Nazia would go to the Shaheen Bagh demonstration every day with her four-month-old son Mohammed Jahaan until the night of January 30, when he died in his sleep. Jahaan was a favorite among the protesters at Shaheen Bagh and they would take turns to hold him. The people there would paint his cheeks with the tricolor. Nazia, however, is still determined to participate in the anti-CAA protest, emphasizing that this is “for the future of my children.”
I haven’t been able to earn enough in the last month despite driving the battery rickshaw in addition to my embroidery work. Now with our baby’s demise, we have lost everything. – Nazia’s husband.
Jahaan apparently developed severe cold and congestion due to the constant exposure to low temperatures at the Shaheen Bagh protests. Although Nazia, whose husband is an e-rickshaw driver, is disturbed and heartbroken by the death of her newborn, she is undeterred, since she feels that CAA and NRC are against the welfare of all communities. Although, she would be going for the protest without her children now.
Hailing from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, she is a mother to two other children – a five-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son. The family lives in a tiny shanty put together with plastic sheets and cloth in Batla House area and barely manage two square meals in a day with their meager earnings.
Arif, Nazia’s husband is an embroidery worker and also drives an e-rickshaw. Nazia helps him in the embroidery work. “I haven’t been able to earn enough in the last month despite driving the battery rickshaw in addition to my embroidery work. Now with our baby’s demise, we have lost everything,” he told The Print.
I don’t know if there is politics involved but I know that I must question what is against the future of my children. – Nazia
Jahaan had been put to sleep by his mother after returning from the demonstration on the night of January 30. In the morning, she woke up to find him motionless. The couple rushed their son to the nearby Alshifa Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. Although the death certificate issued by the hospital does not mention any specific reason for the death, the mother says that he died after catching a cold that turned lethal. She did not realize that his congestion was so severe.
Nazia had been visiting the Shaheen Bagh demonstration every day since December 18 and took others from the neighborhood along with her. She would gather women and they would walk together to the place about two kilometers away. On being asked the reason why she is doing this, Nazia said, “For my children and the children of all us who need a bright future in this country.” She further stated, “The CAA divides us on religion and should never be accepted. I don’t know if there is politics involved but I know that I must question what is against the future of my children.”
Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.