SRINAGAR, June 13: Japan is keen to help heal the wounds of thousands of orphans and widows, innocent victims of a two-decade-old violence involving security forces and separatists militants in the strife-torn region.
A Japanese delegation met Jammu and Kashmir Social Welfare Minister Sakina Itoo here and expressed their country’s willingness to co-operate in “sharing experience and technology” in social welfare schemes.
“Special focus of discussions remained on rehabilitation of militancy victims, orphans, destitute and women empowerment,” a government spokesman said.
There is no official data on the number of widows and orphans of the anti-India insurgency in Kashmir. Social activists put the number of orphans as high as 60,000 and say an equal number of widows live in the scenic, but conflict-ridden, valley.
Social activists say the number of women and children left without a breadwinner in their families is mounting with only a fraction of them receiving financial support from the government.
“The two sides discussed wide range of issues related to social service, welfare schemes launched in the state and other welfare programmes,” the spokesman added.
The minister apprised the delegation about the various schemes presently in place and their implementation and progress.