Inhumane Treatment of Kashmir Orphans

14 Dec
KASHMIR ORPHANS TREATED INHUMANELYSrinagar, Dec 11: In an alarming trend, most of the children living in orphanages in Kashmir suffer from psychiatric and emotional disorders including depression, a survey has revealed.
The survey has attributed the high rate of psychiatric and emotional disorders to orphanages failing to provide adequate facilities and psychosocial support to these children.
The s

urvey conducted by a social activist, Qurat-ul-Ain Masoodi, who runs a voluntary group Aash, focuses on the prevalence of major psychiatric disorders and psychological distress among the children living in orphanages of Kashmir.
It is based on a sample of 140 children in various orphanages in Kashmir using various scales of psychiatric assessment including the Mini-International Neuro-psychiatric interview.
The study found among the orphans high prevalence of Separation Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic Disorder, Social Phobia and Conduct Disorder, Generalized Anxiety disorder and Dysthymia.
“These rates are somewhat higher than those found in previous studies done in Kashmir. This can be attributed to the orphanages which fail to provide adequate psychosocial support to these children,” Qurat states in the study.
UNICEF estimates that Kashmir has as many as 100,000 special or orphaned children. However an independent study by UK-based ‘Save The Children’ puts the number of orphans at 2.15 lakhs.
“These figures still seem to be conservative as very less information flows from distant areas. There is a high rate of mental health problems, predominantly those of emotional nature among orphanage children. This appears consistent with findings from studies with other groups of neglected, traumatized and institutionalized children, although the mechanisms may well differ. The most studied factor has been institutional privation and its impact on children’s social, cognitive and emotional development,” it states.
It states that high Post Traumatic Stress Disorder rates among the orphaned children is due to direct exposure to trauma and family loss due to the armed conflict in Kashmir.
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