Saika and Shahina Khan were 5 and 3 (now aged 18 and 16) when their father was killed in a tragic accident. Their distraught mother of 3 children, with an infant son in addition to the girls, turned to Sakina Girls Home (SGH) in Andhari, Mumbai for help. Saika and Shaina were readily accepted and become new family members to other 70 plus orphan girls that call SGH home.
Why would I want to pick out these 2 sisters to blog about? Well, it is not everyday that somebody you care and support tops 94% overall grade at a school in India. This outstanding result, by Shahina, is unheard of, makes me delighted that CAI donors are proud sponsors of SGH, where these 2 sisters grew up to become such successful and productive teenagers. I chanced upon meeting these girls, now back living with their mother, during my recent trip to Mumbai and here is what they had to say:
We miss SGH a lot, a lot; it was haven for us. We miss our friends, sisters really, we grew up with, the daily jamaat prayers, our petty fights, our silliness. But what we miss the most are the 2 people at SGH that shaped our lives – Naseem Auntie and Aliakber Uncle. Naseem Auntie was our mother, she trained and guided us and installed what is best in life for us; made us believe in ourselves. If there are angels in this world, than Naseem Auntie was their sardar! We still can’t believe she is no more… Aliakberbhai spoiled us; we were never hungry, treats, picnics, new clothes, yoga classes, it was so wonderful. He is the father we never knew, even now, he guides us…
But the best outcome in our life at the orphanage was the quality education we got while at SGH. We attended the best schools in the neighborhood, followed up by tuition and anything else that we required to excel in class. With this opportunity, both us us have excelled and prospects for a good career are exceptional, especially in the field we have chosen – software development. Once we graduate from college, we will, insha’Allah, have the opportunity of earning exceptional starting salaries we never imagined.
We owe all of this success to SGH and the people who dedicate their lives in running it. I remind them about the donors that make it possible to run SGH. Of course, they are in our prayers every day… And what about paying back to the society that helped you? No question about it, we intend to, insha’Allah, repay all the goodness with our efforts and money. We will never forget, never…our lives would have probably been compromised with almost certain early marriage and poverty; we owe it all to SGH.
The girls now live with their Mum who is a cook. Life is tough on a cook’s earnings but they manage somehow. Comfort Aid International continues partial support of the sisters collage tuition.
A few words about our fallen angel, Naseembai Jeevan. This woman was a stubborn believer in quality education, an ideal we at CAI rigidly follow. This kind and giving lady, who’s life revolved around SGH, succumbed to the will of Allah and returned to her Creator about 2 years ago at a relatively very young age. We pay fond tribute to her memory and pray to Allah to keep her soul blissfully happy and reward her abundantly.
Aliakberbhai Ratansi is still going strong, keeping a caring and loving eye over the girls at SGH. May Allah prolong his dedicated life in the service of CAI supported orphans all over India.