Daily Archives: September 23, 2017

#Childhoodinkashmir – Umar Fayaz Budoo


Aqib! Catch catch catch!” Umar screamed. Aqib suddenly ran and carefully caught the ball. “We won!” they both gave each other a high-five and exchanged big happy grins. Umar is a 2nd grader at Hanfia School in Kareeri Pattan. It is small village situated in the district of Baramulla. When I met him and his best friend Aqib, I saw friendship blooming in a beautiful, warm way and what connected them to each other the most was – the game of cricket. Umar is a 2nd grade student at Hanfia School in Kareeri, Pattan. His father runs a small business and manages to send him to a good private school in the area. Good education has played a major role in shaping the dream Umar aspires to fulfil. On being asked, he said he would like to be a doctor when he grows up, and that he wants to help all the people who are in need of good treatment and help. Of a shy nature and a heart full of determination, little Umar aspires to give his best to the society by becoming a doctor. At such a young age, when good education is provided to such ambitious children – they surely tend to do wonders later in life. Umar lives with his parents and after returning home from school every day – he completes his homework and spends the evening playing cricket. His parents have maintained a good balance in his life, between studies and sports. It is good to see the parents in Kashmir, encouraging their children to do well in every sphere of life. Coming from a land of an on-going conflict, the families have still not forgotten how to induce encouragement in lives of their children, in spite of the turbulence which is present over the valley.

#Childhoodinkashmir – Tanzeel Rehman Najar

Tanzeel spread out his little arms and pretended to fly around when I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. “Pilot! I want to become a pilot,” he said with a grin on his face. Tanzeel is a student of 1st standard at the Government Primary School in Mujpathri, a small hamlet in the district of Budgam. It is a co-education system which facilitates education from 1st to 5th standard and has a total strength of 70 students. Bilal Ahmed is the only teacher who manages all 70 students. He revealed that few of the students come to school only because they get free meals to eat during the school hours – such is their financial condition. Tanzeel has an elder brother who studies in the 6th standard and 3 sisters who do not and could not go to school because they belong to a poor household. His father works in the farms to sustain the livelihood of the family, while his mother is a homemaker. When asked what he liked to do in free time, he said he loved playing with his friends. He pointed his finger towards another boy standing at a distance and said, “He is Rizwan! He is my best friend and I love to play with him the most.” “What do you like to play?” I asked. “Kho- Kho and football,” Tanzeel said in excitement and exchanged a mischievous smile with Rizwan. “But I don’t like it when I couldn’t get to see him because my mother doesn’t let me step out of the house during curfews. The school shuts down then and I don’t meet him for days. I don’t like to play football without him,” Tanzeel added. These are the children of conflict, I thought to myself. The same little boy who dreams to be a pilot someday has a childhood revolving around sudden shutdowns, violence and curfews.