City girl lights up the life of Kashmiri kids
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When youngsters prefer to do lucrative jobs, city-based girl Supriya Kalra has voluntarily opted to tread a different path. She works with a non-governmental organisation with 'Borderless World Foundation', which works for the welfare of orphan girls in the Kashmir valley. The NGO is credited with the launch of an exclusive girls' orphanage "Basera-e-Tabassum" (BeT) in Kupwara.
A postgraduate in social work with special work on medical and psychiatry from the Tata Institute of Social Science in Mumbai, Supriya joined the NGO this July as Project Development Manager.
Supriya said, "Though my days in BeT were numbered but every day spent there has been an experience of a lifetime. What more does one need than 50 warm hugs of innocent children when one returns to the orphanage after the day's work? The walls of this home are made of care, coated with the paint of love and affection. Amid the captivating beauty of Kupwara, I realised that there is so much pain, suffering beneath this cold soil of Kashmir. Each child's life is a pathetic tale to tell. They are so grief stricken that they have become immune to atrocities."
There are 59 orphans and all come from broken homes. Some lost their fathers and mothers remarried while others lost their complete families in the turmoil.
She said, "What more pain can a child go through than to live the life of an orphan. There are bunkers outside their homes and close to their schools. The playground often lies next to a graveyard. And life comes to a halt after sunset, except within the four walls of the house."
The NGO is running two BeTs, one at Sulkoote village in Kupwara district and other at Beerwah in Budgam district. These are being run from rented accommodations.
Supriya said, "Recently our NGO has got the approval of a third orphanage at Baramula where the infrastructure has been prepared by the Army on the orders of the state government. I will now look after this new orphanage."
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