A Visual Invitation

Greater Kashmir

A medium to generate awareness for institutionalizing Social Service


J&K Yateem Foundation (JKYF) is using different tools of communication to reach out to the people for their active participation in social service activities for the welfare and rehabilitation of thousands of orphans, widows and destitute; irrespective of caste, creed, region or religion.
The Yearly Wall Calendar Series is being utilised by JKYF as a big tool of communication to reach out to people across the board to put across its message for generating response for the great humanitarian cause. Programme Executive Press & PR Division Javaid Jawad, a postgraduate in Mass Communication & Journalism from Kashmir University, says that JKYF general budget includes separate allocation for Press & Public Relations Division. It speaks of JKYF’s understanding of the importance of mass media and communication in today’s world of science, technology and media.
The content analysis of various messages covering plight of orphans, widows and destitute makes one understand that JKYF talks about inclusive support for their rehabilitation with focus on social service related commandments in Holy Qur’an and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). This year MEEQAT-E-SALAAH (Prayer Timings) is the latest addition.
The JKYF multicolour, six leaf double sided calendar, designed by one of the upcoming young web developer and graphic designers Qaisar Sidique, includes themes related to the plight of flood affected victims, while calling for their sustained relief and possible respectful rehabilitation measures. There is consistent focus calling upon people in general and philanthropists in particular to come forward with all types of relief material in accordance with individual capacity. Another calendar leaf focuses on the call to make the flood affected students accessible to education by providing them books,  note books,  stationery,  lunch box,  school uniform and  school bag.
The calendar highlights issues of around 2.14 lakh orphan boys & girls (as per Save The Children survey), over 30 thousand orphan & poor unmarried girls besides around 32 thousand widow headed families.
While common sense says that there should have been specific Ramadhan related message in Ramadhan Calendar Leaf but the deliberate focus on stray and door-to-door money/resource collection seems to be a unique departure from traditional practice. By highlighting decree and statement of renowned Islamic scholars Mufti Nazir Ahmad Qasmi and Faheem Mohammad Ramzan categorically rejecting practice of stray and door-to-door collection in the name of relief and rehabilitation of orphans, widows and other destitute, JKYF’s public position on this issue seems to be more pragmatic, bold, progressive and beneficial in the public interest.
The Calendar also throws light on the cardinal message of Islam wherein Islam envisages to create a society with equal rights for one & all with focus to encourage orphans, widows & destitute, without any prejudice, to have access to such equal opportunities. The Calendar very well portrays humanitarian work as the hallmark of Islam.
Another unique feature of Calendar 2015 is that the issue of mental, psychological and emotional trauma being experienced by a large number of old aged parents mostly dependents within their own homes they build and nurture, has also been highlighted which of late has become one of the burning issues in our family structures.
The plight of poor and needy patients suffering from various ailments and living in miserable conditions, has also been highlighted. There is a call for doctors, para-medical professionals, diagnostic laboratories, pharmaceutical enterprises and general philanthropists to extend their healing hand to the underprivileged patients so that they don’t suffer, die and go unnoticed for want of consultation, diagnostics, treatment and medicines. 
The burning issue of marriage of over 30,000 poor and orphan unmarried girls, has also been highlighted with an indirect call for philanthropists to come forward for sponsoring or facilitating the simple marriages of those girls who cross marriageable age due to poverty thereby suffer in various ways. 
J&K Yateem Foundation has substantially focused on the need of dignified, respectful and honourable life for needy and destitute through concrete rehabilitation measures.
The focus on social issues speaks about the futurist understanding of JKYF about the basic issues confronting people at a place which is experiencing fallout of the past around 25 year conflict.
The focus on question “If Not We? — Then Who?”  which has become core symbolic expression of inclusiveness, indicates that J&K Yateem Foundation is not shying away from its great responsibility but encourages, inspires, attracts rather throws open its doors for all those who want to contribute for socio economic upliftment of the people in distress and agony. 
To conclude, I see a lot of scope for improvement in the JKYF media division to deliver more. For that JKYF needs to open its doors for media professionals irrespective of gender who with ground understanding of the overall situation, have expertise in print, electronic, outdoor, advertising, social media and other areas of communication. JKYF also needs to reach out to historians, writers, sociologists, psychologists and psycho analysts to provide them access while utilising their research studies and visionary experiences. This could help the organisation to infuse professionalism & work culture besides help in creating think tank for institutionalisation of social service in Jammu & Kashmir. JKYF could become beacon by taking lead while throwing an idea of SERVE (Social Entrepreneurship for Revival of Voluntary Engagement ) towards making social service an inclusive day to day social culture. There is also urgent need to put in place credible voluntary social audit mechanism. May Almighty Allah (SWT) accept noble and sincere deeds of all volunteers and repay them in this world and the Hereafter. Aameen

(The author is Indian Information Service Officer presently working as Assistant Director (News), DDK Jammu)