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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Family of Rajveer Kaur Bhatti who died from Covid raise £9500 to build mosque in Pakistan

The family of a 32-year-old woman who passed away from Covid-19 in September has raised over £9500 to build a mosque in Pakistan.

The family of a woman who passed away from Covid-19 have raised thousands of pounds to build a mosque in Pakistan.

Family, friends, and strangers have donated over £9500 to build a masjid in Rajveer Kaur ‘Keeks’, Bhatti’s honour.

Keeks contracted Covid-19 last August and spent just over three weeks in hospital, with the last two weeks in the ICU before passing away.

Keeks Bhati was known for her loving, generous, and bubbly personality.

Keeks’ sister, Raju Bhatti, 37, described her as “fun-loving”, “bubbly” and “kind”, making the nurses on the ward “laugh and cry”. She was also known for her generosity, giving food, and raising money for food banks and donating to people in need on the street.

Before Christmas, Ms Bhatti and her family donated £610 worth of food, household items, and toys to Bradford Central Foodbank, in her honour.

Keeks’ friends and family have also purchased five water wells and seven handpumps for communities across India and Pakistan and have now raised almost £10,000 to build a small mosque in her name.

The money is going to be donated to Ummah Welfare Trust, a humanitarian aid charity that delivers many projects, including building places of worship in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Malawi, Gambia, and Sierra Leone.

Keeks was an aunty and second-mum to her sister’s two children.

Of Sikh background, Raju Bhatti, Keeks’ older sister, 37, reverted to Islam around fifteen years ago. Deciding to join her sister on her journey, Keeks’ took the shahada on 31 January 2020 and took on a new name, Khadija, spending the last 18 months of her life as a Muslim.

Ms Bhatti said: “At the start of January, we thought we could do more for Keeks, as a family. We find peace in doing good on her behalf, so this is the way. It is important in Islam that we do for those who are not here and for ourselves, so doing this means everything.

“Before she passed away, she asked us, if anything happened to her, to build a well, as giving water is the best charity you can give. We’ve ended up providing five water wells and seven handpumps across India and Pakistan, so we thought why not try and raise money to build a mosque. We did it in two weeks, I can’t ask for much more than that.”

It took fifteen days for the fundraiser to reach its goal of £9000 and currently stands a little over £9500 with more money in donations buckets at family businesses across Bradford District.

A small mosque for around 100 worshipers in Pakistan costs around £7000, with a large one suitable for 200 worshippers’ costs around £13,000.

Five water wells and seven handpumps have been donated in her name in India and Pakistan.

The money left over will go to providing Qur’ans for the worshipers and a donation to the Yemen Appeal.

Ms Bhatti mentioned: “I am so surprised and overwhelmed by the response. We were going to organise a family fun day and a charity car wash to raise the funds needed for the masjid, but we haven’t had to do that as the money has come in so quickly.

Currently, over 243 people have donated to the fund. “So many people have donated, some that we don’t even know. Our family is so thankful for everyone who has read our story and donated to the masjid”, she added.

The family raised the funds through sharing the Just Giving Page on Snapchat and Facebook. Ms Bhatti’s children also get involved, with permission from their school, they sell sweet cones to fellow pupils on behalf of their much-loved auntie.

Ms Bhatti added: “When we reached our target, we had tears of joy, but after all these months of feeling down and sad, that day brought a smile to everyone’s face. This is all for her, she deserves it.”

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