Four of Rakbar’s seven children will now be studying, free of cost, in a madrasa in Aligarh run by educationist Salma Ansari, wife of former Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
Rakbar, 31, was transporting cows on foot in the night between July 20 and 21 with Aslam Khan, in his early twenties, when they were allegedly stopped by villagers in Lalwandi, under Ramgarh police station limits in Alwar district. While Rakbar was beaten to death, Aslam managed to escape. They were headed for their village Kolgaon in Haryana, several kilometres from Lalwandi.
The tuition and hostel fee of the four children, who are now in Aligarh, is being taken care of by the school and by Steps Foundation, with the latter being instrumental in bringing them to Aligarh.
Soon after the lynching, the Foundation had condemned the incident and “announced” to adopt all of Rakbar’s seven children “for their education and future endeavours.” It had stated that it will take care of their education in Aligarh till the children complete their education.
Mohammad Amir alias Minto, secretary of the Foundation, had visited Rakbar’s family in Kolgaon and had expressed his desire to educate all the seven children. Since three are still young, the family agreed to send the four older ones to the madrasa. Of the seven, the eldest is a 14-year-old girl and the youngest, also a daughter, about 2.5 years old.
“The kids were enrolled in different classes in a government school (in Haryana) but they couldn’t even read or write properly. Their learning was below par,” said Amir, adding that “the four have been enrolled in Madarsa-E-Chacha Nehru, affiliated with the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education.” Two of Rakbar’s daughters and two sons have shifted to Aligarh. School’s principal Rashid Ali said that two each have been enrolled in classes equivalent to nursery and kindergarten.
The madrasa is run by the Al Noor Charitable Society, which is headed by Salma Ansari. “The students are provided free education, which includes their uniform, textbooks, etc.” Ali said.
He said that while there are a few thousand students enrolled in its two campuses, there are only 20 students who live in hostel, including the four new ones and that the Steps Foundation has agreed to bear the hostel fee of the four students. Amir said that boarding costs of each student comes up to roughly Rs 2,000 a month.