Muslims forego Muharram procession to support their Hindu neighbor in West Bengal

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KOLKATA: A Hindu man suffering from cancer in West Bengal’s Kharagpur district had no money for the treatment but his Muslim neighbors came forward with help.
Abir Bhunia (35) is suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.
When the villagers heard Bhunia’s problem, the Muslims cancelled their Muharram procession all because they wanted to save the money and use it for the treatment of a Hindu neighbor.
Samaj Sangha Club, a local club which organizes Muharram procession in Kharagpur’s Puratan Bazar, raises around Rs 50,000 every year for the event.
This year, they are raising the same amount, but for Bhunia.
Bhunia, a local mobile recharge shop owner, needs Rs 12 lakh for a treatment that includes bone marrow transplantation and is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre in the southern fringes of the city.
“I don’t know whether I will recover from this disease or not. But what my neighbors did for me have touched my heart. I’m indebted to them,” Bhunia told EiSamay.
The club has already given Bhunia Rs 6,000 and is trying to raise more money than the usual amount for the Muharram procession.
“Muharram procession can be organized every year. But we must save the life first,” said, Amjad Khan, secretary of the club.
Another member of the club, Mohammad Bilal, said that they should stand by Bhunia in his bad times.
“He (Bhunia) has already lost his grandmother and both parents last year, and lives with his wife. They are expecting their first child. We should stand by him,” Bilal said, adding, “He is suffering from cancer and fighting with death.”

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