“Taking in Akbar wasn’t something I thought twice about” says Aiku Lal Sandil, who runs a tea stall behind Baradari in Lucknow and has adopted a Muslim child Akbar. This unique father-son relationship started eight years ago, when Aiku found a lost 6 year old, Akbar in a garden.
“I am a Hindu brought up by a kind Muslim man. When I found Akbar, it was like God telling me that it is time to return the love and care I got from His people. I was never forced to change my religion and, having got that education from my guardian, it was my duty to take care of the child and bring him up as per his own religion,” Sandil says.
Four years back, the bond was acknowledged by Allahabad High Court when it dismissed Akbar’s biological mother Shahnaz Begum’s petition to get custody of the boy.
Aiku Lal and Akbar were overjoyed by this felicitation and continue to live together.