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Yateem trust in J&K is doing government's job - helping orphans
The patron and chief executive of J&K Yateem Trust, Z.A. Tak tells how his organisation is helping the poor and needy people in Jammu and Kashmir particularly orphans. His organisation is apolitical and working for the cause of people, he said.
THE CHIEF execuitve of J&K Yateem Trust Z A Talk in an interview tells this scribe about the kind of work his organisation is doing to help the poor and needy people in Jammu and Kashmir. He informed that his trust is running two schools as well providing food and other amenities to orphans.
How did the concept of charitable trust come to the mind of the founder of this organization? What inspired him to establish this trust?
In 1972, J&K Yateem Trust was established by late Tak Zainagiri, who was a government official and an academician. At that time he met a poor boy, who was not able to study but Tak Zainagiri helped him financially and he became a doctor, who is in Saudi Arabia these days. The achievement of that boy inspired him greatly and he established the trust first at village level and then shifted it to Srinagar.
Do you have branches in entire Jammu and Kashmir and which are the main areas of focus of your trust?
We have covered almost 85 per cent of the whole state accept some areas of Jammu division like Baderwah, Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban. In Kashmir valley we have covered almost every district. There are 80 branches of our organisation in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Do you find any difference between the functioning of your trust and other charitable trusts of the state? What are the features of your trust?

We do not have any collaboration with any political organisation and any government agency. We are having more than 80 branches in the state and the functioning is same as at central office of the trust. The accumulation of donations at any branch is not spent and utilised by the central office but that is utilized by the branch heads on the needy persons of that area and at times when they need help from the central office, they are provided. We do not have established this trust on religious or political lines but act. These are differences in between us and others.

Do you feel any difference in the government service and the service to the needy people through charitable trusts? What are the differences?
As in 1989, I was given the charge of trust as patron after the death of the founder. I was also a government official at that time and till 2007, I was offering both duties at the same time. In 2007, I got retired from the government services and took the charge of the trust completely and I think the experience that I have gained in government is helping me to a large extent.
Due to the increasing number of needy people, there must be pressure on your resources. How do you manage in such a situation?
Before 1990, there was a time when we had to find the orphans and widows but now the situation is totally different these days as thousands of needy people are pleading for assistance and long queues of such people can be seen every day at our divisional office. But the limited resources of our trust, restrict us from helping each and every needy person. As we are not affiliated with any government organisation, we have to look in to our resources before taking in more people.
Despite being a non-political organisation, do you find any interference of the politics in the functioning of your trust?
No, we do not allow any political agency to interfere as we do not expect any help from them. Government has initiated scholarship programs but we find only the wastage of time in the government offices while applying for such scholarships.
What are the facilities which your trust is providing to needy children and widows ?
We offer them meals, clothes, books and other necessary things they need to study and survive. We identify the talented children and help them even more so that they become productive citizens. We are also providing food items to more than 350 families every month through our central office.

How are you helping girls, who are orphans to get married?

It is a very big program of our trust, about 250 orphan girls are provided a wedding kit in which there are items for the purpose of marriage and for this program more than 15 lakhs rupees are spent every year. Besides it we have started craft centers where widows are trained and along with that we provide one time assistance by providing cows, sheeps and provisional stores to the people. This initiative has been made effective with the help of some NGO’s in Ganderbal, Anantnag and Budgam and about 600 hundred families have been provided help in this way.

Do you any programme to help people, who are compelled to beg in the markets and streets?

Yes, we help these people also by providing medicine and sometimes we also provide some amount in cash for the purpose of treatment.
Have you established any schools for orphans and what is the roll of the students availing education through these institutes?

Our main aim is to provide good education to these orphans and poor, so for that purpose we have established two schools one is Banaat Institute of Education at Gopalpora where about 450 orphan students are studying and besides it we are running a secondary school at Tral which was constructed and maintained by the help of the locals of that area, there are about 400 students studying in these schools with excellent academic record. For girl orphans because of residential limits, we are providing education to more than 250 girls at their homes.

Do you have any other source of expenditure other than the public donations?
Our complete expenditure is dependent on donations made by the people and at some times local NGOs also help us. We collect donations from people across the state and spend the money for meaningful purposes.
What are the mediums through which you are providing information to the deprived people, who do not get any appropriate information or help from any where because of illiteracy?
Mostly, announcements are made through electronic and print media, functions and conferences but still we are trying to provide information through other means also by which an illiterate can also get information.

How do you ensure transparency in the system?

I think transparency is the soul of the system, so for we have auditors and experts to keep a check on the system. We conduct internal audits as well as external audits. External audits are made by chartered accountants from outside agencies, who are unknown to us and they forward the report of the shortfalls and the gains, accordingly. Internal audit is done by our financial wing head, who is a retired accountant.
What are your future plans to improve health care and related facilities to poor people?
Our future plan is to establish a hospital with sufficient capacity for patients but this needs a lot of money and help from the community, which can not be done in hurry. For the time being we will provide two ambulances for the assistance of the poor and deprived families this year. Since we are not taking any help from the government we will take help from some organisations of foreign countries like Muslim Aid of London, Islamic Help, and there is another organization in Austria which is established by a Kashmiri so we will take help from them also.
What would be your message to these deprived and destitute families ?
My message is that these people should take survival as a challenge and should not beg for help but should try on their own to make better life. If despite of the attempts and efforts they need help through us, they can come to us, there is no barrier to them to share their needs with us.
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