Peshawar: The Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government has launched Zamoong Kor or Our Home a gigantic project for children who are left orphans during the war on terror or other street kids in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, focal person for the project said.
Begum Meraj HumayunZamoong-Kor-or-Our-Home, member provincial assembly of KP and focal person for the Zamoong Kor, in her chat with News Lens Pakistan said that Chief Minister Pervez Khattak inaugurated the huge Zamoong Kor scheme in November last year on the eve of International Children Day.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan, she said, was also present during the inauguration ceremony.
The facility— comprising 216 residential flats and 11 blocks— is situated in the outskirts of Peshawar City, she said, saying the project aims at rehabilitation of orphan and street children.
Sharing minute details, she said the project costs Rs. 447 million, which would help accommodate as many as 1,000 children. “The Our Home centre will provide children with recreation, food, health, education, sports and psychological training,” she added.
In addition, she revealed the project is fully funded by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. An additional piece of land upto 12 acres would be acquired for construction of a cricket academy, an auditorium and sports ground, she remarked.
“Providing a level playing field in the kind of Zamoong Kor, these children will turn into an asset for the nation in the long-run,” she hoped.
But Fakhr Azam Wazir, member provincial assembly from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and opposition leader, said,“We appreciate good initiative and projects of public welfare if they are materialized in letter and spirit.”
Wazir expressed his reservations by saying that PTI has a long list of promises but they couldn’t deliver. “Soon after assuming the power in KP, the PTI chairman’s slogan was education for all but the ground realities present a totally different picture,” he added.
“Even the schools in remote areas of the province ceased to function because of the inefficiency of the PTI government” he alleged.
More projects for youth of the province are in pipeline, Begum Humayun informed without elaborating those schemes. All the orphan children at the facility would get all their due rights equally, she pledged.
“We plan to raise the children the way we care about our own children. We will help turn the street and orphan children into skilled manpower when they reach the age of 18,” she noted.
Quoting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, a handout said that the children to be groomed at the facility would be called ‘State Children’ instead of ‘Street Children’.
She said the PTI chairman is planning to convert the project into a model centre, and this facility will be opened in other districts with the passage of time.
She said that a spacious dining and class rooms are part of the facility. A total of 29 orphan children, she said are currently living in the Zamoong Kor.
Some of the orphan or street children are abnormal and their integration would be a long process, she said, adding the government has already worked out a plan to adjust them.
According to current global estimates by the US and UNICEF, 17.8 million children have lost both parents, and 153 million children globally have either lost one parent or both parents.
A report compiled by the FATA Research Center, an organization committed to peace and development in FATA region in Pakistan, states that as per Khyber Pakhtunkhwa education department, militants have destroyed around 1,000 schools in various parts of the province.
An official at the welfare department in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wishing anonymity said there is no exact figure about orphan or street children but as per ballpark estimate the total number of street or orphan children stands at 25,000 throughout the province.
“In view of the prevailing situation, we’re working to ensure security of the facility by raising the height of the boundary walls,” added the focal person.
A sharp increase is observed in the number of street children in Peshawar, which borders restive tribal region, where most of the children lost their parents during the decade old war on terror.
United Nations figure shows that since 2008, almost five million people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA have fled their homes as a result of security operations in the region. At present, an estimated 1.66 million Temporarily Displaced People (approximately 270,000 families) have taken refuge in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
A senior official in the provincial government who wished to go unnamed said the government has observed increase in the number of street children who most of the time fall prey to drug addicts or terror networks.
Earlier, it was decided to adjust only street children but now the provincial government plans to accommodate those kids from tribal region who lost their parents in the ongoing violence, she added.
Wazir said that a sharp rise in the number of street children begging on the streets is a source of concern for common people and government.
News Lens Pakistan observed tight security around the facility; however, a street child Ismail Jan 14, could be reached for a brief comments. “I born after my father died a natural death in 2004. I had to feed my two younger sisters but due to absence of work I started begging on the street,” he recalled.
He said that his mother and one of his younger sisters are working at a landlord’s home and earning a descent livelihood. “But I’m happy here getting three times food, education and playing cricket with my colleagues,” he added.


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