Cricketer Gautam Gambhir today announced that he would support the education of five-year-old Zohra, who emerged as the anguished face of terror in Jammu and Kashmir after her policeman father was killed by militants last month.
ASI Abdul Rashid was gunned down by militants in Anantnag chowk on August 18 when he was regulating traffic in the area.
In a series of emotional tweets today, Gambhir said he would help the young child realise her dreams and support her education for life.
“Zohra,I can’t put u (you) 2 (to) sleep wid (with) a lullaby but I’ll help u (you) 2 (to) wake up 2 (to) live ur dreams.
“(I) Will support ur (your) education 4 (for)lifetime #daughterofIndia,” Gambhir tweeted.
Photographs of Zohra crying inconsolably over the coffin of her father went viral on social media.
“Zohra, plz (please) don’t let those tears fall as I doubt even Mother Earth can take d (the) weight of ur (your) pain.
“Salutes to ur (your) martyred dad ASI, Abdul Rashid,” Gambhir added.
His manager Dinesh Chopra said the Gautam Gambhir Foundation (GGF) would support all her academic endeavours, including higher education.
“Gautam will be supporting Zohra’s education for lifetime starting now,” Chopra told PTI.
Asked whether Gambhir plans to meet the little girl, Chopra said, “This is not a photo opportunity for Gautam. This is a chance to help someone build her future and also pray to God that no child has to face this kind of a tragedy.”
Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police S P Vaid welcomed the announcement of the cricketer and said the tragedy had moved people to finally come out to help.
“The picture of Zohra is the actual reflection of kins of terror victims and I hope that it moves some people across the border who keep on pushing arms, ammunition and terrorists into the Valley,” he added.
In April, Gambhir made a promise to support the children of 24 CRPF men gunned down by naxals in Chhattisgarh in April.
Gambhir, on behalf of his IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders, had also promised to support the family of junior cricketer Ankit Keshri who died after an on-field collision during a club cricket match in Kolkata.
“The boy is not there with us and it is very disturbing… But I can assure you one thing that we (KKR) would go out there and do whatever we can for the family…,” Gambhir had said after the defending champions’ six-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils in April 2015.