Jammu & Kashmir State continues to remain disturbed, because of the three-decade old turmoil, which has been taking a heavy toll of life and property, besides serious damage, in its aftermath, to the social fabric of the state. The State has witnessed nearly 100 civilian deaths during 2018, besides the collateral damage which takes place at the encounter sites. This has created manifold challenges for social service organisations like HELP Foundation. Mental health intervention has now become an unending involvement. Marginalized communities suffer more, as they lose their livelihoods to daily curbs, curfew and restricted movements. Tourism sector is in shambles, small businesses move at a snail’s pace, economic deprivation has resulted in multiple social problems, including drug trafficking and sexual waywardness.
The recent surveys on mental health issues in Kashmir estimate over 1.8 million adults show mental illness symptoms, which is compounded by social stigma associated with it.
HELP’s commitment to reducing mental trauma through provisioning of livelihoods, women empowerment and education in Kashmir provides an impetus for sustainable and innovative solutions and working towards creating an impact in tackling this major issue. In 2018, HELP Foundation, J&K directly reached to more than 8000 people in 70 villages with counselling, livelihood, rehabilitation and charitable support. Aligning our interventions with the core objectives of Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs], HELPs initiatives are placed in sync with the objectives of 17 SDGs.
It is my pleasure to present to you the HEP Foundation’s Annual report for the year 2018. In this report we have tried our best to present a pictorial and descriptive view of our work. But the true import of this report lies behind the figures and scenes, in the small but significant impact that our efforts have created in the economic and emotional aspects of the lives of the families, helped by us through various initiatives, For a couple of years, HELP has revived its intervention in disability sector, more so because of the impairment or loss of vision caused to the eye sight of young boys and girls, in the recent past, due to pellet injuries. A full-fledged rehabilitation centre for persons with visual impairment has now been established, which supported over two dozen VI persons during 2018.
In this year we have signed MoUs with different organization to work in the areas of healthcare, livelihood, education and mental health counselling. I congratulate the respected trustees, and associates of HELP Foundation for their dedicated support and guidance in carrying out our programmes. I also thank the staff members and volunteers, without whose dedication and hard work, we could not have achieved much. I also thank our partners, donors and other stakeholders for believing in HELP’s ability to deliver in a conflict affected and highly militarized part of this world.