Suresh Chand was an emotional wreck when we met him. The small pan shop that he used to run was in shambles and items from the shop lay strewn across the street. Suresh, an elderly and differently-abled man, had his only source of income snatched away from him.
That is what the riots that erupted in Delhi last year did to Suresh and many like him. People lost their belongings and lives as mobs ran amok. Years of savings were consumed by the flames of rage as the capital was going through one of the worst crises in recent memory. The environment was heavy with fear and tension, and danger lurked at every step. The government assured of rehabilitation, but most of those assurances remained hollow.
Suresh ran his shop with the help of his wife Saraswati, who is also a divyang (differently-abled)। Neither can walk without support.
Suresh narrated to us the events on that fateful day when his shop was vandalised. He was sitting at the counter, as he did every day, minding his business and selling his wares when a mob went on a rampage. People around started running helter-skelter. Suresh was worried about his wife. He asked her to move to a safer place. Then the mob started pelting stones. With the situation quickly going out of control, Suresh had no option but to leave his shop at the mercy of the hooligans and leave.
When the storm passed, it left devastation in its wake. Suresh had lost everything. He was driven to destitution.
Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation then took it upon itself to help Suresh in piecing his life back together. We made an immediate transfer of Rs 25,000.
After a year, when we met Suresh again, he had bounced back admirably. He was sitting at the counter of his shop that he had rebuilt with our support. He lamented that except for our foundation, nobody else came forward to help. Hardships have not totally vanished from his life, but at least he has his shop back.
Doing whatever little we could for Suresh made us happy too. It was another case in which we could live up to our aim of helping the underprivileged and vulnerable sections of society. Do support us so that we can continue our mission.