Muslim Neighbours Adopt Four Orphaned Pandit Children, Spreads Message Of Unity In Kashmir
Amid the continuous violation of ceasefire by Pakistan and protests in the valley, finally, a news which invites kudos have come out from the valley as the Muslim neighbourhood of South Kashmir’s Lewdora came together and pledged to adopt the four children who have nobody to look after now.
Baby Kaul, 44, died on Sunday leaving behind and two boys and two girls orphan as their father had died a year ago. The four kids consisting two girls aged 15 and 16 and two boys aged 15 and 7 are just broken with only a roof left over them.
But unlike destiny, the Muslim neighbours of this Pandit family have refused to forsake their nieghbours and have decided to adopt the children.
The story reaffirms the centuries-old bond that is shared by the Muslims and Hindus of Kashmir. Hundreds came out of their homes to take part in the last rites of the mother, teenage boys were seen fetching dry wood and taking instructions from Hindu religious leaders over phone on how to perform the last rites as per the Hindu rituals.
News18 spoke to some of the neighbours. “This is similar to last year when the husband Maharaj Krishan died. A large number of people have come to mourn this time as well. The villagers, though, are anxious about the children. They have lost both their parents,” said Showkat Ahmad, the Kauls’ neighbour.
The villagers have collected four quintals of rice and pledged to crowd-fund the children’s education, household essentials. “We are not rich but will ensure that they don’t suffer. We will pool our money and fulfil their needs. This is our duty,” said Ahmad.
“When the father had passed away, we collected six quintals of rice and Rs 80,000. We opened two bank accounts in the girls’ names and deposited Rs 55,000 in it. We furnished their house with the rest. We are willing to do all of it again,” said Mohammad Yousuf, another of the family’s neighbour.
Of the four children, Meenakshi is the eldest. She is a school dropout, while her brother Sushil is in class 9. The other daughter Sapna is also in school, while the youngest is Rohit, who is in Class 3.