It was 11 years ago that this elderly couple in Nagpada found two little girls in a garbage bin. Although they had four children of their own, the couple took in the girls and brought them up as their own. But the loving family was torn apart ten days back, when the girls’ mother who had dumped them in the garbage bin all those years ago came back to claim them as her own.
Rubina and Rafiq Sheikh (left) have brought up Kaiser (11) and Kausar (13) as their own children ever since they found the girls in a garbage bin 11 years ago. Recently, however, the family was torn apart when the police took away the girls, saying their real mother wanted them back
“11 years back, one of our neighbours told us that two small girls had been found in a garbage bin one was six months old and the other was one and a half years old. I took both the girls to my house; my husband and I are illiterate and we did not know about the paperwork for adoption,” said Rubina Sheikh (53), who lives with her husband Rafiq (63) at the Chota Sonapur compound in Nagpada.
“We have four children of our own all are now educated and married with kids. But these two girls are the youngest and we adore them the most. We named them Kaisar and Kausar. We taught them our religion put them in school. We never felt that they are not our own kids,” Rubina added.
Over a decade later, on March 25, Rubina and her husband received a rude shock when the police burst into their house and took Kaisar (now 11) and Kausar (13) away, saying the real mother wanted them back. At the police station, however, the girls did not recognise their biological mother and refused to go with her.
The cops sent them to the Dongri remand home to wait until the Child Welfare Committee decides who gets to keep them. “Nagpada police officials came into our house and asked for the kids like we were criminals. Kausar had gone to tuition class and we had to call her. They took custody of both the children and told us the original mother had complained against us,” Rubina recalled.
She said that both the girls were in the middle of their annual exams for Std V they had appeared for two papers and were yet to sit for the remaining subjects. But in the ensuing chaos, the girls missed the exams. “They took my daughters and kept them in that remand home with criminals.
What condition they will be in? They should have at least waited till the exams were over. And what was the need to send the children to the remand home? We were not going to run away with them. I am afraid for my daughters; we have not even eaten anything in the past ten days.
How can anyone take my kids away after 11 years?” said an inconsolable Rubina. Senior Police Inspector Shivaji Kadam of Nagpada police station said, “The girls live with the Sheikh family, but their mother wanted their custody, so we approached CWC. We took down statements of both sides and gave it to the CWC, which will take the decision.”
11 years ago
According to the police, the girls’ mother was fed up with her husband’s alcohol abuse and the way he would neglect the family. Worried about how she would bring up the children, she dumped the two girls in the garbage bin, but decided to keep her three sons. However, she waited on the sidelines to see what became of her daughters and even kept an eye on them as the Sheikhs brought them up.
Support for Sheikhs
Nagpada corporator Javed Juneja (Congress) said, “The biological mother had thrown the kids in a garbage bin and left them to die. What if some animal had eaten them? The Sheikhs brought them up for 11 years; how can she take them away now? I will take the matter to senior police officials.”