Wednesday, 29 February 2012

10 years of Gujarat: For thousands of victims of the worst-ever communal carnage in Gujarat a decade ago, Hyderabad has become the second home, where they love to cherish the selfless hospitality of Hyderabadis

Syed Akbar

Hyderabad: For thousands of victims of the worst-ever communal carnage in Gujarat 
a decade ago, Hyderabad has become the second home, where they love to cherish the 
selfless hospitality of Hyderabadis. The city welcomed with open arms the victims of 
Gujarat riots in 2002 with unparallel relief and rehabilitation schemes including special 
and customized sessions of .counselling to help them overcome the psychological trauma 
and physical shock.

Hyderabadis spent at least Rs 200 crore towards building pucca houses, providing 
education and setting up business establishments for the benefit of riot victims. Members 
of the Bohra, Ismaili, Memon and other Muslim communities migrated to Hyderabad and other 
parts of south India after the communal carnage in Gujarat 10 years ago.

Several Muslim philanthropist organizations had taken up the responsibility of educating 
the children of the victims, and providing financial aid to open shops in Hyderabad. A 
majority of the victims were rich but their properties were destroyed by rioters. Free 
legal aid was offered to help the victims fight compensation and other legal cases 
including obtaining bail for innocent people lodged in jail on false charges

Teams from Hyderabad went to Gujarat where they constructed housing colonies. Some of the 
groups had worked for even six months to boost the morale of the victims. About 2000 
families had migrated to the city. In one single case 100 families, which had settled 
down in Gujarat for ages, had returned to their native village in Mahbubnagar district 
following the riots. A housing colony was built for them from the Zakat funds collected 
from Hyderabadis.

“Hyderabad is now my home and I have settled here with family. The riots had left me 
penniless and had support not come from Hyderabad, I would have been on the streets now. 
Thanks to Hyderabad, I am well placed,” says a middle aged businessman, who came to the 
city in June 2002. The local jamaat extended him financial support to set up a garments 
shop

A trader from Bohra community narrowly escaped the attacking rioters and came to 
Hyderabad in March 2002.He initially stayed at a relief camp in the city and when help 
reached him, he launched his business here. “It was all nightmare. I do not want to 
recollect it now,” he adds

The Salama School in Tolichowki stood as the single largest benefactor of children of 
displaced riot victims. “We offered education to 720 children, including many girls. 
Thanks to the initial succor we had provided them, some of the students are now in 
professional postgraduate courses like M Pharmacy and M Tech,” says a representative of 
the school. She wants to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. According to Dr 
Ifthikharuddin of Mesco, they provided help to about 250 students in their school.

“The riots were unprecedented. So was the mental trauma and torture for the survivors. 
Some of them, particularly youngsters, still wake up in sleep in horror and shock. The 
victims had to be provided special counseling to boost their morale. Special counseling 
sessions were conducted for the victims, particularly those who had escaped narrowly or 
those who watched their own kin and property being attacked, killed or looted,” recalls 
Mr. Mubashir who was involved in relief and rehabilitation works for six months.

City philanthropists also arranged physiotherapy sessions for the victims to overcome the 
physical trauma. The Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust concentrated rehabilitation in 
Gujarat where it constructed a colony for the victims. Siasat too built a housing colony 
in Gujarat.

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