Ganderbal, Kashmir. Reviving the cultural diversity and communal Brotherhood of 'Kashur Batta-Musalmaan' legacy, Social Voluntary Organizat
London: (By Hannah Chowdhry) An Easter cake and prayers were the perfect way to celebrate Easter with the orphans of Shama and Shahzad.
Every Easter/Resurrection Day British Asian Christian Association’s team visit the children of Shama and Shahzad to share some prayers, chocolate presents and an Easter cake with them and their grandfather Mukhtar Masih.
Shama and Shahzad for those of you who are new to us, were a Christian couple enslaved in the brick kilns of Pakistan, burned alive after the accountant of their owner accused them of a blasphemy (click here) . His allegations were made to prevent Shama from filing rape charges against him. Through the blasphemy allegations and the couples extrajudicial killing he was able to escape the justice system. Though over 100 radicalised Muslim men were originally arrested for murdering the Christian couple, they also escaped justice (click here).
We were one of the first charities to provide support to the orphans and from the very first day since their parents were killed we have been providing a live-in nanny.
On 16th April 2022, the day after Easter set by the Gregorian calendar, BACA’s team visited Mukhtar, Suleman (13 yrs), Sonia (10 yrs) and Poonam (8 yrs).
The family are always happy to see BACA’s team they all have very close personal bonds with each other. We regularly visit the family every month.
Suleman was really excited to share the good news that he had progressed to class 4 with good grades. He expressed great joy and thanked all BACA and our donors for the laptop which was given to him by us in January (click here). He said:
“I have become very proficient in using my laptop it helps with my studies.
“I can search different kinds of learning material online.
“Studying for exams and research for my projects and homework is quick and easy.
“I want to thank everyone that made it possible for me to have this gift.”
Sonia and Poonam have also passed exams recently and are now promoted to their next classes. Poonam said:
“I know how to search for cartoons on my laptop.
“I love watching Tom and Jerry.
“I am also able to do classwork sent by my teacher online.”
BACA team visited the family and shared some Easter cake with them and chocolate gifts for the children. We do this every year so the children do not feel they have missed out because their parents are no longer with us. The children are always happy to see our team and we are definite that no other visitors are as close as we are with the family.
Mukhtar Masih, said:
“The children are making good progress in their studies.
“The gift of the laptops from BACA has helped Salman a lot for his age group it is essential for progress.
“I am proud of what he is achieving at school I know this is what my daughter Shama and her husband Shahzad wanted for their lives.
“These children will achieve what none of my ancestors or progeny have achieved before.
“Nothing can take away the pain of the death of their parents.
“But God has blessed these children beyond measure which will in time conquer the evil of their murder.”
During our visit we noticed that the family home of Shama and Shahzad needs a refreshing of paint. The family have also requested the installation of two fans for their children’s bedroom and their living area because using the computers creates excessive heat in an already hot climate. They would also like to have 3 charpai (rope beds) to enable the children to sleep cooler in the heat of the summer. The family depend on handouts as Mukhtar is too old to work and we would like to pay for all the above if donations can be raised. The total cost for Installation of fans, purchase of 3 Charpai (rope beds) and repainting of their home will cost £500.
I also remind you that we have been paying for a full time live-in nanny since 2014. The latest nanny has been in position for over 4 years and is as close to a replacement mother as these children will ever know. Sustaining her costs has been one of our priorities since Shama and Shahzad were killed. If you are moved by this story and would like to support these orphans and their grandfather.
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