ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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State of Orphans in the Earthly Paradise

This is a study on orphan children conducted by Save the Children in six districts of Jammu and Kashmir, which were chosen on the basis of intensity of conflict. The article underlines the urgent need of a child protection policy in the state to ensure the rights of large numbers of orphan children.

State of Orphans available estimate on orphans in various states of India, also estimated the percent in the Earthly Paradise age of orphans in J&K. The NFHS-3 arrived at an estimate of 4.5% orphans in J&K   (IIPS 2007). It is this survey that we use as   a benchmark to compare our estimates. Alex George  

The author is grateful to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Government of Jammu and Kashmir for the encouraging support to Sharif Bhat for liaisoning and GfK Mode for assistance in eldwork and data management. W hen Shah Faesal from the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) topped all-India civil services examinations in 2010, he was contributing to the cultural diversity of the civil services, which draw talent from all parts of the country. It was a reason for jubilation for secular India. It was also reported in the press that Faesal’s father was shot dead in 2002 by the militants days before his medical entrance test, and that it was his mother, employed as a teacher in a school, who took care of his medical education, though he eventually turned to the civil services.1 Shah Faesal did not become an orphan because his mother could earn an income required to support his education. But many children in J&K, who lose their lone breadwinning parent to the continuing conict in the state, do not even have the benet of a working mother who can earn an adequate income. The condition of orphans in J&K, which Emperor Jahangir referred to as the Paradise on earth is far from happy.

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