Widows with children struggling to find permanent source of income

Naazish, a resident of Loni in northeast Delhi, had lost her husband, Jamaluddin, last year in the communal riots.

Published: 23rd February 2021 07:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2021 07:51 AM   |  A+A-

Naazish, who lost her husband in the riots, has four sons.

Naazish, who lost her husband in the riots, has four sons. (Photos | Parveen Negi, EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: For the last year, Naazish has been hiding the harshest fact from her youngest son, that his father will never come back. 

“The youngest one, 4, doesn’t know that his father is dead. Almost every day he asks me when will his father return. I don’t dare to tell him that his father will never come back,” said sobbing 25-year-oldNaazish, a mother of four. 

Naazish, a resident of Loni in northeast Delhi, had lost her husband, Jamaluddin, last year in the communal riots. She now weaves cots for their livelihoods. 

However, Naazish is among those who have received monetary compensation of Rs 10 lakh from the Delhi government which she wants to utilise by purchasing a plot and putting that on rent for a source of income.

“No matter how much money I get, that can never compensate for my husband. Can money ever replace a person? On February 25, we had a wedding ceremony to attend. He had told me that we would have a lavish wedding for our sons. That was our last conversation,” Naazish recollected.She added that her husband was alive when taken to the hospital. He was hit on the head by a mob and had suffered severe injuries. He was alive for five days at the GTB hospital.

“The police had found his body lying on a road and had taken to the hospital,” Naazish said.

Sharing a similar ordeal, Nargis, a resident of Johripur,  said: “I was pregnant with my fourth child and not keeping well for the past few days. Risking his life during the riots, my husband, Meersalim, had gone outside to get some medicines for me, but never came back home.” 

Nargis added that when Meersalim, a scrap dealer, didn’t come back till late evening on February 25, she had started calling on his mobile phone and tried to reach out to others for help.

“Because the riots were going on, and the area was badly affected, we couldn’t even step out,” Nargis said.The swollen body of Meersalim, she said, was found 19 days later.

“The police said on February 28, Meersalim’s body was recovered from a drain near Gokulpuri. We were called over there to identify him. He had received a gunshot. The body was in such a bad condition that I couldn’t even recognise him initially,” she added. 

Nargis gave birth to the fourth child in December. She has also received Rs 10 lakh as financial aid from the Delhi government.

“I will invest the money in a  flat. As of now, NGO Helping Hands is guiding me. I have been making face masks and the NGO gave me a new sewing machine,” she said.



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