On January 26th 2001, a devastating earthquake orphaned thousands. They were still trying to find their feet when the state plunged into a cauldron of communal violence on 28th February 2002. Once again, hundreds of children lost their parents and the only safe shelters they knew in their short life. As the wounds just had begun to heal, major parts of Gujarat were inundated by flood in June 2005 and nature’s fury took its heavy toll.
Following the earthquake, as a part of its massive drive to provide relief and rehabilitation, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind decided to establish Jamiat Children Village at Anjar, Kutch.
How The Dream Village was translated into reality:
It was at Khatri Chowk in Anjar, that 400 schoolchildren were buried alive with the national tricolour, while taking part in the Republic Day parade on 26th January 2001. Commemorating the little innocent valiant souls, the Jamiat resolved to establish a children village nearby. An everlasting memorial, to Man’s indefatigable spirit to overcome life’s tragedy, with complete faith and hopefulness.
While supervising relief to the survivors, M. Mahmood Madani, the young General Secretary of JUH realised that the food, clothing and the shelters could hardly bring the traumatised, scarred minds and bruised hearts back to normalcy. The inconsolable victims especially the women and the young ones needed loving care and homely ambiance, more than the survival kits. The idea of restoration of normal family structure full of love, compassion, with a special healing touch, an emphasis on all out development, be it physical, moral or spiritual, led him to search for a suitable site for establishing a ‘Children Village’. Rather than, an orphanage or a shelter for the destitute, the dream village is based on the model of S.O.S, a concept unheard of among Muslim philanthropist organizations.
‘Where there is a will, there is a way’ was once more, proved right when Navin Chandra Bhatia came forward with the most generous offer to donate 13 acres plot out of his 82 acres green orchard. Located at a distance of about 3 kilometres from Anjar township on Bhuj-Anjar Highway, for the noblest humanitarian cause, crossing all barriers of caste creed and religion. Thus, the dream village came into being and has grown since then into a modern,residential, educational complex -set into a beautifully landscaped sylvan green surroundings- lined with palm trees and mango groves.
The mission of the children village is to provide orphans and homeless children and women a home, family, education and a strong foundation for an independent, secure life. Playing a role of a developmental agency for the eradication of poverty, illiteracy, poor education and social backwardness for the most vulnerable and weak sections of the society. [namely, the women and children in one of India’s most backward district of Kutch]. This is achieved by using the leverage of in-campus educational and vocational training or community outreach programs. The village, therefore, has been conceived and planned as an integrated developmental agency, and its various components listed below are designed to achieve this goal.