Muslim man marries off adopted Hindu daughter - to a Hindu
Ghaziabad : A Muslim carpenter who adopted the young daughter of a Hindu neighbour 20 years ago has got her married to a Hindu man in a heart-warming story of love and secularism.
Shabbir Khan, 55, adopted Rakhi Sharma when she was about 20 months old. On Thursday night, she married Ranjit Sharma, an employee of a multinational company living at Nangloi in Delhi.
Shabbir used to live in Vinod Nagar in east Delhi when he first saw Rakhi, daughter of his Hindu friend.
"But my friend was an alcoholic. The girl was not given due care. Finding us affectionate, she used to come to our house though she could only crawl. She became close to my wife," Shabbir told IANS.
After a while, Shabbir shifted to Rahul Vihar in Ghaziabad.
"I took along the child as she had become an integral part of our family. She became like my own daughter. Her father did not object to her living with us," said the Muslim man, who has no child of his own.
Shabbir got Rakhi admitted to a school and educated her till Class 10. He never asked her to change her religion or practise Islam.
He gave Rakhi a separate room in which he constructed a mini temple for her to worship Hindu gods.
"Rakhi is my own daughter. Why would I object to her practising Hindu religion? She should do what she wants. I have done nothing exceptional," said the modest Shabbir, reluctantly speaking to the media at his double storey house.
But he quickly added that it was all a "family affair" and he wanted to be left alone.
When Rakhi turned 20, Shabbir decided she should get married. He shortlisted many Hindu grooms, specially Brahmins, for her.
"About three months back, I found a suitable match for her. I introduced Rakhi to him. The final choice was hers," he said.
He showered her with gifts on the occasion and bore all the expenses of the wedding. Over 300 guests attended the event at a banquet hall in Rahul Vihar.
Rakhi's biological parents were also invited. Rakhi has an elder brother, who is now married, and a younger sister.