From the rubble of communal hatred, a heart-warming story of humanity has emerged in a district torn asunder by violence just a few days ago.
Rabia Begum of village Paldi near Shahpur adopts few-days' old baby girl she found abandoned in the bushes. (Kapil Saini/HT Photo)
A mother of eight, Rabia Begum of village Paldi near Shahpur, has adopted a few-days' old baby girl she found abandoned in the bushes two days ago.
"On September 15, just when police was removing barricades after the chief minister's visit, I went to Shahpur for some work. As I was passing near the Basi drain, I heard the cries of a child. After searching for around 10 minutes, a found this little girl trapped in a roadside bush," says Rabia.
"Her beautiful face moved me so much that I decided to take her with me. Besides, I was also afraid of stray dogs causing harm to her," she adds.
Just a few days ago, communal clashes had rocked the district leaving 47 people dead and over 50,000 people homeless.
Rabia, who has five sons and three daughters, says she doesn’t care what caste or religion the girl belongs to and that she would raise her like her own daughter.
"My husband, who works as a barber, is completely supportive of my decision. I have got so attached to this girl that I refuse to part with her despite our modest means," she says, adding she has been approached by many childless couples who want to adopt the girl.
"I have named her Aliba. We are poor, but we have a broad mindset when it comes to a girl child. She would be raised in our house like a fourth daughter," Rabia adds.
Rabia says she would not give Aliba up even if her real parents come to claim her. "From now on, I am her only mother and would not give her to any person," she declares.
The Army was withdrawn from the riot-hit areas on Tuesday with Muzaffarnagar limping back to normalcy. Army personnel were deployed immediately after outbreak of communal violence in Muzaffarnagar-Shamli on September 7.