Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Spreading joy among the people of Kashmir - DAY 1

Mesmerizing snowcapped mountains, fast flowing River Jhelum and Neelum, beautiful fruit trees and streams, all together make Kashmir a natural wonderland. Despite this magnificence, the people of Kashmir are deprived of a lot of blessings of life.

To help the deprived community of Kashmir region and extend a helping hand towards the deserving community, HOPE - an educational NGO, established formal and informal Schools in Kashmir. Some of the schools are till tenth grade while the others are Primary Schools.

Kashmir is a mountainous area comprising of various districts, located in the northern areas of Pakistan. This area is underdeveloped and in much need of proper health facilities. On the other hand, illiteracy is also prevalent here and if institutions exist, the harsh weather makes it impossible to reach there.

The mountainous region of Kashmir is definitely breath-taking but the people who live in these areas face a lot of hardships. Life is actually very tough in these areas. Half of the year it’s extremely cold there. Most of the villages on mountains have no electricity, no central heating system; children may develop pneumonia and other illnesses because of the cold weather.

The place like AJK with high lofty mountains, the most effective system of education is home school system because if you were to construct schools in different mountains it would be very costly. Hence, if you have a home school, it’s much more cost effective. You can have many schools set up across the mountains. Especially if we are targeting the girls’ education, it is easy for the girls to go to a school in their neighbourhood. The weather is very predictable there. Rains and snowfalls are a routine. Hence, it’s easier for the children to reach the schools which are located in the centre of their neighbourhood.

The chairperson of HOPE, Dr. Mubina Agboatwalla visits these schools every year along with other members from HOPE Head Office to make sure the schools are functioning the way they are supposed to. On this visit, the teachers also put their concerns, if any, in front of her which are addressed right away.

This year, on day 1 of the visit, the team visited the schools located in Malsi and Thotha which in total enrolled about 165 students. Gifts packs, Biryani and warm clothes including socks were distributed among the children which brought them great joy and happiness.

Awareness and orientation programs were also conducted regarding PNG purifiers from which parents and relatives, of those children studying in HOPE’s school, benefitted. Each family was provided a purifying kit that consists of: Cooler, bucket, muslin Cloth, spatula and 120 sachets.

HOPE reaches out to all those areas where no one has ever been to, other than for tourism. These high lofty mountains contains a bulk amount of children in dire need of basic necessities. HOPE- a charity in Pakistan steps in to cater to these children’s and women’s basic educational and health rights. Due to the harsh weather conditions which the people of Kashmir fall prey to every December, warm clothing is a must. Under the guidance of Dr. Mubina Agboatwalla- a childspecialist in Karachi, members of HOPE team visit Kashmir every year and distribute warm clothing, books, pencil boxes, stationary to students of HOPE schools.