In Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh, a Muslim family sheltered a Hindu woman for 43 years. And now, as she leaves, the entire village were to see Panchubai go, her grandson said it was difficult for him to ask her to return.
“I thank all the people of this village for helping my grandmother for 43 years. I am sad that I am taking her from this village but I am happy how they treated her like their own. I, too, want to take care of my grandmother.”
Prithvi Kumar Shinde, Panchubai’s grandson
Israar Khan’s father had found Panchubai in a nearby forest. She had been stung by a honeybee. He took care of her and then the next generation of his family continued to do so.
“They have thanked us a lot but she should also get a chance to live with her family.”
A local said the entire village calls Panchubai ‘mausi,’ and she has been living with them for the last 40 years. He said:
“I have known her since I was 8-9 year old. We played with her, she beat us too. We respect her.”
The fact that a Muslim family has sheltered a Hindu woman from Nagpur for the last 43 years is a learning lesson for the country where communal problems have largely been normalised.