Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Srinagar is the “summer capital” of Jammu and Kashmir, one of India's northernmost states. Prior to a territorial dispute in 1947, Jammu and Kashmir was an autonomous region ruled by the Maharaja.
To this day, some people still consider Jammu and Kashmir to be an independent statem, while others believe that it rightfully belongs to Pakistan. The dispute continues to affect families.
Limited services in a growing city
Because Jammu and Kashmir is a relatively new part of India, infrastructure is a little behind other parts of the country. The Indian government is doing what it can to improve existing services and build new infrastructure in order to enhance opportunities for local families. For instance, progress is being made on an ambitious new rail project, designed to bring nearly 75 miles of new railway to remote areas of the state.
In terms of economic development, Srinagar itself numbers among the world's 100 fastest-growing cities. While the pace of change is encouraging, certain development indicators suggest that more needs to be done to ensure the wellbeing of the general population matches economic growth. For instance, literacy stands at 71%. While above the national average of 63%, this is considerably lower than other urban centres.
What are we doing to help?
We work to ensure that children growing up in Srinagar enjoy the best standard of care, whether in their own families or within an SOS family in our SOS Children's Village.
Helping the community
In the community, we aim to support struggling families so that instead of being forced to abandon their children, they are able to continue providing quality care. We do this primarily through SOS-led self-help groups, and we run seventeen of these in vulnerable communities around Srinigar, which reach over 1,200 people in total.
At the groups, we help families manage and improve their income, showing them how best to invest their money, how to make money through business initiatives and borrowing. First and foremost, we encourage communities to help each other, establishing reliable networks so that people are able to call on each other when help is needed.
We run courses and workshops to help people find jobs or start businesses. Some of these training programmes aim to equip people for the local employment market, and these include practical topics such as livestock rearing. Others are designed to help parents provide a better home for their children, including health and hygiene, gender discriminaton and parenting skills.
Providing family homes for vulnerable children
Some children are unable to live with their families. We welcome these children into a loving SOS family, where they grow up in the care of a loving SOS mother. These children attend the best community schools, where they learn alongside youngsters from the community, before going on to join the community of young people at an SOS youth home.
Many children from Srinagar are left vulnerable due to poverty and poor opportunities. Our supporters give these children a loving family and the best start in life. You can help by sponsoring a child.