Indrani Balan Foundation: Making a difference by supporting the aspirations of Kashmiri youth
Mar 19, 2023
Jammu and Kashmir [India], March 19 : Punit Balan is the first non-J&K entrepreneur to begin working on children's education and other development projects since the repeal of Article 370 in the Union Territory. His goal is to provide free education to the children of Kashmir. The group has also been supporting Kashmiri athletes in their efforts to compete in international events.
Punit Balan is an entrepreneur, filmmaker, social worker, sports enthusiast, and most importantly, the chairman of the Indrani Balan Foundation, which has undertaken various initiatives in J&K. The Punit Balan group has been doing social work in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and other Indian states, but his love for the people of Kashmir drew him here to work with the army in order to promote education and sports. His foundation aims to rebuild the lives of children whose education has been jeopardized by drugs and militancy in the valley.
Punit Balan's foundation has taken the lead in the 'Nation First' initiative for the education of Kashmiri children. Through the Indrani Balan Foundation, he has been running ten schools established by the Indian Army. These schools are in high-militancy areas like Baramulla, Kupwara, Anantnag, Pehelgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Uri, Trehgam, and Gurez. The foundation is also assisting the Dagar School for Special Children in Baramulla with technical, educational, and financial assistance.
The chairman says, "Similar initiatives have been launched in other states, but we chose J&K because we believe that someone must take the lead."
Furthermore, Punit Balan Group has been supporting Kashmiri athletes in their efforts to compete in international events. Afreen Haider (Taekwondo), Muhammad Saleem (cyclist), Umar Shah (cricket), and Ummer Syed (kho-kho) are examples of such athletes. So far, the foundation has supported approximately 5,000 such youth in Kashmir.
Umar Ahmed, Khoko Athlete, played Kho-Kho for Mumbai Khiladi with the support of Punit Balan's Foundation. "I'm extremely thankful for the army and Punit Balan group. I've been assisted by this organization, and they are providing me with all possible help to serve my country," says Umar Ahmed.
Another athlete, cyclist Mohammad Saleem Sheikh, stated that he has received overwhelming support from the Punit Balan group. He competed in eight nationals in various states. "I received support from the Punit Balan group and the army. I encourage the youth to step forward and serve their country, rather than succumbing to militancy, drugs, or radicalization," says Mohammad Saleem.
The foundation has been working closely with the army. On the occasion of the 73rd Republic Day, the Punit Balan Group in collaboration with the Chinar Corps installed a 150-foot-high mast National Flag in the historic town of Shopian. The chairman considers himself fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with the Indian Army.
"Together with the Army, I will undoubtedly do everything in my power to help build a new Kashmir," says Punit Balan.
Punit Balan condemns militant killings and the devastation they cause to families, leaving children orphaned. In Rajouri, a similar incident occurred recently. The foundation became involved because it wishes to help these children as much as possible. The Indrani Balan Foundation intends to support the victims of terrorism. "We will identify terrorism-affected families and sponsor their children's complete education," said Punit Balan.
He also stated that the group is focused on promoting sports and talent. "We're giving them opportunities. Our team already has 60 athletes, four of whom are from J&K. We believe that the youth of Kashmir deserve a platform to showcase their talent," said the chairman of the Indrani Balan Foundation.