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Orphans in Kashmir

Photographer: Farooq Khan

 

The Yateem Foundation Orphanage for boys is run by a non-governmental organization (NGO), the Jammu and Kashmir Yateem Foundation, and shelters 50 boys at Jawaharnagar, a residential colony in the heart of Srinagar. The foundation started the orphanage in 2000 and since then it is run on charity by donors. The foundation also has two other orphanages in the southern district of Kashmir where another 50 orphans are nursed, its trustee Muhammad Ehsan Rather, a businessman, said. He explains, ‘To enable these children to compete in the modern world, we educate them in private English medium schools where they learn science, math and all other fields of modern education in English language.’

 

The Gulshan-E-Bannat Orphanage in Gopal Pora is an exclusive shelter home for girls and is run by the Jammu and Kashmir Yateem Trust. It is one of the oldest orphanages in Kashmir. The trust was founded by late Abdul KhaliqTak Zainagari. Since his death, his son Zahoor Ahmad Tak runs the orphanage where 114 girls are sheltered and given an education. The girls at the facility also take part in extracurricular activities like sports and quiz competitions.

 

According to a survey conducted by non-governmental organization (NGO) Save the Children, there are over 200,000 orphans in Jammu and Kashmir. Thirty-seven percent of these orphans have lost one or both parents due to the more than twenty-year-old armed conflict that began in the region in 1989.