Very often, life is bittersweet.
The story of Abdul Rashid Shaikh and Naima Niyaz Shaikh will show you exactly why that’s true.
When Abdul was all of five, he was found abandoned at the Pune railway station. He was rescued and went on to spend the next six years of his life at a remand home for children.
When he turned 11, he was sent to a home for destitute children in Thane’s Ulhasnagar. A true fighter, this young boy completed his class 10 examinations and secured admission in Bedekar College.
It was here that he met Principal Suchitra Naik, who helped shape his life. Going way beyond her duty, Suchitra decided to provide him with a roof and brought him home.
Speaking to the Mumbai Mirror, Suchitra said, “We brought him to our home in Dosti Acres, Wadala, and raised him as our own son. Now we had three kids. Initially, my children were hesitant to accept Abdul, but slowly, they drew close to him. They realised we desperately wanted them to support him and accepted him.”
Abdul did everyone proud by topping his college. He is currently employed with the General Post Office, in the postal-sorting department.
Naima, on the other hand, was rescued from a Mumbai railway station almost 19 years ago, when she was merely three-years-old. She was then sent to the Anjuman-i-Islam’s AD Bawla Female Orphanage in Mumbai’s Versova, where she stayed on and completed her education.
Speaking to the publication, Naima said, “My sister and I were abandoned to die on a railway platform. Today, we are alive because of Anjuman-i-Islam. They cared for us like children.”
When Abdul’s family was trying to find a match for him, it seemed that his union with Naima was preordained.
Zaheer Qazi, President, Anjuman-I- Islam, said, “Naima and her older sister were three and five respectively, and were found at a station in Mumbai. They were sent to a children’s home and later brought to the Anjuman to study. Right now, we have 200 girls, some pursuing MBA, some engineering, some nursing. When Abdul’s proposal came, we saw (that) he was settled and from the same community. We found out the story of how the Naiks had brought him up and were so happy.”
These stories will give you hope that while life can be harsh, there is always someone who will pick you up and help you move forward. Let’s all try and be that person to someone who needs it.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)