Amar is a budding journalist who likes to meet people, interview them and upload the videos on his Youtube channel. He is currently on a project where he interviews news anchors and questions them about their journey in the world of media.
Amar is a Divyang. He cannot walk without assistance.
Some days ago, Amar met eminent journalist from Doordarshan, Ashok Shrivastav, and interviewed him. Later, Shrivastav posted a tweet requesting support from people to buy Amar an electric cycle to commute.
The journalist said that Amar rode his bicycle for two hours to meet him, which left him shocked. Amar did have a bicycle but it had broken.
“Can any NGO help Amar?” Shrivastav asked.
This is Shrivastava’s post:
And this Amar’s post about his bicycle getting broken.
To this, Sewa Nyaya Utthan co-founder Swati Goel Sharma intervened and promised to help.
Amar told us that the electric cycle he needed would cost Rs 95,000. Seeing Amar’s enthusiasm for doing field work in journalism despite being handicapped, we agreed to bear the cost.
Watch Amar with the electric cycle he needed:
Amar thanked us, both in person and on social media.
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:
Manoj Kumar works as a factory labourer in the industrial city of Ludhiana in Punjab. His work may include anything from running errands for his employer to managing machines to loading or unloading vehicles carrying raw material.
He is about 55 years of age. His job fetches him around Rs 10,000 every month.
Some days ago, he happened to lift a very heavy package while loading a vehicle. He suffered severe pain, and was left bed-ridden for days. After he did not go for work for three days, his daughter (Manoj’s wife passed away long ago), got worried. Manoj told her that he did not feel energetic enough to get up and go to work. That was very unlikely of him.
His daughter was in a fix. She knew she had to take him to a hospital for medical tests, and not just to any doctor who would hand over painkillers. But she did not have enough money. The family are migrants from Uttar Pradesh’s Hardoi district and live in Ludhiana on rent.
She knew a volunteer for Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation and contacted us. We assured her help in the diagnosis and treatment. The doctor at the hospital said that thankfully, there was no fracture or serious problem in Manoj’s back. But he must not lift heavy weights anymore. This practically meant Manoj would have to quit his job.
The tests, diagnosis and medicines cost about Rs 10,000 which we paid for. We also bought Manoj a modern sewing machine as he knows tailoring. He is confident that he can make a living through stitching even if the income would be slightly lower than what he made at the factory. He would be at home and earn, and get his rest.
Manoj after getting a new sewing machine from Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation:
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.