Srinagar: A UK-based child rights organization, Save the Children, has revealed that estimated population of orphans in occupied Kashmir is more than two lakhs out of which 37 percent of them are orphaned due to the armed conflict.
“An estimated population of orphans in Jammu and Kashmir both due to conflict and natural death of parents is around 2,15,000,” said Sharief Butt, state head of Save the Children during a one day workshop on ‘Children and Print Media in Jammu and Kashmir’ organized by Save the Children in Srinagar.
He said that out of these 2, 15,000 orphans, 15 per cent live in orphanage homes across the territory.
A report available on the website of Save the Children organization reveals that 37 per cent of the orphans lost one or both parents due to the conflict while 55 percent were orphaned due to the natural death of parents and remaining eight percent due to other reasons.
As per the report, the proportion of children orphaned due to conflict is highest in Islamabad district with 56 percent of orphans, followed by Ganderbal (48 Percent), Baramulla (33 percent) and Rajouri (31 percent).
The number of orphans was higher in Valley than Jammu due to the conflict. “Due to the two and a half decade long conflict, there are more orphans in Kashmir valley compared to Jammu.” Butt said that the level of psychological abuse and humiliation is more compared to physical abuse in orphans.
He further said number of children involved in child labour is relatively high among orphans and measures should be taken to identify and rehabilitate orphans who are working as child labour.
He said that child protection issues were severe in twin districts of Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch compared to the Kashmir region.