Markazi Falahi Itfal Kulgam lacks basic facilities

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Kulgam—Autthorities have failed to keep a check on the functioning of the orphanages established by Govt Social Welfare department in South Kashmir.

One of the government-run orphanages in Kulgam district of south Kashmir is facing official neglect as the children enrolled in such orphanages face tremendous problems on daily basis.

Markazi Falahi Itfal situated in Manzgam area of Kulgam is the example of Social Welfare department’s incompetence in taking care of such orphanages. The kids who are putting up in this orphanage blame Social welfare Department for even getting their basic needs fulfilled.

The Markazi Falahi Itfal Manzgam was established in 1979 in Kulgam District and was running in make shift accommodations in this village since then. It was shifted to a newly built concrete structure in 2009 which was inaugurated by the then social welfare minister, Sakina Itoo.

Since then, the administration has almost forgotten the children enrolled here. The huge concrete building at first glance gives an impressionof spacious better accommodation for the kids, but inside, the building is in a dilapidated condition.

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None of the 22 washrooms inside this building is fit for use forcing the children to wash their faces and take bath in a rivulet flowing adjacent to the building. This has led to several skin borne diseases to these kids. Orphanage which runs in ten room new building has electric wiring damaged while the water seeps inside the structure from the damaged roof.

There is no transport facility available for the children and in case of a medical emergency, the staff has to literally beg to locals  for transportation.

There is also no back up system in place for the lighting and in the case of power cuts, the kids are compelled to study as well as have dinner under the candle night. A meager sum of 30,000 rupees is allotted for 41 kids to meet their day to day needs.

A total number of 41 children are enrolled in this orphanage are managed by one superintendent, Junior Assistant, cook and an orderly.

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The rooms of the orphanage have a torn matting while the Children prefer to keep their bedding spread for sitting purposes. The matting was never replaced since the establishment of this orphanage in 2009, said a source in the department.

Official sources told Kashmir observer that from last one year the government did not put out any tender for buying clothing for the children enrolled here. They said that the government in general and the state welfare department in particular have neither succeeded in making a changes to these orphanages nor have they come up with better means to address the problems of the needy. “Such an inhuman approach cannot be expected or even tolerated when there is no dearth of funds or schemes meant to alleviate the pain of these silent sufferers,” they added.

With tear full eyes an orphan child with torn clothes (name with held) told Kashmir observer that we didn’t receive new clothes and shoes from last one year. “We are dying of cold in morning and evening and have no clothes for winter.”

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Talking to Kashmir observer a local resident Abdul Rasheed said that failure of the Jammu and Kashmir government in taking care of the orphans and destitute children in the state has come into focus only due to the efforts of the Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) which have come forward to render a helping hand to them. It is sad that the state government has not even bothered to conduct a survey to ascertain the exact number of orphans, who need support for their survival.

“The government cannot shy away from its responsibility of taking care of orphans, who ,” he added

Despite repeated attempts District Social Welfare Officer Kulgam couldn’t be contacted.

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