This Eid I finally did what I had been planning to do for years. I went to the Lahore Yateem Khana with a friend on the first say of Eid. We distributed sweets among the sweet little boys. My friend & I agreed that it was indeed the best feeling we ever had. The little boys were like angels and very well behaved. Surprisingly the staff there was desperate to eat the mithai while the little boys ate in very disciplined manner.
It was indeed a great feeling. Sadly we were the only ones there I was amazed that in a population of 9 million, only two of us decided to spend eid with them. Having said this, I must say that the Anjuman Hamayat-e-Islam is doing a wonderful job. However, the orphanage that was established in 1884 has a lot that can be improved. For example, after extensive googling I was able to find a reference to the Yateem Khana listed under the government of Punjab website under “NGOs” working in Lahore. Sadly, the Anjuman itself does not have a website either. Googling SOS or LBRT immediately takes you to their websites.
The reason I wrote this article is that lets DO something for the little angels, like:
1. First of all, set up a website to increase awareness of the Yateem Khana and give information to people to make donations with bank accounts etc. Put up pictures of the orphanage and the boys….any “techies” wanting to take the challenge on…?
2. Have volunteers teach the boys. The boys go to the Anjuman’s school but they aren’t taught English language, which I feel is a must for them to advance later on in life. I would request readers who have time on their hand like graduates waiting for results, fellows spending nights “chatting” on the net etc. to make a difference and volunteer.
3. Request multinational companies where we work to make cash and kind donations. For example I found that the boys beds had dirty bedsheets and no matresses, the lockers were in bad shape, the rooms needed a good paint job so as to kill the gloominess that hovered in the rooms and many other subtle things.
4. Finally I would request the readers to take a little time out and visit the boys. Trust me you want want to do that more often once you are there. More than cash, donations or anything else, the little angels need OUR love and affection. Remember our prophet Muhammad (SAW) himself was an orpan and the Quran makes references to the orpan at numerous occasions. If Europeans can travel all the way to Lahore to work in the SOS village, why can’t we living in Lahore visit them. For those of as who have lost our parents or have them, for thoses of us who have kids, imagine for a minute how it would be if our kids lost one of us…..Our children have us, our families. These boys have no one in this world to look after them.
I would like to conclude with this that everyone has someone (in the form of parents, families that loves and supports them etc.) but the orphan have no one. So who listens to the orphans ??? It is ALLAH. So when an orphan prays for you or blesses you, ALLAH will indeed listen to his prayer. This is a test for us. Let us not ignore the orphan. And let us give the orphan his rights…..And one of his rights is on the society to care for him.
Should any of the readers want to do something productive about the Yateem Khan orphans, please contact me on lahoreyateemkhana AT gmail.com. Please don’t spam or send hate mails….serious help is solicited. The address and telephone numbers of orphanage is:
Anjuman Hamayat-e-Islam, 119-Multan Road,Yateem Khana Chowk, Lahore. (Its right on the road, ask anyone there if you are lost)
Telephone :5168459, 7581759