“J-K has 215,000 orphans, 37 percent due to ongoing armed conflict”

Kashmiri Muslim orphans wait to break their fast of Muslim holy month of Ramadan in an orphanage in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, Aug. 4, 2011. (Xinhua/Javed Dar)

An estimated number of orphans in Jammu and Kashmir is more than 200,000, revealed a UK-based child rights organization, Save the Children, on Tuesday during  a one day workshop on ‘Children and Print Media in Jammu and Kashmir’ organized by the organisation.

The group said that out of the total number 37 percent orphans were due to the ongoing armed conflict in the state. “An estimated population of orphans in Jammu and Kashmir both due to conflict and natural death of parents is around 2,15,000,” Sharief Bhat, state head of Save the Children, was quoted by Kashmir Monitor.

The news paper also reported that Bhat said that out of these 2, 15,000 orphans, 15 per cent live in orphanage homes across the state. “It is good for these children to be in orphanages as they get education and other skills there but at the same time we need to rehabilitate them for which we as a society have to play an important role,” Bhat was quoted.

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.

Bhat also said that there are people who in the name of consultancies are luring children and sending them to outside states. “Children are being trafficked outside state for child labour, their vital organs are being sold, experiments of new medicines are being done on them and of course for sexual abuse,” he said.

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