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NRI family returns to J&K, establishes a school

April 23, 2012, 1:22 PM IST India India

Doda: The family of Sabbah Haji, which left a comfortable life abroad to come home to Kashmir and make a difference, have set up a school in a remote village of Doda in Jammu and Kashmir.

Situated in the remote village of Breswana in Doda district, the school is the dream and hard work of Sabbah Haji.

"This is my home, this is my family and we had a family trust setup and I thought I will come back and do something better than your normal 9 to 5 job that I had for many years, very comfortable, very fun. I wouldn't say I am rotting. These are my people and these are my friends and their kids so more than just returning the favour," said Sabbah.

After a successful career abroad, the Haji family returned to their native village to setup the school and it now has around 80 children.

"The main person behind the school is my uncle Mr Nasir Haji who is based in Singapore. He is the money, he is the idea, he is the motivation behind the school and it is a family kind of thing. We work under a trust," she said.

With very few qualified teachers available, Sabbah uses social media to reach out to bright and eager volunteers, willing to come up and teach.

"A friend of mine knows Sabbah and got a tweet and hooked us also. I am teaching class 3rd and 4th. I teach them English and environmental science," said volunteer, Azon Linhares, a former Reuters staffer.

Sabbah has now set up two more schools in the neighbouring village to teach more children, who would otherwise be deprived of such an opportunity.

The sparkle in the eyes of the kids in the region is a result of the selfless work put up by Sabbah in the village - a village she never lost sight of even when she could have made excellent forays in her care.