Miles2smile Stories

Punishment before Judgment

3 Min Read
  • "We were dragged from the house. We couldn't save anything," Rashida Bi with glistening, tear-filled eyes.

Rashida Bi’s house was razed by the district administration in the aftermath of communal violence that erupted in the Sendhwa town of Barwani district in Madhya Pradesh during the Ram Navami procession of April 10, 2022.

The elderly woman is a resident of Sendhwa, living in a joint family. Her family includes her husband, two married sons and their respective families. Although the house did not have lavish facilities, they all lived happily under a single roof. Even in their wildest fantasy, they could not have imagined their home being demolished in front of their eyes.

During the Ram Navami procession of April 10, provocative music was played, leading to a stone-pelting incident that injured several people. According to local eyewitnesses, anti-Muslim slogans were also raised before the clash.

When the local authorities arrived the next day, they began arbitrarily demolishing Muslim houses on the pretext of their alleged involvement in the violence.

The administration accused Rashida Bi’s teenage grandson of taking part in the violence. However, they did not give the family a chance to prove his innocence. The accusations were still not verified, but Rashida Bi and her family were subjected to a harsh punishment. They were given a collective penalty. The administration did not give her even a few minutes to salvage some of her belongings.

When we met Rashida, she was not fed. She had no extra pair of clothes except the one she had been wearing for many days. Her essentials, mattresses, and clothes were beneath the debris, which she showed us profusely crying.

She was adrift in a sea of grief and winced at the unfairness of the situation.

When Miles2Smile met Rashida Bi’s family, their hearts were despairing as they walked through the ravages of what once used to be their modest home. It was heart-rendering to see their condition.  

Miles2Smile immediately raised a fundraiser for Rashida Bi. With the help of numerous donors, we supported the family with 5 Lakh Rupees. As we gave her the aid, Rashida Bi was brimming with happiness while thanking everyone who helped her. “May Allah bless you all,” her hands lifted to send prayers for her donors.

The financial assistance, Miles2Smile gave her was like an initial investment in the happiness and well-being of her family.

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