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SOS children's village in Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed with South Asian Foundation founder and UNESCO goodwill ambassador Madanjeet Singh at a function in Srinagar on Thursday.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed with South Asian Foundation founder and UNESCO goodwill ambassador Madanjeet Singh at a function in Srinagar on Thursday.  

The term `orphan' challenges a child's self-esteem: the Mufti

Shujaat Bukhari

NAWAB BAGH (GANDERBAL): The ongoing process of peace-building between India and Pakistan seems to have got the right boost. The South Asian Federation (SAF) intends by getting together students of SOS Children's Villages in Muzaffarabad, Leh, Jammu and Srinagar.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Thursday laid foundation stone for the only SOS Children's Village in the Valley at Nawab Bagh, which is around 35 km from Srinagar. The SOS village, which is already functional in a Srinagar suburb with 40 orphans on roll, will be shifted to Nawab Bagh on completion of the project. This will provide long-term care to the orphans, most of whom are victims of violence in Kashmir.

South Asian Federation (SAF) founder and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Madanjeet Singh donated Rs. 4.5 crores for the project on the occasion. "The idea is to bring all SOS villages together to integrate and bring about an educational revolution at the grassroots," said Mr. Madanjeet,

"I thought it would be very good to get all these four SOS villages across the Line of Control together."

Lauding the efforts put in by SAF and the SOS villages, the Mufti said: "I share your dream of organising joint interaction camps for children of SOS villages of Muzaffarbad, Srinagar, Leh and Jammu. This dream and mission is laudable. It [joint camp] will help dismantling boundaries of hatred."

"Our Valley had to go through a terrible period of darkness. We've got numberless orphans, lots of them, during the last 15 years of turbulence.

President of SOS villages of India J.N. Kaul said on the occasion: "We at SOS children's village of India built the first village at Greenfields, Faridabad in 1964. There are over 200,000 children whose lives are being transformed by the 34 children's villages and 122 community projects spread across the country." "Our focus is on the child who has lost his childhood, home and family," Mr. Kaul said.

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