Kashmir turmoil: Shortage of essentials cripples life in Valley

By Aadil Mir

Anantnag : Jabeena is waiting endlessly for the post-surgery care she needs desperately. But with curfew imposed in the Kashmir Valley, this 20-year-old woman cannot go to the district hospital which is eight kilometres away from her home.

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Jabeena delivered a baby 12 days back and needed a surgery at the Maternity and Child Health Hospital in Anantnag. She underwent 12 stitches. But with violence erupting in the Valley, life has come to a standstill. And there’s no one to provide the basic post-surgery care to Jabeena.

She had visited the local hospital but Jabeena was turned away and asked to go to the district hospital.

“There was no lady doctor here. So we could not provide her any treatment and care,” an employee of the local hospital told IANS.

Jabeena’s family now fears that she may get infected if she is not taken care of immediately.

But her’s is not an isolated story. Jabeena is one among the thousands who are adversely affected by the tumultuous situation in the Valley after Hizb-ul Mujahideen operative Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter on July 8.

There’s scarcity of medicines, fresh vegetables, food items and other essentials.
“I’m running out of emergency medicines. I could not provide medicines to patients with diabetes and cardiac conditions,” Jaan Mohammad, a chemist outside Achabal hospital, told IANS. “I have no clue where the distributor is who supplies medicines,” a visibly worried Mohammad said.

The hospitals too have been left in the lurch — they cannot even send ambulances in emergency situations as the region is fast running out of fuel. The ambulances are parked inside the hospital precincts.

In the southern part of the Valley, IANS found that people are trying to make do with whatever was available. But then there’s not much left. There are no vegetables, no gas supply or the basic food items needed to sustain oneself.

“We added salt to the rice last evening and ate. There’s no vegetable, milk, mutton or fish available,” Azad Ahmad, a resident of Kulgam district, told IANS.

A local vegetable vendor said because of the trouble, he couldn’t sell anything and had to incur a loss of Rs 10,000 at least.

But people of Kashmir Valley do not seem to be giving up in the face of adversity.

Valley residents, both in the north and south, are now trying to help each other by collecting vegetables, oil, rice, food items and other essentials for distributing among those who need them the most.

“Nine other volunteers and I managed to collect some fresh and dry vegetables from the villages and later distributed them among the people in the towns,” journalist Mudasir Qadri told IANS.

And it is this camaraderie which is keeping up the spirits of the people here. They are hoping that normalcy would return soon.

While people wait for peace, internet connection remains severed here, making it tougher for the people to connect with the rest of the world.

One among them is Muzzfar Ahmad Mir, who has no clue about his mother who had gone to her maternal home. Clearly worried, he hoped that the situation becomes normal soon and people can live in peace.

That’s his prayer and also of others.

However, even as they pray, the mosques here remain shut. The muezzin of the main Jama Masjid in Anantnag was not heard calling for prayers.

That’s one of the many realities which people in Kashmir Valley are dealing with now.