Thane: An NGO Monday rescued an ailing and destitute former Shiv Sena minister who was the party's secular face in its government in 1995-99 and rehabilitated him in an old age home in Aurangabad.
Former Shiv Sena leader Shabbir Shaikh, (72), a two-time legislator from Ambernath and labour and minority affairs minister in the erstwhile Shiv Sena-BJP government, was taken from his small home in Kalyan to a senior citizens' home in Aurangabad.
Local NGO Kalpataru Yuva Vikas Manch (KYVM) will bear the entire cost of Shaikh's lodging, boarding and medication at the senior citizens' home for the rest of his life.
KYVM will pay about Rs.3,000 per month for Shaikh's stay and care in the Aurangabad home.
"When we learnt about his sad plight from a local TV report, KYVM decided to do something to enable him to spend the rest of his life with dignity," the NGO's president Sanjay B. Tambe-Patil told IANS.
Until last year, despite his frail health, Shaikh used to visit the ailing Shiv Sena patriarch, the late Bal Thackeray, on his birthday Jan 23.
"Shaikh was forgotten by the Shiv Sena, of which he was one of the original founder-members," said Tambe-Patil.
He said that since the whereabouts of his family are not known and no one knows why he was abandoned, the SYVM decided to adopt him.
"It is presumed that when in power, ministers make a lot of money. But here is a different example. Whatever he did as a legislator or as a minister was entirely in public interest, never for self-interest," Tambe-Patil said.