By Mohammad Suaib
New Delhi, Nov 3 (IANS) More than 100 people stranded overseas have returned to their homeland thanks to the efforts of Syed Abid Hussain, 36, popularly known as Bajrangi Bhaijaan in real life.
The citizens that Hussain, an interior designer by profession, has helped return to their homeland through the help of running social media campaigns include those from countries other than India.
Not only that, about 10 bodies were sent to their respective homelands and handed over to their loved ones. In fact, Hussain was very motivated after watching the biopic Sarabjit.
Inspired by the real life story of Sarabjit’s sister who makes untiring efforts to get her brother home from Pakistan, he began to help people who were stranded abroad. He believes that in case Sarabjit’s sister knew a knowledgeable person, she would have received good assistance.
Even before watching the film, he had helped a couple of people return to their homeland.
Hussain, a native of Ambedkar Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, lives with his wife and 11-year-old son in Bhopal, these days.
By running a campaign in countries like South Africa, USA, Kuwait, Nepal, Bahrain, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai, Oman and Malaysia, Hussain has helped hundreds of Indians and people from other nationalities return to their homeland.
He has been running these charitable campaigns since 2016. The great thing about his efforts is that he doesn’t charge anybody any money to help them. In fact, people contact him through Twitter and over the phone and ask him for help after which Hussain contacts the embassy associated with that country and helps the aggrieved family.
Thanks to his efforts, mountaineer Gautam Rajbhar, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, returned to India. Rajbhar had gone to Saudi Arabia to earn a living but he was duped by the recruiting agent and held in captivity. He could not even call his family back home for several days. Then one day he could make a video call in which he sought help to return to India. Hussain helped Rajbhar to return to India as well.
“I came to Bhopal in 2006 and did not do any social work till 2015,” Syed Abid Hussain told IANS. “My venture into social work began when a nine-year-old child from Pakistan came to Bhopal via Bangladesh. I got information about the matter. Then I made a lot of efforts to send the child back to Pakistan.”
In fact, Abid connects people through Twitter and social media platforms and seeks the help of authorities. Then he approaches the government and the concerned embassy on that issue.
In 2018, he also helped Pakistani resident Imran Warsi who had allegedly been imprisoned for 10 years in a case of mistaken identity to return home.
Hussain began to help the people in West Asia after this case. After which he found a number of cases in which people were stranded in other countries because of being misled by fake agents.
“Some agents take a group of labourers abroad and then snatch away their passports. Helpless in a foreign country, they are left to their devices. The information about such victims began to come to me. We started looking into these matters. From 2018 to 2020, we also helped hundreds of such people.”
“After watching ‘Sarabjit’, I started helping people stranded abroad and received a good response. People started contacting me through Twitter, e-mail and over ther phone. We have also begun to guide people on which embassy to contact,” says Hussain.
After helping so many people, Hussain has been honoured with more than 25 awards by various institutions. These include the Excellence Award, National Inspiration Award, Vivekananda Leadership Award etc. He has also been honoured on behalf of the Madhya Pradesh Wakf Board.
“Since the beginning I have been working alone. Some people who joined me in the beginning left the initiative later,” Hussain told IANS.
“We help those who approach us without looking at their community or religion,” he explains. “We get calls from people who are suffering. Most of the callers are Indians and human beings in the ultimate analysis. We send their information to the concerned embassy. After which they receive assistance,” adds Hussain.
“The security of the country is important to me. If a government takes a person into custody or interrogates him, we examine the allegations. If a person is innocent, he won’t get punished.”
Does he feel the Muslim community is targeted more than other communities?
“In this country, I have never felt this. There should be peace all over the world. People should respect the laws of the country they live in. I am also associated with social media. We love people of all religions and communities. Most of my friends are from another community and respond with great affection to my social media posts. If you do a good job, people will appreciate it.”
Why does he keep doing this selfless work, without getting too much in return?
“If people are not able to defend themselves, I help them. They can even help themselves without me. Doing good deeds bring us blessings and help us do do better in our business. We do not need any financial help, nor do we ask anyone for it.”
(Mohammad Suaib can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)