Special Reports

Homes Charity Alliance Built for Muzaffarnagar Riot Victims

Future plans to uplift the victims

The anti-Muslim riots in and around Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh in September 2013, according to estimates left around 100,000 Muslims displaced from the districts of Muzaffarnagar, Shamli and Baghpat.

Alliance Colony for Muzaffarnagar Riot Victims — Safety and Security
Alliance Colony for Muzaffarnagar Riot Victims — Safety and Security

Charity Alliance, a registered trust started in 2005 for welfare and relief activities and headed by The Milli Gazette's editor, Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, started relief work among the Muzaffarnagar riot victims at once. Charity Alliance work so far has been possible with the generous support of MG readers.

In the second half of September 2013 our team made it's first visit to the area. We started relief work by distributing blankets and arranging for a hand pump. The expanse of the tragedy was too big and displaced people were scattered over a large area in dozens of camps. We concentrated our efforts on camps in and around Kairana, a town in Shamli district. Trucks of relief laden with clothes, blankets, socks, footwear, shawls, sweaters etc. were supplied. Strong plastic sheets to help make tents were also donated on a regular basis. 

Relief was coming from various areas but donors did not know what to donate and where. So, in December 2013, we opened a Coordination office at Kairana for coordination of relief and provision of information to the donors. This office functioned for about a year.

We then started helping displaced students with textbooks and copy books and other material. Our volunteer (Mr Akram) started meeting officials so that these displaced students could get admission in schools near their camps. Hundreds of students were helped with reading material and admissions.

To help the victims stand on their feet, tools for various vocations were distributed among riot victims on a large-scale. We reached out to masons, carpenters, plumbers, mobile repairer and welders etc who had to flee their native places to save their lives. It was impossible for them start again without proper tools for their profession.

Meanwhile the conditions of the camps erected on government forest land started deteriorating. With no sanitation, diseases started to spread. We helped arrange medical camps and free medicines as well.

As the UP government was trying to uproot the camps, at times by force, we felt that land should be purchased to give proper shelter and a sense of safety and dignity to the victims. Some other organisations like Jamiat Ulama and Jamaat-e Islami Hind too started building small colonies for these victims.

Alliance Colony for Riot Victims
Alliance Colony for Riot Victims

In December 2013, we purchased a piece of land of over 5 bighas at Sunethi Akbarpur, Tehsil Kairana, Dist Shamli, Uttar Pradesh. [See the location on Google maps here goo.gl/maps/TwhPDQKT5F62 ]. We planned the layout of the houses. The design of the homes was volunteered by Engineer Fahad Azmi. The structure is of bricks with proper strong foundation. Each house has two rooms, one bathroom, one toilet and a kitchen. The sanitation plan was volunteered by Er. Zainul Abedin Mansoorie. We had funds to complete 32 houses and a hall. All houses are on the periphery of the plot. There are no open sewage lines, all lines are covered and supported by several large septic tanks. The plot has deep borewell hand-pumps.

A riot victim allotee

Because of all the care for detail and legalities, the construction of the homes took a long time. We are grateful to local pradhan Daood for all the support. These homes have now been licensed for use to selected riot victims who did not get compensation from the government. They started living there since last November. Proper documentations has been done in each case. Victims have been given the right to use these houses free of cost for ten years during which they are required to make their own arrangements. 

Some Alliance Colony allotees showing their possession documents
Some Alliance Colony allotees showing their possession documents

Details of our work since the beginning among the victims in and around Kairana may be seen on our website (charityalliance.in). Audited reports of our income and expenditure are found on our website. 

It may be stated here that Charity Alliance is perhaps the only NGO in India which does not spend a single paisa on its central office; no trustee is paid a single paisa or is even reimbursed for his/her actual expenses. Moreover, The Milli Gazette regularly publishes advertisements and reports of Charity Alliance free of cost. Charity Alliance is also working in other areas especially in Murshidabad where among other things it runs a quality school and vocational centre in a very poor area.

Pictures of the completed homes can be seen here: www.facebook.com/charityalliance/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1260597663952948 

In future we hope to start a primary school and a vocational training centre in Sunethi to help uplift the condition of the riot victims as well as residents of the area. Please visit www.charityalliance.in for details on how to support us.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 July 2016 on page no. 24

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