Sultana Begum, the great grand daughter-in law of last Mughal emperor

Jahane Rumi is grateful to Shivnath Jha for this contribution..

Stiching words together to restore glory to the lives lost in oblivion may not be an easy task.

But eminent journalist Shivnath Jha and wife Neena have successfully launched the ‘Andolan Ek Pustak Se’ movement in 2007 to help those who did the country proud in the past.

”We wanted to publish a book each year to honour and help those who brought laurels to the country,” said Shivnath Jha while addressing a press conference here yesterday.

”Our sole aim is to rehabilitate Sultana Begum, the great grand daughter-in law of last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar and her family. The proceeds from the sale of ‘Prime Ministers of India: Bharat Bhagya Vidhata,’ a coffee table book will go to rehabilitate Sultana Begum, who currently ekes out a living by selling tea in neigbouring Howrah district,” Mr Jha said.

”I am really proud that Mr Jha has successfully launched a movement to identify, rescue and rehabilitate such great souls from the sale proceeds of a book,” said Mr Vijay J Darda who owns Lokmat Group of Newspapers and is also a member of the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra, while handing over a draft of Rs 200,000 to Sultana Begum, for the marriage of her daughter.

The book provides a veritable mine of information on the achievements of the the leaders starting from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Earlier, Mr Jha used the proceeds from the book on Bismillah Khan to rehabilitate Vinayak Rao Tope, the great grandson of the Tantiya Tope, a revered leader of the 1857 Sepoy mutiny. (UNI)

Impoverished Mughal royal descendant gets a helping hand

Kolkata, May 2 (IANS) The great granddaughter-in-law of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar Sultana Begum, who now lives in a slum in West Bengal, is a little relieved. She now has the funds to perform get her daughter married, thanks to two journalists.

‘Andolan Ek Pustak Se’ – a movement kicked off by Delhi-based scribe Shivnath Jha and his wife Neena – was aimed at helping the erstwhile royal whose daughter Madhu will get married in June this year.

‘We’ve arranged to give her (Sultana Begum) a draft of Rs.200,000 for performing the marriage of her daughter,’ Jha told IANS.

Begum said: ‘I am very happy today to get this fund. It will help me to live my life properly as I don’t have any decent source of income.’

She lives in a 66-sq ft dingy room at a Howrah slum and runs a roadside tea stall there, about 14 km from here.
‘Despite serious penury, I was never reduced to being a beggar. I always held my head high in tough financial situations and lived with dignity,’ she said, thanking the Bismillah: The Beginning Foundation run by the Jhas.

Sultana’s husband, late Mirza Mohd Bedar Bukht, was a direct descendant of Bahadur Shah Zafar and crown queen Zeenat Mehal.

Jha told reporters here Saturday: ‘I decided to write a book, ‘Prime Ministers of India: Bharat Bhagya Vidhata’, and decided to rehabilitate the family of Sultana Begam from the proceeds of the book.’

The 534-page hard bound and illustrated book, scheduled to be released after the general elections, will contain details of India’s prime ministers, from Jawaharlal Nehru to Manmohan Singh.

It is the fourth book in the ‘Andolan Ek Pustak Se’ movement, which was launched by the duo in 2007 and aims to publish one book a year to honour and help those who have made India proud.

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