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Orphaned by militancy, girls get new lease of life
2/13/2011 12:04:59 AM
AGENCIES
Pune, Feb 12: An educational tour of Kashmir while studying politics for his graduation, spurred Adhik Kadam to undertake a project to rebuild the lives of the victims of insurgency and today Borderless World
Foundation (BWF), formed by him to support the venture, has earned goodwill and gratitude in the trouble-torn valley.
Far away from the terror-struck border state, Kadam and nine of his college friends here, who used to play volleyball together, decided to work for the families shattered by the violence in Jammu and
Kashmir after Adhik returned from his tour while studying article 370 of the constitution.
"I started going to Kashmir frequently from 1997 as I found the situation there so appalling. I interacted with various NGOs to know what kind of work I could initiate to offer the much needed relief to children," said Adhik.
Encouraged by his teachers at college in the endeavour - as he used to return to Pune only to appear for exams, spending months together in Jammu and Kashmir - Adhik recently formed BWF under whose auspices three well equipped hostels catering to the needs of 135 girls were set up at Anantnag, Kupwada and Badgaum.
"There are many organizations that are working for affected boys in Kashmir but very few for girls. We decided to fill in this gap and took in girls falling in the age group of 18 months to 20 years in the three hostels having a staff of 35 to look after the orphans," said Bipin Takwale, a close associate of Adhik.
A group of 20 girl inmates of the BWF hostels in Kashmir arrived in the city Friday on a tour of Maharashtra during which they would be interacting with various people and organizations to find future openings in their professional careers after completing studies. Adhik and his colleagues had to face rough weather in the valley initially when they were confronted by terror groups operating in Kashmir.
"But it was our work that safeguarded us and today wherever we go we enjoy trust and goodwill in the interior," he said. He quoted one extremist as saying, "If we kill you, what answer can we give to Khuda (god)?"
Explaining his motivation, Adhik said, "All of us in rest of India are very safe and we can appreciate and understand the sense of insecurity in Kashmir only when we come out of our grooves."
"There was a time when my excursions and frequent visits to Kashmir was seen by my people in Pune as madness. But now my parents are proud of me," said Adhik.
However, the real recognition of his work would come, he said "when these Muslim and Hindu girls who are staying in the BWF hostels in Kashmir like one family, would enter their own rightful homes after completing education and settling with jobs."
During the 15-day tour of Maharashtra, the girls from Kashmir will be visiting Mumbai, Alibaug and Baramati to explore future career prospects.
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