On the eve of India’s Day for Children, several social organizations and civil society groups expressed serious concern over the plight of children in Jammu and Kashmir and stressed for the comprehensive policy for the rehabilitation of more than 80 thousand orphan children in the state.
The reports received by a local news agency, KNS, mentioned that the civil society groups of valley while slamming the authorities over the plight of children in the state accused that the state government has turned ‘blind-eye’ towards the condition of children in the state.
Talking to KNS, Professor Bashir Ahmad Dabla, who teaches sociology, said the figures issued by the state authorities about the number of children subjected to child labour, reveal that there are 4900 such children but the independent surveys reveal that the number could be more than 1 Lakh.
While commenting on the recent handout of the state government which mentioned that the child who does the labour by his own choice and is not subjected for the work is not a child labour, Prof. Dabla said that if this order is to be believed then there is not even a single case of child labour in the state. “The children here are being converted into the machines so that they could earn money and to sustain their families.”
Prof. Dabla further stated that the major cause of concern at present is that the children born during the times of recent turmoil have deeply been affected physiologically and that economic crises have added to their miseries. He said that the state authorities must come forward and devise a long time strategy so that the children of the state could be rehabilitated at the earliest otherwise the outcome would be serious and destructive.
The educationist, Professor AG Madhosh said that during the last 25 years of turmoil, the children of the state have been affected at the worst and that there are more than 80 thousand orphans in the state between the age group of 15-25 years. He further claimed that the out of 80 thousand, more than 60 thousand have lost their parents due to the violence of past 25 years. “The government has to come up with the strong plan that can be implemented on ground so that we could save these children from destruction.”
Prof Madhosh further stated that more than 60 percent orphans in the state have turned towards child labour and that they have never seen the doors of the school. “They have the liabilities of their families and they have to sustain their living, the state has to devise a long term strategy so that these children could get education and also can sustain their respective families.”
The human rights activist Khuram Parvez while talking to KNS said that the children have been worst hit during the turmoil and that the children here are being chained and detained instead of giving pen in their hands. “It is natural that the child living in the conflict zone cannot be normal, they have fear inside their minds.” He further stated that particularly from the last five years, more than 13000 youth have been arrested and most of them are under 18.