Son of slain militant wants to join Indian Army

February 27th, 2009 - 5:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) At the age of nine, Ghulam Nabi lost his militant father in an operation by the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir and planned to be a militant himself. But an NGO helped him change his mind, and now he wants to join the Indian Army.
“I want to join the Indian Army and serve the nation as a brave soldier. I love my country and I am ready to give my life for it,” said Nabi, a class 10 student at the school in Pune run by the NGO Sarhad.

Nabi’s father was a militant and was shot dead by the security forces in Kupwara in 2002.

“I was shattered at that time and decided to join some militant outfit. But my life changed after I was picked up by the NGO and now I am looking forward to score good marks in my board exams and join the army,” said Nabi with a smile on his face.

Nabi, now 16, was among 50 orphan children from militant affected areas in the Valley who visited the national capital Friday as a part of a “Know India” tour organised by Sarhad.

It was like a dream come true for most children who for the first time travelled out of the Valley. With their eyes glittering, they danced and posed for the cameras at the official residence of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Founder of the NGO Sanjay Nahar said: “Every year we bring 100 children from various orphanages in Kashmir to Pune and provide them education, food and shelter. I think these children have received deep scars on their hearts at a very tender age and love can only heal them.”

The children were taken to Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Delhi as part of their 18-day tour.

“I really enjoyed the trip, made new friends and met several people. The best thing was that wherever we went people gave us so much of love and attention. India is really beautiful and I would like to do something meaningful in my life,” said six-year-old Shahid Ahmad Bhatt.

Most of the children were hopeful and wanted peace to return to the Valley soon.

“We want to stay in Kashmir and work for our people. I wish we are never forced to leave our motherland,” explained Manzoor Ahmad, as he sang a Kashmiri song.

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