Islamabad - At a time when the state has failed to give protection to its orphan children, there are some kind-hearted philanthropists who have taken remarkable initiatives for human beings.

“Pakistan Sweet Home (PSH) is supporting the orphans by providing them education, boarding, food, clothing and basic health facilities,” Zamurd Khan, Patron-In-Chief of Pakistan Sweet Home said this while talking to The Nation.

“I came back today (Tuesday) after spending Eid holidays with my family (brothers and sisters) in Faisalabad,” says Mohammad Arif, 12, a 4th grade student.

After death of Arif’s parents in 2012, his family admitted him and his 10-year-old brother Ali to Pakistan Sweet Homes (PSH) at sector H-9.

“It’s like home to us,” Arif told The Nation. 

Since the beginning of this idea in 2009, Pakistan Sweet Home has established thirty orphan centres with 3,600 enrolments of boys and girls all across the country, said Zamurd. “There is a plan to establish 30 more orphan centres in the next three years in order to secure the future of Pakistan,” he added.

“The idea to establish such facilities across Pakistan was conceived in 2009,” said Zamurd and added that it was started with a single child and today with the support of sponsors some 30 centres are accommodating nearly 3,600 orphans.

Centres are located in all the four provinces of Pakistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

“I have devoted my life for the betterment of orphan children in Pakistan,” said Zamurd who is the person who first conceived the idea and launched it with the help of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal. He is known as “Papa Jani” among children being hosted by sweet homes.

“Yesterday, we had a mango party with Papa Jani. It was fun,” said Naeem, a nine-year-old and third grade student at Pakistan Sweet Homes H-9. Naeem hails from AJK and brought to centre two and a half years ago after his father died of cancer.

The number of orphan children is growing in Pakistan. Although no official statistics are available, yet conservative estimates suggest that Pakistan has over four million orphans. Frequent incidents of ethnic and sectarian killings, terrorism and natural calamities like floods and earthquakes have contributed to this number.

According to a recent United Nation’s report nearly 80 million children and young persons under the age of 18 need investment for their education, security and health in Pakistan.

Some of the orphans at PSH have witnessed their parents murdered before their eyes. Due to sensitivities involved the visitors and media persons are not allowed to ask them questions that may have negative impact on them.

“I have started this centre taking inspiration from Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). He was orphan when born,” Zamurad added.

The main centre of Pakistan Sweet Homes located at H-9 Islamabad, is currently accommodating nearly four hundred orphans. Of them some three hundreds are boys while one hundred are girls.

Both male and female children live separately. Boy’s dormitory is located at first and second floors of the building and the girl’s accommodation is in a separate block of the building.

The management of the PSH hires one mother-maid for every fifteen children who helps them get dressed for school as well as organising their daily routine. 

“Most of the mother-maids are widows. These children are our life. We treat them like our own kids,” said Rukhsana, a mother-maid.

Zamurd Khan said he was planning to establish two cadet collages, one each at AJK and Karachi, for orphan children. “Land has been acquired for the purpose,” he informed. 

As far as the education is concerned, Pakistan Sweet Homes H-9 centre Islamabad provides formal education to four hundreds orphans with the support of Siddiq Public School, Rawalpindi, while Bahria University Islamabad has sponsored a state of the art computer lab here.

Apart from education, Pakistan Sweet Home (PSH) also stresses on extra-curriculum activities as the different cultural and sports events are being organised throughout the calendar. 

The PSH organises a big sports and cultural event on 23rd March every year and this year too a mega event was celebrated at Pakistan Sports Complex Islamabad. “Thousands of PSH children from all over Pakistan participated in the event this year and it is the much awaited event for the children to show off their best skills and efforts in extra curriculum events,” said Zamurd.