Uprooting Innocence

Saima Bhat

One doesn’t need to be a psychologist to read their innocent eyes and gloomy faces. The pain of separation is palpably visible even if you serve them with best food or give them new outfits. They belong to their roots. Not to this alien atmosphere, where they spend their childhood and then they are uprooted again.

After visiting and spending plenty of time in different orphanages across Kashmir, I feel there is no need to spend crores of rupees to build such huge infrastructures. Instead, that amount could be used for the upbringing of orphans while letting them stay amongst their families.

I know that in many cases orphans are not accepted by their close relatives. Quite often these relatives treat them as a burden. But the percentage of such selfish relatives is very small, I believe.

Then why to punish all of them?

Most of the students enrolled in these orphanages talk of adjustment problems when they visit their families during vacations. They talk of different environments, food habits; even the basic understanding of life changes when they move out of their ‘isolated’ existence.

It would be really helpful if these orphans stay with their families and face day-to-day hardships together with their siblings. That way they will feel more connected to their families rather than living in isolation at an orphanage.

One argument in support of these orphanages is that they provide education to these deprived children. I agree education is important but can’t it be done by letting these kids stay at their home! Orphanages can sponsor such children anywhere.

That way these kids can grow in an atmosphere suitable for their upbringing and overall development.

Let them live among their families else we will end up having more Suhail and Kulsum like siblings who live in two orphanages at same place but don’t get a chance to meet, they hardly know each other!

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