Taking back happy memories, say Kashmiri children on a visit to the Capital
NEW DELHI: Forty-eight children from the Kashmir Valley orphaned due to violence are now on a special trip to the Capital for a quick Dilli darshan before packing their bags to return home.
The children are part of non-government organisation Sarhad’s initiative titled “Know your India”, which invites children from Kashmir to tour select cities in India to “see and understand their country and broaden their horizons”.
“We are taking back with us the love of the people and the respect that we got while on our trip. We are taking back happy memories. We realise that this is a platform that has been given to us and we are trying to use this to the maximum,” said Musaib Ahmad, who is part of the delegation, on Friday.
The group met Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday morning and took a ride on the Delhi Metro railway besides visiting important landmarks in the city.
“It’s an annual programme which we started over a decade ago and this is our eighth batch of children on this tour,” said Sarhad founder-president Sanjay Nahar.
“Sarhad has worked in areas affected by violence since 1980s and understands that each region has problems and challenges specific to it. We organise the tour to Delhi and Maharashtra for Kashmiri children and have received very good feed back,” he said.
The group works in areas affected by violence.
“The year 2008 began with possibilities of Sarhad reaching out to people in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and other countries. We are stepping in and taking in upon ourselves to help mitigate the sufferings of people in the area. We have been working with the people, local organisations and the government agencies which strive to improve the situation in each region,” he added.
Meanwhile, for the enthusiastic bunch of young ones who are now on the last leg of their trip this experience has helped them decide what they want to do in the future. “It is only after coming on this tour that we realised that outside Kashmir Valley there is life after 6 p.m.,” said Sajad Ahmad Dar, a member of the group.
“We are talented and have the ambition to make it big in life and this trip has given us a peek into the possibilities that await us. We just need the right kind of support and direction to be able to contribute positively to the country’s development. We understand that India is not just about places and regions, it is about people. On the tour we met several important people including police officers and politicians and we are going back home with dreams of being able to share everything we have learned on this trip,” he said.