Kashmir’s Orphans

Kashmir’s Orphans

Kashmir is not a normal place. The conflictual conditions that obtain here have, among other things, bred a large number of orphans. These young flowers of Kashmir are perhaps the most vulnerable group or section of society, who already hard done by, are subject to the whims and caprices of fate. But, the sad irony is that Kashmir’s orphans are invisible. That is, their plight and saga goes and remains unnoticed by society. This omission and commission, besides constituting a glaring instance of self absorption, is also society’s lapsed obligation. However, there is also a redeeming feature to it: our society, despite our rather gratuitous hypercriticism of our collective selves is not a criminal or criminalized society. This has a bearing on our orphans who, by virtue of this feature of our society are not predated upon and exploited. But, regardless, this does not exonerate society. By virtue of being orphans, the life chances of these delicate and young buds are given short shrift and they are again at the mercy of whims and caprices of life. In this sense then life deals them a double whammy. The silver lining in the sage of Kashmir’s orphans is that their plight need not be set in stone. That is, it is eminently remediable. But, what is key and important is society’s recognition of the issue and then activism to help our orphans. First and foremost, the orphans of Kashmir must not be the invisible members of society. They are our own and they must be owned up. Broken down, this means that we reach out to them and make them feel as valued and valuable members of society. This is an important psycho-emotional outreach. Ownership, among other things, could mean that we , or the more prosperous among us “adopt” each orphan, in the sense of taking care of them- their education, welfare and livelihood. Owning could also mean inviting these vulnerable flowers to our homes and hearths, and make them feel special. Most important, however, is that we recognize and reach out to them. It may be pointed out here our very own beloved Prophet(SAW) was also an orphan and , both in the Holy Quran and the Ahadith, there are clear references and injunctions about orphans. So, let us make a collective attempt and make special efforts to create conditions for the orphans of Kashmir so that they are also enabled to live a fuller life.