Srinagar, July 14: The very first thought about Kashmir, especially in today's time when the Valley is under the constant shadow of terror, brings to mind Indian jawans patrolling its streets.
The reports of confrontation between soldiers and civilians have become a regular feature in the Valley. It is not that the Indian Army is only battling terrorists and disgruntled civilians in Kashmir.
The army has a "humane" side too, which most often the media fails to highlight.
The soldiers in the Valley are also involved in many social activities to bring changes in the life of the people. Among many of its "good" deeds, the army is trying its best to educate the children of Kashmir.
The army has recently started--Free Open Army School--a special school, which provides free books, lunch and other facilities in Sonamarg's Ganderbal. The school has been started under the army's Operation Sadbhavana.
As a part of the Operation Sadbhavana, the army has undertaken a large number of military civic action programmes aimed at "wining the hearts and minds" of the people in Jammu and Kashmir and Northeastern States. It's a part of a strategy for conflict resolution in these places.
J&K: Army starts "Free Open Army School', providing free books, lunch & other facilities in Ganderbal Sonamarg under Operation Sadbhavana. pic.twitter.com/upkYacYzHv— ANI (@ANI_news) July 14, 2017
Speaking about the school, Altaf Ahmad, head teacher, told ANI that the students who are attending classes belong to the nomadic community.
"These kids have never been to a school. The army has brought them here to provide them education and build their future," he added.
Since July last year, when violence rocked the Valley, several schools have been set on fire by miscreants. Moreover, due to the ongoing unrest, students studying in various schools and colleges hardly attend their classes in the Valley.
According to experts, children and their education have become the worst casualties due to the prevailing situation in Kashmir.
The latest initiative of the army will go a long way in building the future of these nomadic children who hardly get a chance to go to schools.