A devout Hindu in the service of fasting Muslims

A devout Hindu in the service of fasting Muslims

Living in harmony

Barati LalBarati LalBut 54-year-old Barati Lal does something else as well. He has been waking up the rozedars (Muslims, who fast during the month of Ramzan) at dawn for the past 22 years regularly to enable them to have sehari (eatables consumed before beginning the fast at dawn).

The Muslims residing in several localities in Lucknow wake up during Ramzan only after hearing the voice of Barati Lal, who uses a loud speaker to wake them up.
Lal has become a household name in the Muslim clusters at Dandahiya Bazar, Tatarpur, Mehendi Tola and Chaudhary Tola areas. He is fondly referred to as sehari baba.

Barati Lal, an employee of the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Department, said it took him a little more than one hour to take a round of the Muslim localities.

“Earlier, I did not use the loud speaker as my voice itself was too loud to wake up the rozedars but now I have to use it as I have grown old,” Lal told Deccan Herald.
During the initial years he did not disclose this to his family fearing opposition. “But later on my family members, especially my wife, also helped me in this noble work,” he said.

Even the ongoing spell of early morning rain could not prevent Lal from performing his “sacred duty.”

“It is said that the Almighty blesses the person who helps the fasting Muslims in anyway,” he said.

Lal said he began this job in 1987 with a view to waking up Muslims  on time, offering prayer. The timing of sehari is not certain and keeps on changing. It is usually at dawn. 

Mohammad Yusuf, a resident of the area, said he wakes up hearing Lal’s resonant voice.

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