For decades India's northern-most state of Jammu And Kashmir has been one of the most geopolitically devastated regions in the world. With the neighbouring country continuously pouring in arms, funds and terrorists, the democracy-loving people of the Valley have often found themselves at the mercy of the generations-old conflict.
One of the saddest parts of the story is that it really needn't be this way. Kashmir is arguably the most beautiful place on Earth -- a state with the potential to be a tourist destination on par with any other. However, instead of being allowed to capitalise on the abundant natural wealth and to simply live normal lives, the Kashmiri youth have been buffeted this way and that by various forces.
However, there are some guardian spirits out there who are helping the Kashmiri youth out. Like the Prime Minister said about a year back, the children of Kashmir should have laptops and volleyballs in their hands, not rocks and guns. And that is exactly what Sanjay Nahar and his NGO Sarhad are trying to do.
Over the last 16 years, the Pune-based NGO has been responsible for bringing over 4000 students from J&K and given them shelter and education. The intervention has given these children a chance -- a chance they are only too happy to grab.
From its origins in sheltering displaced children from Punjab about 30 years ago, Sarhad has now evolved into a home away from home for about 150 students. In Pune's rolling hills, Sarhad is taking care of education, lodging and boarding on its own, without any government or foreign aid.
"Sarhad draws its inspiration from the fact that the children from strife-torn regions deserve an opportunity to come up in life on their own. The issues that plague regions are not their creation and hence they must not suffer due to them. It is the nation’s responsibility to offer them that opportunity."
Join us on this week's edition of One India, a Facebook initiative on Republic TV, as we take a closer look at Sarhad and the critical role it plays in introducing these strife-impacted children to 'community'. To get a glimpse of what Sarhad does, watch the video above, and tell us what you think.
Watch One India at 4 pm on Saturday, Dec 9, and at on Sunday, Dec 10, at 6 pm.