Nobody stopped coming to my class after riots: Muslim teacher in Jahangirpuri

Updated on Apr 20, 2022 04:45 AM IST

Zeenat Khan, the 33-year-old tuition teacher who takes classes at her mother’s home, says none of her students stopped coming to her despite clashes between the two communities on Saturday evening.

Zeenat, 33, seen during a class, on Tuesday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT)
Zeenat, 33, seen during a class, on Tuesday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT)
By, New Delhi

For residents of violence-hit Jahangirpuri, street number 500 in G block is a symbol of hope as children of the Hindu-dominated neighbourhood flock to the only Muslim house here for tuition classes.

Zeenat Khan, the 33-year-old tuition teacher who takes classes at her mother’s home, says none of her students stopped coming to her despite clashes between the two communities on Saturday evening.

“I am happy that students didn’t stop coming after the violence. I didn’t even get calls from parents regarding any misgivings. They just continued to send their children,” says “Zeenat madam” as she is known in the neighbourhood, while teaching 10-year-old Class 4 student Sejal who had come with her 4-year-old brother on Tuesday.

Zeenat resides with her husband and son in E block, a Muslim neighbourhood. “I come here to give tuition classes every day because I taught here before I got married.”

Also Read | Man who opened fire during Jahangirpuri clash arrested, says Delhi Police

Zeenat teaches about 12 children, both girls and boys aged between 4 and 15, all residents of G and H blocks, both Hindu neighbourhoods. A college drop-out, she says she taught children till 2016 and took a break from teaching when she got married. She resumed the tuition classes six months ago. She teaches children who don’t go to school as well as those in classes 8 and 9, she says, correcting an assignment Sejal has just completed.

Sejal’s mother Suman, the resident of a neighbouring street, says she has no qualms about sending both her children to Zeenat. “I trust her and she is a good teacher,” she says.

It didn’t cross Zeenat’s mind for a second to not teach the children either. “I have been teaching these children for months. I charge a minimal fee so their parents can afford these classes. This clash won’t change that,” she says.

The Khan family, comprising the siblings--two brothers and five sisters--and their mother has been living in this double-storey house on this street for over 50 years, they say, adding that their father passed away a few years ago.

Also Read | Conspiracy or not? Police lens on glass bottles from scrap shops used as arms

On the day of the clashes, Zeenat’s brother Irshad (30) says that the family was inside the house when they heard the commotion. “I saw several people running helter-skelter on the street. We worried about our welfare, but our neighbours stood with us and assured us that they were there for us. We remained indoors,” he says.

Zeenat concedes that the relationship between the two communities has changed for the worse over the past few years. “We used to celebrate raksha bandhan and tie rakhis on my brother’s wrist. Our Hindu neighbours would come to our house for Eid. It still happens but not with the kind of ease it did earlier,” she said.

Irshad says that he has many Hindu friends because he was born and brought up on this street. “It hurts to see what’s happening,” he said.

Meanwhile, the roads of Jahangirpuri witnessed heavy police deployment and barricading for the fourth consecutive day. Fewer shops in the locality remained shut, but the movement of people and vehicles was restricted due to barricades.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, February 07, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals