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Lewdora Muslims pledge to take care of orphaned KP children
Local committee decides to give 7000 Rs to the family a month
QAZIGUND, Jan 4: When Maharaj Krishan Koul, a non-migrant Kashmiri Pandit died last year suddenly at his native village, Lewdoora leaving behind a young widow and four little children including three daughters, local Muslims shared the family's grief equally.

They ensured that the last rites of the deceased are performed according to Hindu rituals. Performing last rites of Koul was not all that their Muslim neighbours did but they kept lending a helping hand to his widow and children for months together. A year later when his wife, Nancy Koul also died last week after suffering a heart attack, local Muslims again set an epitome of communal bond. Soon after hearing the news of her death, the entire Muslim population of the locality including men and women rushed to the Pandit family's house. While men made arrangements for the last rites of Koul, women consoled her grieving daughters.

Koul's was the lone family in the village which had stayed back when all other people from his community migrated to Jammu and other parts of the country after the eruption of armed rebellion in early nineties in the valley. Poor Krishan was running a tea stall in Qazigund before his death.

Now that the couple has left behind their young children, the local Muslims have made a pledge to take care of the orphans as long as they live amongst them. They have constituted a committee which has been tasked with the job to ensure a decent living and education of the children.

"We have provided at least 15 quintals of rice to the family now consisting of orphan children only. The amount of rice that has been collected and given to the family will suffice for almost a year. We are now collecting money from every household to lend financial support to orphans of the KP couple," said a member of the committee Gul Mohammad.

The committee, he said, has decided to give 7000 rupees a month to the family.

"We cannot afford to see these orphans suffering for want of basic needs. It is our moral and religious responsibility to take care of them and ensure their dignified living and education," he said.

A private school has already offered free education to the lone son of the late deceased Pandit couple.

To share the grief of the orphaned siblings, at least two women from the locality stay at their residence every night.

"The committee has decided that two women from the locality will go and sleep in their house so that these children don't feel lonely," Mohammad said.

Sagar Koul, the lone son of the deceased couple is all praise for his Muslim neighbors. "They have been all supportive and sympathetic both at the time of death of our father and mother. They have been providing us support both financially and in other forms. After our mother died they have been staying at our home even during nights," Sagar told Kashmir Times.

News Updated at : Friday, January 5, 2018
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