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Haji Sikandar Bhai: 24 years of a noble mission

Vadhawan: While the hustle bustle of modern life does not spare people a single moment of leisure and humdrum keeps men chasing one ambition after another; there is one noble soul in Surendra Nagar who for the last 24 years has devoted himself to the challenging task of disposal of unclaimed dead bodies. Irrespective of class, colour or creed, this saintly figure, Haji Sikandar Bhai, roams city streets to find any unclaimed corpse. A mendicant, any fakir, who dies destitute on pavements find in him a dedicated soul who performs the funeral rites of the dead body as per religious injunctions of the dead. After reporting the matter to police and waiting for the formalities of post-mortem he takes charge of the corpse and ensures a proper funeral of the dead. Since 1986 when he used to sell soda in a lorry he has uninterruptedly carried on this humanitarian task. He conducts programmes in jails throughout the year. If he arranges iftar, sehri and Eid prayers for the Muslim inmates of jails; he also extends similar facilities to Hindu inmates during navratri and garba.

Thousands of unclaimed bodies reached their first stage of eternal journey through his sincere and indefatigable efforts. Sahir Ludhianvi had envisioned a person without religious bias:
“Tu Hindu benega na Musalman banega,
Insan ki aulad hai insan banega.”

 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 January 2011 on page no. 19

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