Ganderbal, Kashmir. Reviving the cultural diversity and communal Brotherhood of 'Kashur Batta-Musalmaan' legacy, Social Voluntary Organizat
London: (By Hannah Chowdhry) Badil Masih (10yrs) was sodomised and murdered by his employer Mr Mohammed Ikram and a cohort, in July 2019, for daring to seek full payment for work he had carried out at a scrapyard.
British Asian Christian Association stepped in to pay for legal costs, and support the family financially as they challenged for justice. Despite clear evidence of a crime courts offered pre-arrest bail to the murderers who began to threaten the Christian family and key witnesses.
Though Badil’s mother Shareefa remained stoic throughout the court process. The witnesses were nobbled by the murderers and their cohorts. They refused to testify and threatened to alter their statement if Shareefa continued to pursue justice. It is not known whether they succumbed to bribes, threats or both.
In tandem with the ignominy of losing witnesses Shareefa suffered intensified threats of the murder of her remaining son. Unbeknown to British Asian Christian Association or our solicitor, Shareefa met in private with the opponent solicitor and agreed compensation terms for the murder of her son.
The pain of her betrayal led to Shareefa dying from grief. Her remaining son Soojal (10 yrs) has been shunted between homes of maternal and paternal uncles and BACA attempted to place him in a boarding school.
In our last post we explained how difficult it was to engage with Soojal’s uncles, however we had been successful in getting permission for his desired attendance at school (click here). Eventually, we started Soojal at School.
Soojal was admitted to “The School of Excellence and National Academy” in March 2022, after a long struggle with an uncle who wanted him to work with him at his hair dressing business.
Unfortunately, Soojal failed an aptitude test for Maryland High School one of the top private schools in the area and we were required to admit him at ‘The School of Excellence and National Academy’ who agreed to take Soojal into their first grade which is 4 years below his expected educational level. It was at this point we learnt that Soojal had never been to school before.
BACA then hired a private tutor for Soojal so that he would be able to make up for his learning deficit. The first term exams of Soojal were taken this month and the result was returned on 20th June.
Faisal, Soojal’s uncle called our Operations Manager and informed him of the exciting news that Soojal was first out of all students in his first grade examination. This turnaround is quite amazing as it was completed in a span of three months.
Soojal is now able to read and write basic English, Urdu and Maths. Soojal has also been promoted to the second grade and his teachers and tutor believe he will advance to grade 4 by the end of summer term 2022-2023.
Soojal’s uncle was elated and he congratulated BACA for our untiring efforts to begin a study program for Soojal, he said:
“It is because of BACA that Soojal is in school today, otherwise he could have wasted his life.
“I am so sorry that I delayed this opportunity for him.
“Nothing would give me more pleasure than to see my brother’s son achieve great things.”
The principal of the School of Excellence and National Academy, Muhammad Roshan, said:
“Our school teachers pay special attention to Soojal as we have been moved by his backstory.
“We are quite amazed as Soojal is learning so fast and we believe he will soon reach a level commensurate with his age.”
“I am very thankful for the opportunity that has been made possible for me.
“I want to study hard and fulfil the promise I made to my mother that I would one day be a senior police officer.
“I want to make sure no-one is ever killed like my brother was.”
Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:
Only months ago Soojal was completely illiterate.
“Though his uncles had said he had attending some school evidence proved otherwise.
“With the help of a Catholic charity we have ensured he takes his first steps towards a decent education.
“He hopes to fulfil his promise to his deceased mother that he would become a senior police officer.
“We believe he will achieve this – even better we believe he will be able to full his desire to help Pakistani Christians in that role once achieved.”
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