Patna: In a rare example of communal harmony, a Hindu man who brought up a Muslim girl for 20 years after she was deserted as a child by her poverty-stricken parents, has now married her to a groom from her own community.
Upendra Gupta, who brought up Shabbo Khatoon as his own daughter, married her to a Muslim boy with Islamic rituals.
Gupta, a resident of Jhanda Chowk in Purnea district, about 400 km from Patna, had found Shabbo 20 years ago when she was just four years old and abandoned by her parents.
He brought her up like his own daughter, but according to Muslim practices.
"Though I brought her up like my daughter, I married her to a Muslim boy keeping in view her religion at the time of her birth. For me, humanity is more important than my religion," Gupta said.
Most of the members in the groom's marriage party were Muslims, while those in the bride's family were Hindus.
People have praised Gupta for his step.
"Gupta has set an example on how to treat people with dignity and respect," said local resident Ghulam Ansari.
Mohd. Azad, another local resident, said if Gupta had wanted he could have brought up Shabbo as a Hindu girl and easily married her to a Hindu boy. "But, for him, humanity is above anything," he said.