpal has regained consciousness and is speaking and eating. Rani has thanked us profusely.

See this Twitter thread with all the details:

This humanitarian work was made possible through generous donations of our supporters.

If you wish to support our Foundation, click here.

Meet 10 Families Who Benefitted From Our Sewa During Times Of Distress

Meet 10 Families Who Benefitted From Our Sewa During Times Of Distress

We, at Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation, feel blessed to have been able to help many poor and downtrodden families.

A substantial number of people have been able to bounce back in their lives with our support, and more continue to do so. Our help has taken multiple forms and addressed myriad needs and we have been egged on by the passion of our founders and the zeal of our volunteers, who have sought to ensure that no family in need of help is deprived of that help.

The following cases show the extent that we have gone to pull individuals and families out of trouble.

Meena Devi had lost her husband several years ago. She was facing extreme hardship during the Covid-induced lockdown as markets and offices were closed down and people were forced to stay back home. Meena was struggling to access even the most essential items. One of our volunteers, Kartikeya, met her during our lockdown rehabilitation drive, and after getting to know about Meena’s plight, we immediately made arrangements for essential items to be provided to her. Meena has never ceased to thank us for the timely support that we had offered.  

The people of Harkhadi village in Uttar Pradesh also found us standing strongly behind them whenever a need arose.

We helped the villagers in getting a hand pump installed, which made the availability of water in the village smooth and easy. Considering how several villages in the country face a terrible water crisis and how people are forced to travel long distances to fetch water, installation of hand pumps is often considered to be a major rural development measure. The foundation also undertook a blanket distribution drive in the village, helping needy families.

The best part about this initiative was that the villagers readily volunteered to facilitate the distribution drive and the blankets reached the intended beneficiaries even though we had never met them one on one.

Then we had Devandita Mishra, a law student who had a major leg surgery. She approached us for help for travelling from Ghaziabad to Gorakhpur following her surgery. She said she had booked tickets for general class, but after her surgery, she realised she needed better coach and seats. She said she had run out of money.

We were more than happy to assist her.

A family from West Bengal came under duress as their minor daughter was kidnapped and brought to Delhi. The girl was rescued after intervention of national child commission. While our co-founder Swati Goel Sharma was covering the case for, the girl’s father revealed he was very poor and struggling to make ends meet. He said he did not have enough money to even make rounds of the police station for formalities.

We immediately helped the father with an amount.

We undertook extensive campaigns to support the underprivileged sections with ration and food during the lockdown. Ankur Kumar was one such individual whom we helped. The differently-abled hails from the scheduled caste community.

A road accident had badly damaged his spine. During the lockdown, Ankur and his family were finding it difficult to make ends meet. We made arrangements for essential items and also approached the ministry of social justice and empowerment on Ankur’s behalf with an appeal for medical aid.

Another one of our lockdown beneficiaries was Ashok Mishra, a labourer. He was hit by the disappearance of day-to-day earnings during the lockdown. Our volunteers met him during our lockdown rehabilitation drive and provided him with ration. Even after that initial help, our volunteers stayed in touch with him and his family.

Our sewa also involved monetary assistance to the kin of a murder victim as the compensation provided by the government was taking a long time to arrive.

This refers to the infamous Loten Nishad murder case, in which a youth in Uttar Pradesh was killed by his neighbours for his comments blaming the Tablighi Jamaat for the spread of the coronavirus in the initial stage of the pandemic last year. Loten’s elder brother Birju told us that the family was in urgent need of money as the compensation of Rs 5 lakh announced by the government was not immediately available.

Our founders, who were closely tracking the case, decided to lend their support. Accordingly, Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation transferred a small amount to Birju’s wife so that the family could survive till it received the government compensation.

Our sewa during the lockdown involved crucial support to migrants, who were stuck away from home with employment and livelihoods quickly vanishing. Nithya, a Tamil migrant living in Delhi, contacted us as her family was struggling to access basic and essential supplies.

We made arrangements for ration and other essential items to be provided to her. The video she sent expressing her gratitude would remain with us as our biggest earning.

Today, we can proudly say that the tales of service rendered by us have spread far and wide, and many individuals, impressed by our record, have approached us for help.

The recently-widowed Pushpa was one such individual. A resident of the riot-hit region of Delhi, Pushpa had lost the breadwinner of the family. The lockdown brought about more troubles and her family was struggling to make arrangements for essential supplies.

Looking at how we had supported families in her area, she contacted us in the hope of receiving support. We made sure that she did not go empty-handed as part of the riot rehabilitation and lockdown rehabilitation drives.

Then there was the case of Kaila Devi‘s family going tlhrough severe financial hardship following her death. When we learnt about the family’s misfortunes, we rushed to provide whatever little help we could. We also shared the case with the appropriate authorities so that the family gets some relief.  

The foundation thanks all its volunteers for working selflessly to realise the dream of our idols to wipe the tears of as many needy families as possible. Do support us so that we can carry on in our endeavours with vigour.

When We Helped Rescue A Minor Girl From Clutches Of A Sexual Assaulter

When We Helped Rescue A Minor Girl From Clutches Of A Sexual Assaulter

A 15-year-old girl, who went missing from the Loni area in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district was rescued after 10 days following sustained efforts by Sewa Nyaya Utthan team.

The minor girl, hailing from the Dalit community of Jatavs, had gone missing on March 16 this year. The family lodged a complaint at the Loni police station.

Although the police claimed to have found some leads and pinned on one Abid as the suspect, they had failed to find the girl even after a week. When Sewa Nyaya team learnt of the matter, a volunteer, Vishal, visited the family and recorded their video statement.

Sewa Nyaya co-founder Swati Goel Sharma shared the videos on social media. In the videos, the girl’s father Salekh Singh said he is not well off and allegedly did not receive whole-hearted support from the police. “If they know the name, what is the delay? Why can’t the police round up his relatives and question them sternly?” a sobbing Singh was seen saying in the video. He also said that he would commit suicide if his daughter was not rescued.

Sharma appealed to the chief of the National Child Commission, Priyank Kanoongo, to intervene. Subsequently, the commission sent a notice to the Ghaziabad Police on March 25, giving the links to the social media posts made by Sharma. The commission asked the police to provide an action taken report. On March 31, Singh informed Sharma that his daughter was rescued and that a few of her medical examinations were remaining.

Although our all-out efforts helped in bringing the abducted girl back, she had been sexually abused by the accused when he had the chance. The girl revealed that she was raped repeatedly and was about to be sold to a ‘Bangalan’ (Bengali). This was a case of kidnapping, rape and human trafficking.  

The police booked the accused under sections 363 (kidnapping) and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and also under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

In his video statement, Singh said that the police had made him run from pillar to post for registering his complaint. The police officer concerned chose not to comment on Singh’s complaint, saying that it was a matter of jurisdiction.

We at the Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation have always given utmost priority to interventions that save lives. We have not only rescued several girls but have also made sure to highlight every such case in which the police have been lackadaisical in their approach. Do support us so that we can continue to save girls in distress.   

You can read a report of the entire case by authored Swati Goel Sharma here.

How We Helped A Woman Fight Back When The Man She Trusted Turned Out To Be A Big Cheat

How We Helped A Woman Fight Back When The Man She Trusted Turned Out To Be A Big Cheat

They say love is blind and often you end up having scant control of your heart and hence, your actions. In the world that we live in today marked by new modes of communal strife, falling in love without knowing much about your suitor can land you in serious trouble. That is what Neetu Yadav of Baraut in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district found out, as have many before her.  

Neetu got married in 2012 to a man from the same caste. The couple had a four-year-old son. However, the marriage soon hit rough waters. The couple separated in 2017, but Neetu was not allowed the custody of her child as she was unemployed. She returned to her parents’ place after her divorce. She had received Rs 2 lakh as part of the mutual separation, but her parents felt it was too little an amount and started pressurising her to extract more compensation from her divorced husband. Neetu refused. Tired of the demands, she left her parents’ house and began living in a rented accommodation in a nearby village.

Following the breakdown of her marriage, Neetu strove to stand on her feet and be financially self-sufficient. She enrolled herself in a nursing course in Noida. Soon, she started working part-time in a private nursing home in Loni. When her year-long course completed, she got full-time employment as a resident nurse at one Rashidiya hospital hospital in Baraut.

There, she came across a man, who introduced himself as Aksh. They became ‘friends’ and grew closer. ‘Aksh’ was a Unani medicine practitioner at the hospital. They soon graduated from being mere friends. Aksh told Neetu about his divorce and his child. He also enquired about Neetu’s relationship status.

Within a few months of seeing each other, Aksh proposed marriage to Neetu. He said that he longed for a family and a mother for his child. Neetu could not make up her mind immediately, but she not only had a soft corner for Aksh, but she had also fallen in love with him.

Neetu decided to take a rented accommodation outside of the hospital, where Aksh began to visit her in the afternoons. Soon, she became pregnant. Neetu had already gone through the trauma of a divorce and being separated from a child whom she had given birth to. She now started to believe that life had taken a turn for the better. After all, she had found true love and was going to be a mother again.

This time, she was certain that her husband and child would be staying with her. It would be the end of her woes, she hoped. She asked Aksh for a formal marriage; he assured her it’s a mere formality and he would get it done as soon as possible.

However, that was not to be. Fate pulled the rug from under her feet so violently that she was left battered, bruised and shell-shocked. Aksh revealed his true identity in June 2020 when Neetu was one-month pregnant. The Aksh that Neetu had loved and trusted as her saviour and the hero of her life was in reality, Akram Qureshi and a married man. It turned out that Akram was never divorced but had a wife, who too was pregnant.

Neetu met Akram’s wife Rukhsar to confirm this. The meeting turned out to be bitter. As per Neetu, Rukhsar attacked her verbally, calling her a vile prostitute who had seduced her unsuspecting husband. Rukhsar tried to occupy a moral high ground and told her that she was carrying Akram’s legitimate child.        

An unrepentant Akram asked Neetu to be his second wife, saying it’s “allowed in his religion”. This was shocking beyond words for a Hindu woman, who had grown up considering monogamy to be morally and legally binding. Neetu felt cheated again. Her love was consigned to the dustbin with such disdain that she wondered if life would ever do justice to her. What sins was she paying for, that too repeatedly? Neetu wondered.

Neetu decided to part ways with Akram. There was no way that she could stay with a charlatan who had cooked up a story to trap a gullible woman. Who knew what more ordeals lay ahead. She realised she would be forced to change her religion to be a second wife. She realised she had fallen prey to “love jihad”, a popular term for the diabolical methods by which Muslim men have been known to entice and ensnare women from other religions in the name of romance and then forcefully convert them to add to the Muslim numbers. Demographic dividend in this polarised world is like gold dust.

Neetu, however, was not someone to go down without a fight, and she found a pillar of support in the form of Sewa Nyaya utthan co-founder Swati Goel Sharma. Neetu registered an FIR against Akram and his family, and Sharma brought the story out in the open through her fearless reporting for Swarajya magazine. Not only that, after knowing Neetu’s plight, Sharma and her foundation decided to do everything in their power to make Neetu’s life better.

Since Neetu was well-versed in nursing, Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation spent Rs 1.2 lakh and gifted her a nursing home comprising two beds. This was designed to put Neetu firmly on the path of financial self-reliance and stability.

Neetu is a strong woman, whose fight even while being pregnant, is an inspiration to one and all, and should serve to motivate all those girls who have been silently suffering as victims of cheating or ”love jihad” and feeling too scared to speak up. Today, Akram’s father keeps calling Neetu, begging her to take her case back, mentioning Akram’s pregnant wife and young child, trying to earn Neetu’s sympathy. Neetu, however, is relentless and has vowed not to rest until the cheaters are brought to book.    

At the time of filing the police case, Neetu was six months’ pregnant. In January 2021, she delivered her baby, prematurely. Doctors told her the child won’t survive unless immediately taken to a good hospital in Delhi. Neetu rushed to Delhi with helped of a colleague. She could not find a bed in any government hospital. She was running out of time.

Then, Neetu approached us again.

With full financial support from our foundation, Neetu got her child admitted in a private hospital in Dilshad Garden. The child remained on ventilator for a week. Thankfully, she survived. Neetu again thanked us profusely for the timely help. She even offered to volunteer for the foundation as a gesture of thanks.

Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation is extremely proud of Neetu and the exceptional courage shown by her at a time when any other pregnant woman would have wanted to keep hassles at arm’s length. Neetu, however, had nothing to lose. She knew nothing about love jihad till she almost fell a victim to it, and now she has decided to fight it tooth and nail. Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation is grateful to all its sahyogis, without whom, it could not have helped Neetu to the extent that it has.