As per the Save the Children Foundation, in 2014, there were 215,000 orphans in the Jammu and Kashmir out of which 37% had lost either their father or both of their parents to terrorist attacks.
The first home founded by Adhik was inaugurated by an orphan girl in Kupwara.
Hailing from Ahmadnagar, Adhik Kadam belongs to a farmer’s family. Adhik made up his mind in the late 90s to get a pulse of the situation after interacting with the Kashmiri Pandit and Kashmiri Muslim friends that he had in the Pune University. So what was supposed to be a 15-day trip, turned out to be a jaunt that extended to 4 months. Adhik recounts the horrifying times he spent in Kashmir when he saw a lot of people being killed where the victims mostly were the innocent kids. After experiencing all the turbulence in the valley, Adhik thought it was an indication for him from the above that something really needs to be done for the kids.
And there he is, in California, being felicitated for his extraordinary move in Kashmir. Nevertheless, his journey has been a trying and packed with risks, yet quite rewarding. He eventually lay the foundation for the Borderless World Foundation (BWF).
Once he decided to move to the valley, an even more important decision was to decide on the district where he would work. He picked Kupwara, the densely forested area situated along the LOC. He opened his first ‘home’ there in the year 2002 with four girls.
While still on his search for the right place to put up at, he had been intermittently picked up the militants who thought him to be a spy. The militants had picked him up around 19 odd times but every time he would return completely unharmed. Adhik feels this wouldn’t have been possible if the locals wouldn’t have helped him. He says that they helped him immensely be it monetarily or be it ensuring his safety. He says magnanimity runs deep in the veins of the people there, however, no one bothered to make an attempt to experience it.
As the news about BWF scattered across the Valley, Adhik started getting references, volunteers, and funds. Slowly, he expanded by opening similar homes in Anantnag, Beerwah, and Jammu, where, right now, BWF is taking care of close to 200 girls in the four homes, all of whom have lost either both their parents or fathers due to the clash. The homes are well-quipped with computers and have gardens where the girls play in the evening. Also, Adhik provides grown up girls with vocational training.
Adhik is not all that politically aware. His opinions may sound a little naïve or practically impossible to some. But he on the other hand, speaks the language of compassion with his approach and has the power to turn around almost anything.
Did you know?
Adhik decided on the name of his foundation Borderless World Foundation after seeing a wedding at a village located across LOC, where the bride was Indian and the Groom hailed from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.Did you know?
10 of grown up women from Adhik’s home now run a business center where they make embroidered cloth, fabric paintings, and sanitary napkins.