Srinagar: For the children at Rahat Manzil in Bemina, Eid, more than anything else, means freedom to move out from the four walls of the orphanage without asking for a pass from the warden.
And that is why 15-year-old Shakir Ahmad is eagerly waiting to wear his new Khan dress on this Eid and go out with his friends to Mughal gardens.
“We mostly remain indoors either in the school or in the hostel. Like other boys we cannot roam outside after school hours. The life here is caged,” says Shakir. “But it is only on Eid when our hostel wardens take us to Mughal gardens to have some fun,” he says.
Not only the outdoor trip but the food also would be special like Yakhni and Chicken. “It is the only day when I feel pampered here. We get eidi (gift) from the chairman and the guests,” says Shakir.
The boy was brought to the orphanage when he was six and has got used to the atmosphere here.
“I rarely miss my mother because I am used of celebrating Eid without her,” he says.
But 14-year-old Mohammad Aaqib misses his mother, who passed away recently.
“My mother used to cook my favourite dishes and prepare Kanti for me on Eid. She would make sure I wear new clothes. Since she passed away no one does that. And if I cry, my friends here will also start crying with me,” says Aaqib. He is still not at home in the orphanage. “Here we can’t demand things; we only have to follow what we are asked to do. Though we get what we need, but this is not home,” he says.
Chairman of Rahat Manzil, Gayas-ud-din Shah says that they make sure that the children enjoy Eid as much as possible.