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Year on, widows of Delhi riot victims struggle to make ends meet

Some women said they hope to start small businesses so they can become self-sufficient and take care of their children.

Written by Jignasa Sinha | New Delhi |
Updated: February 4, 2021 1:30:34 pm
delhi riots, northeast delhi riots witnesses, delhi riots chargesheet, delhi riots accused, delhi riots probe, delhi riots witnesses compromised, delhi city news53 people lost their lives in the riots.

Over Fifteen women who lost their husbands in last year’s Northeast Delhi riots Wednesday gathered at Kardampuri and complained that the compensation provided to them wasn’t enough, particularly since many were without jobs and had to rebuild homes that were lost in the violence.

The gathering had been organised by CPM members, including Brinda Karat, who have now assured scholarships for their children.

Rukshana Bano (31), who lives in Loni with six children, lost her husband Feroz on February 24 last year. According to the family, Feroz was out for work when rioters killed him and dumped his body in an autorickshaw. She said, “We found his body at a hospital 17 days after his death. Earlier, Feroz’s parents supported us, but now, I have to manage everything. The Delhi government gave us Rs 10 lakh but I need to enroll my children in school and tuition fees is an issue. Plus I wasn’t able to earn money during the lockdown.”

Mohd Furkan (30) was shot dead in Yamuna Vihar, leaving behind his wife Firdaus and their two children aged three and six. Firdaus said she lives alone in Kardampuri and fears she will lose her house one day. “My brother-in-law is supportive but my father-in-law wants me to leave and stay with my parents in Bhajanpura. I just want my kids to get a good education. Furkan had left the house that day to get cheese for our son. We got his body after three days. My in-laws have the compensation money and give me Rs 10,000 for ration, school fee and other expenses every month,” she said.

Like her, several women said their in-laws had kept the compensation amount and gave them a monthly sum.

Some women said they hope to start small businesses so they can become self-sufficient and take care of their children.

Sahiba (28), whose husband Aash Mohd was stabbed to death on February 28 last year, said she is talking to members of Mahila Samiti in Delhi and shopkeepers to get a job so she can pay the school fee of her children aged five, eight and ten. “The compensation money wasn’t enough. My youngest daughter is hard of hearing and needs an operation. She was undergoing treatment but I can’t afford to pay the hospital bills now. I have to run the house and I can’t be dependent on organisations to get free ration. We need more help to either set up a business, open a shop or just get a sewing machine. I can then start a small boutique or sell cosmetics.”

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