Aaghaz Foundation Supports Orphans Living in a Graveyard
Lucknow: Aaghaz Foundation, a Lucknow based education initiative, has stepped forward to support five poor orphan Muslim children who have taken refuge in a graveyard in Pratapgarh, after the death of their parents due to AIDS. Fearing that others may contract the virus, the children were forced out of Jamua village three months ago by their relatives and village elders. Since then they (four boys and one girl) had been living in the graveyard close to the graves of their own parents. The youngest child is just seven years old. Immediately after the shocking case was brought to light by NDTV’s Kamal Khan, Aaghaz Foundation contacted the news channel and offered to support all five children till they are able to stand on their feet. Aaghaz Foundation’s commitment was telecast live on NDTV also.
Meanwhile, taking cognisance of the news report, the state official machinery swung into action. A team has been rushed to Pratapgarh and efforts are on to relocate the children to a government guest house. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced Rs one lakh aid for each child and the district administration has pledged to provide them a house and look after their educational needs. Aaghaz Foundation in a statement said that it is monitoring the case very closely, “because when the heat and dust settles, government promises often remain mere promises.” “It’s a shame on humanity, particularly the local Muslim community that they kept their eyes closed all this while,” said Mazhar Farooqui of Aaghaz Foundation.