84′ Riots Victim – Attar Kaur’s Son Gurdial Singh, a pass out from Akal Academy Baru Sahib has gone for Legal Studies to UK

Know More to the most heart-touching struggle of her strong-headed mother, Attar Kaur, bruised by the blemishes of Sikh Massacre’84

Winter 1984 had shattered the life of Attar Kaur into pieces which rendered her hopeless. Collecting the miseries of her tragic life, she gathered courage and strength to start afresh but during this while, she lost her husband and their source of livelihood. The family plummeted from middle-class status to being homeless and penniless.

The rioters mercilessly killed her husband Kirpal Singh, his electronic shop was pillaged.

Attar was dawned on with harsh realities of life being the sole caretaker of her seven children—four sons and three daughters—and her mother-in-law. One of them was just a month old. Yet she decided to fight by, refusing to be swamped by fate. She stitched clothes in a factory, cooked and cleaned as a maid in the nearby kothis and worked for 25 years in a government school in Janakpuri as ‘a water woman’, serving water to kids.

The minute details of her life illustrate what she endured all her life.

“Every day, I travelled by DTC to a sewing factory in Naraina where I worked from 9.30am to 5.30pm for Rs 250 a month. A gurdwara committee gave us another Rs 250 every month. That’s all we had to run the kitchen,” says Attar, now in her sixties.
The state of her children was her utmost concern. Her eldest son, thrashed by the rioters, had undergone a heart surgery. She recalls two of her other sons were saved by a Muslim neighbour, who quickly chopped off their hair.

She knew Tilak Vihar wasn’t the best place to bring up kids and was scared by the fact how other boys in the neighbourhood often strayed to the wild side and lost their way to drugs; even life. She did not want her kids to fall in this trap.

By God’s grace, nobody in the family took to drugs and her concerns were eased partially after a Sikh forum sent two of her sons to Baru Sahib in Himachal Pradesh giving a her a new ray of hope. Her younger son, Gurdial Singh, a pass out Akal Academy, Baru Sahib added a pride moment to the painful history of his family.

He is currently doing a course in legal affairs in the United Kingdom. Hope still floats for the family.

The bitter memories of 1984 still make her cry. She recalls making countless visits to Karkardooma court. It makes her inconsolable that the testimonies came to nothing.

~ Source: Times of India

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