Lucknow University staffer first to donate money for Dhannipur mosque
“It was a small gesture as a true Lakhnavi. We are known for our Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb,” said Lucknow University law faculty employee Rohit Srivastava, who became the first person to donate money for the construction of a mosque that will come up on the 5-acre land in Dhannipur village in Ayodhya district.
As proof of his gesture and acknowledging his donation of ₹21,000, he has been given a receipt bearing the serial number ‘001’.
“I donated ₹21,000 from my salary. I am sure that it will send a strong message among all, especially in times of intolerance and growing communal discord,” the LU employee said.
According to Srivastava, he conceived the idea of making a donation after the Supreme Court November 9, 2019 verdict, in which the apex court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to allocate a 5-acre land to the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB) for the construction of the mosque and cleared the way for the construction of a Ram temple at the 2.77 acre disputed site in Ayodhya.
“I am a Lakhnavi. I was born and brought up in a locality near Kasaibada area of Qaiserbagh that has Hindus and Muslim in equal proportion. We have grown up in the same environment. I have partaken in several iftaars and sehris with my Muslim friends and neighbours, and I have seen them (my Muslim friends and neighbours) having gujiyas during Holi.
“Hence, it comes from within to contribute something, whatever is in my capacity. I approached the trust that I wished to donate a small amount for the mosque,” said Srivastava, whose father was professor in the faculty of law, Lucknow University.
Athar Hussain, spokesperson for the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF) – the trust formed by UPSCWB for the construction of the mosque and other structures of public utility on the allocated 5-acre land— said, “Indeed, it’s a nice gesture on his part. Also, he is the first one to contribute towards the construction of the mosque and other establishments including a hospital, Indo-Islamic Cultural Research Centre having a library, museum and publication and a community kitchen. I am sure this will send a strong message of communal harmony and will further strengthen the bond between communities.”
Earlier, Kailash Math chief priest and Niranjani Akhada mahamandaleshwar Ahutoshanand Giri, had made an announcement on August 12 to donate a silver brick for the construction of the Dhannipur mosque. Giri had also said that if in case the use of silver to lay the foundation of the mosque is prohibited, he is also ready to give a gold brick.