Muslim village adopts orphaned Pandit children

Muslim women console KP woman’s daughter at Levdoora, Anantnag on Sunday. —Excelsior/Sajad Dar
Muslim women console KP woman’s daughter at Levdoora, Anantnag on Sunday. —Excelsior/Sajad Dar

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Dec 24: Muslims in Levdoora village in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district are in grief over the death of a Pandit woman, who left behind four children.
As the news about death of Nancy Koul spread in the village, the villagers poured in large numbers to mourn the death and express solidarity with the children.

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Nancy Koul, 50, was employed in Jammu and Kashmir Bank early this year after the death of her husband as she had no source of income. Her husband Mahraj Krishan Koul was running a tea shop in Qazigund to earn the livelihood but his death snatched the livelihood from the family. However, a local leader got Nancy employed in Jammu and Kashmir Bank as peon.
Nancy has now left behind four children with no livelihood. The eldest daughter is Saroj Koul, who is 17 years old and was helping the family. Her second daughter Meenakshi Koul is in 10th Standard, son Sagar Koul in 9th standard and the youngest one, Sonu Koul is in LKG.
Nancy Koul and her husband were married in 1990 when Pandits left the Valley. The village had 35 families and all migrated but Koul’s decided to stay back. However, Muslims helped them and gave them full support and protection in all these years.
Over 3,000 people, mostly Muslims joined the last rites of Nancy. The women of the village were wailing and consoling the children of Nancy who were weeping bitterly over the death of their mother.
Pandit Sunil Raina thanked the Muslims for helping them in the cremation of Nancy. He said that Muslims of the village have always helped the family and hoped that they will help the children, who have been orphaned.
Ateeqa Begum, an elderly neighour of Koul’s said that they will take care of the children. “Even if I have to beg from people, beg outside Mosques or from the people, I will take care of these children. These are our own children and we will take their care as we do care for our children”, she said.
Ateeqa said that they will not allow them to leave the village as it is the responsibility of the Muslims of the village to look after them. “We have decided that village will adopt these children and will not allow any body to take them away from the village”, she said.


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