We are a group of journalists who have covered the other side of the war on terror. We have seen how investigations are manipulated by the police and our system to frame young people. But now they have been cleared by our judiciary and we have decided to come together and help these individuals get a livelihood and get their dignity back.
Will you contribute? Can you donate some funds? Can you share this post? Can you become an ambassador of this cause and ask others to contribute? Only when all of us participate can we hope to build a future that belongs to all of us.
Imagine spending your Eid in Jail.
Why should you? You have never committed any crime. Right?
But neither did they.
Rehmaana Farooqui, Wasif Haidar, Aamir Khan and Irshad Ali were all framed in terror cases, tortured and forced to spend the best years of their life in jail, before being acquitted by the judiciary.
When we, as journalists, covered their stories, we almost took it for granted that the worst is over for them. After all, they were out of the dungeons and back with their families and loved ones.
But we were wrong.
With the system against you and TV Channels painting you as a dahshatgard (terrorist), even your neighbours and your society turns against you. It’s almost like a pattern – they come back home after many years and then there is no career. Their parents are financially depleted and their children have no means to continue education.
Our job as journalists is to keep looking for a new story but rarely do we get time to go back to the subject of an old story. But when we heard about this fundraising campaign that is trying to restore their dignity and put their lives back on track, we decided to step in.
Wasif Haidar was working as an executive with an MNC in Kanpur when he was arrested 10 years back. But he is yet to get a stable job. He needs Rs 400,000 to start a small business and Rs 100,000 to send his daughter back to school.
Since his acquittal after spending 14 long years in prison, Mohammad Aamir Khan has become the voice of the incarcerated. His positive attitude is inspiring others to keep fighting against injustice, but he also dreams of giving good education to his 3-year-old daughter Anusha. He is looking to raise Rs 100,000 for Anusha’s education.
Mohammad Irshad Ali was a taxi driver and helped the police as an informer for many years, keeping us all safe. But the police themselves framed him in false terror cases when he refused to do the illegal things they wanted him to do.
After his acquittal, he is back to being a taxi driver but is often exploited by the taxi owners and underpaid. He has a wife and a son who had to drop out of school. If we could raise 2,50,000 rupees, we will help him buy his own vehicle and take charge of his life.
When Rehmaana Siddiqui was arrested in the Red Fort attack case, the media got some great masala – a woman jihadi! But then years later when the police could not prove a single charge against her, she was acquitted. Apart from mental trauma, the five years she spent in jail also resulted in some spinal complications because of which she can not do any standing jobs (She was a trained beautician).
But she is inspired enough to start a social enterprise where she would run a community kitchen for students from Jamia Millia University, which is close to her residence. She also needs about 200,000 rupees for her spinal treatment. In total, if we could raise 500,000 rupees, we can help this ‘damned terrorist’ become Rehmaana again.
This is the first set of four exonerees we are supporting at this point, if need be we will do whatever we can to help spread the word for others too.
How can you contribute? Can you donate some funds? Can you share this post? Can you become an ambassador of this cause and ask others to contribute? Only when all of us participate can we hope to build a future that belongs to all of us.
With respect and gratitude
Aditya Menon, Ajoy Ashirwad, Aleemulah Khan, Amit Kumar, Asad Ashraf, Manisha Bhalla, Paramita Ghosh, Shahnawaz Malik, Sidhant Mohan, Suhas Munshi
The money raised by here will be divided equally among the beneficiaries and transferred into their accounts. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this campaign, feel free to reach out to us:
Sharib Ali – 9892260043