June 7, 2021 – With the acute phase of the covid crisis in India leveling off, this week two of the largest organizations to represent Kashmiri Pandits committed to work together to develop a comprehensive, post-covid rehabilitation plan.
“Our alliance with AIKS will grow stronger, in order to address our community’s unprecedented rehabilitation needs,” said Archana Kokroo, president of the Kashmiri Overseas Association.
AIKS has been a key partner of KOA for many years. This partnership developed in the 1990s, with the creation of the Excellence in Education assistance program that was designed to help Kashmiri youth who fled with their families during the Exodus.
Now, thirty years later, AIKS and KOA will strengthen their ties to provide for both the short-term and long-term welfare of the Kasmiri Pandit diaspora in India.
“In the short-term, our primary efforts must be to provide support for KP families who have lost their only source of income, need assistance in finding jobs and applying for government benefits, help in education and mental health counseling, among other immediate needs,” said Colonel Tej Tikoo (ret’d), president of All India Kashmiri Samaj.
In the long-term, both AIKS and KOA agree that they must develop a mutual strategy for taking care of the aging Pandit population in Jammu, invest in improving the healthcare infrastructure, while also providing support and guidance to the youth through career development and skills training.
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Rajiv Pandit, MD
Kashmiri Overseas Association
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