Children In Kashmir Are Away From Schools And Ban On The Internet Adds To Their Miseries

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Safina Nabi, Indian Administered Kashmir: In circumstances triggered by the coronavirus, the free flow of information is necessary. Whether it’s about the number of affected patients, precautions taken by the administration to tackle the virus, safety measures to be taken by the public, helpline numbers, or to access online classes.

Eight million people in the valley of Kashmir are under a severe health threat and are left on their own to experiment and pursue safety measures and hygiene that one needs to follow in a situation when the WHO (World Health Organisation) declares the novel coronavirus as a pandemic in nature.

Hospitals have an acute shortage of doctors and paramedics, while its healthcare facilities are insufficient to meet the crisis and the ban on high-speed internet has created a big trouble for the students.

Internet woes

The Indian government is not resuming the high-speed Internet services in the Himalayan region on the pretext to maintain the Law and Order situation.

Junaid Ahmad, a B.Tech student was excited to apply for a scholarship through the Ministry of Minority Affairs but the continuous communication clampdown in Kashmir since 5 August halted his way. After waiting outside for days outside an internet facilitation center one day he finally got a chance to fill the form.

Junaid thought, at last, he would fill the form but the happiness did not last long. When he started to process, the portal required a phone number to generate a code that will be directly delivered to the number provided.

“I had no number to provide as all the prepaid numbers were not working and the ban on SMS services was still in place. With no option left, I traveled to Delhi to complete the procedure”. Said Junaid

Kashmir was sent into a complete communication and media blackout on 5, August 2019 after India’s nationalist government revoked an article of the country’s constitution that guaranteed the region a degree of autonomy, and shut down all communication, including the internet and phone services.

Rahila Muzaffer had a dream to study in Delhi’s Jamia Milia University after completing her graduation but the communication clampdown ended the dream. She was not able to track the admission process online.

“I had thought to pursue my higher studies from Delhi but how was it possible? We were under continuous curfew. There was a ban on everything – Phone, radio, Television. The day will not be far when there will be a ban on living as well”. Said Rahila who now studies Science at Amar Singh College Srinagar.

Rahila, good at painting keeps herself busy by painting and reading but doing the same thing all the time makes her feel disinterested.

“I had thought to cover the topics that I missed during the clampdown but due to the ban on high-speed internet that seems impossible”. Said Rahila with a dim smile on her face.

The right to education has been recognized as a human right in a number of international conventions, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

In times of a pandemic when lockdowns were announced, tech companies are helping institutions to smoothen their transition to an online-only teaching format through video-conferencing apps like Zoom and Google Hangouts. Children in Kashmir do not have access to any platform to cope up with the situation.

Mental Health Crisis:

Children in Kashmir are directly transferred from a clampdown to a lockdown and both the situations are worse as they do not have access to online material or classes. Indian government still is not revoking the ban on high-speed internet in the pretext to prevent protests against the abrogation of the region’s autonomy.

In this difficult situation, the Internet and technology is the only way to keep the continuity in the studies. 

There’s little recent research on mental health among Kashmir’s children. But a 2006 paper co-authored by Mushtaq Margoob studied 100 children between the ages of three and 16 who had symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Their reported trauma reflected abuses in Kashmir’s turmoil: nearly half had seen a close relative killed; 15 percent said they witnessed torture; four percent said they were beaten or tortured themselves by security forces.

Dr. Syed Karrar Hussain, paediatric neuropsychiatrist, Shri Maharaja Hari Singh  explains that the closure of education facilities is known to have “Implications on behaviors of children” and it gets worse if it prolongs amid uncertainties especially in the backdrop of conflict.

“In Kashmir many children report school refusal and other anxiety orders. In a worldwide lockdown situation we rely on virtual modes of connectivity be it for social or academic pursuits for school or college going children but the limited internet poses a greater challenge to parents to contain children with scheduled activities at home”. Dr. Karrar said

Amnesty International India in a press release demanded that the Government must restore full access to internet services in the region and ensure that people have full access to health and safety-related information.

Apar Gupta, executive director of the Internet Freedom Foundation says “Information today is not merely a passive receipt of ideas but due to the nature of digitization acts as a vital link to basic sustenance and government services”.

He further mentions that any internet shutdown or even decreasing speeds of access constitute an unreasonable barrier for people especially during the COVID-19 pandemic where timely information is often made available first online. Hence, any disruption puts people to grave risk to their health and safety.

Safina Nabi, a full-time independent journalist based in Kashmir. She writes about gender, health, human rights, and development.

Featured image via Facebook

3 COMMENTS

  1. The Disaster of the Chaiwala – again ! Part 1

    The penta-gonia has been completed.The disaster of the Chaiwala from Demonetisation,GST,Sir-Jee-Kal Strike,Balakot and then came , the COVID (The Fifth Pincer)

    The words of Beruni are prophetic,in this regard.

    – The Hindus believe that there is no country but theirs, no nation like theirs, no kings like theirs, no religion like theirs, no science like theirs.
    – They are haughty, foolishly vain, self-conceited, and stolid.
    – They are by nature niggardly in communicating that which they know, and they take the greatest possible care to withhold it from men of another caste among their own people,still much more, of course, from any foreigner

    Chaiwala though he was special,along with his countrymen -aka, from the Lost Tribe of Israel.Those fantasy-ical land – statistical contortions by the Indians, that the numbers were doubling at the lowest rate in Hindoo-land – lapped up by the lackeys in the Hindoo Mediammade them feel mighty special – just like the sons of Rama. This is what happens Hindoos study Statistics and Maths.dindooohindoo

    The Chaiwala had a simple formula.He did not do any testing at all.He waited for people to come to test,and then die.At least 30000 people die in India every day and Indians,like tardigrades, are infested with so many diseases – that no one takes a cold/cough seriously – until it is time to die – a euphemism for visiting the Indian doctor. The Chaiwala’s dream punch line would have been – that his dubious curfew ,which was unplanned, and w/o any application of mind – worked.

    The fat clown should have restricted passenger traffic across states,and done mass testing and quarantining, in select states,with international traffic and NRI traffic..If the % of those tested positive, was in excess of a norm – then he should have curfew-ed that whole region or state – and then moved to the next geography.

    The Bureau of Immigration would have data of all incoming traffic,at all ports of Hindoosthan – and the duration of stay in India and exit ports. – which could be bio-trailed by the pandoo police (left-right-left-right)

    Soon Indian Muslims will not be able to bury their dead,as the virus will live therein and if animals eat the bodies – then it will be paradise.

    Indian Banking and industry are doomed in 1 stroke, and agriculture will soon follow, in a few months. Chinese manufacturing and energy
    infrastructure is strategically spread all across the nation and all across the sea coast.

    Considering the Indians who are hiding symptoms,or are not showing symptoms,and the spread to Indians by active carriers in 30 days – the plague will hit at least 10000 times the number of the current infected – which is 3000.

    USA tested 1 million and had 2,00,000 cases – in a literate nation, wherein people volunteered of their volition.Indian statistics are bogus – as the Indians have tested several random people, in possible and proximate contact.The Indians have tested 70000 clowns and have found 3000 cases – which is a misleading statistic – as at least half of the tests are just a waste of time – but the Indians think they are immune and special – and mighty better than the white man.

    If 100 million tests on Indians,are done 45 days from today, at least 20% will be infected, and at least half will die – as there is no cure, there is no
    infrastructure and there will be no medicines, and the doctors and the pandoo police will also die.The dead bodies cannot be thrown in the Ganga , as it will contaminate the water life for a million years,and there will be no wood to burn the bodies.dindooohindoo

    Now India is doomed – as it is too late to do mass testing – as the testing infrastructure does not exist and Indians will pillage the state – if millions are quarantined.It is the prophecy of Churchill – pullulation leads to pollution and destruction.

    The virus will live for a million years,and will wipe out 20% of the Indian population in 12-15 months – capturing the thermal,irradiation and
    atmospheric variants,across the nation – to complete the karmic mutation

    The Chaiwala has allowed the virus to multiply and mutate.He should have sealed the borders in January 2020.USA has reconciled to losing 100-200,000 people and to keep the engines running. The Indian engine will stop running at 1000 dead.

    This is the pathetos of the Hindoo nation – and its state of preparation for a bio-weapon.A N-disaster has a clear geographic co-ordinate and spread.This is the salvation for the Pakistanis and PRC – the future – bio warfare – where the agent of the enemy,hides inside the bodies of dead and sentient humans – the ultimate weapon – at the lowest cost. A point to note for the Doctor Zuwahiri – as the decaying human body parts,are,in essence an aerobic digester – and easy to destroy.

    PRC can use draconian measures to quarantine, and the Pakistani geography, is also manageable – and so, will not lose much,in a bio-war.The only nation which has the fatal mix of a vast geography,density of population,weird and satanic customs and rituals and a fart of a democracy – is India, and which makes it a prime candidate,
    for a bio war target.

    What will these clowns do in a full scale N and Bio/Chemical war ? Time beckoneth Chaiwala to tactically nuke out parts of Hindoosthan – just like, in the Hindoo Mahabharata – there is no other way.

    The man was born to doom Hindoosthan and the Hindoos.His solution is to switch off the lights for 9 minutes at 9 pm and light candles,torches and cell phone lights – the sign of impending and inevitable doom.dindooohindoo

  2. Like I said,in my post,as above

    The Hindoos still think they are the best in the world !

    https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/coronavirus-harsh-vardhan-health-minister-on-covid-19-india-probably-did-best-in-world-2212368?pfrom=home-topstories

    A nation of 1.2 billion,is doing 20,000 tests in ONE DAY !

    ONE DAY !

    These are the normal tests and NOT the rapid tests !

    The clowns still do not have the rapid test kits !

    A nation of 1.2 billion should do 1,00,000 tests a day ! The Indian PM has allowed the diversion of the kits to the USA

    Net Result – Millions of Indians with antibodies – have had the antibodies exited and infected millions more – of which there
    is no record,and no quarantine !

    Even if the antibodies are detected – it is now,too late – as the carriers would have infected millions,by now

    In addition,an “assumed immunity” is no guarantee of re-currence,and is a certain fatal extermination.It is a certainty with the Indians.

    It is all the Disaster of the Chaiwala. Numbers manipulation.Indians cannot do creative and innovative maths.

    They are only good to clean toilets.

    The Chaiwala is trying to keep the numbers low – by not testing,and also, by testing “normal clowns” – to keep the infection
    ratio at half the world norm.All nations have the same ratio – just a pure chance ! Creative Maths !

    Like Demo – this will also blow up !

    The infection ratios and numbers will keep rising.

    It is a complete destruction – and permanent.

    Within 30 days – food riots and looting will start and the military will be on the streets – and will fail.Military on the streets,
    is the time for PRC and Pakistan to strike. If Pakistan falls to COVID – even economically, they will take down Hindooossthan !

    And the Biggest Disaster – Ramadan – Will “Indian” Muslims rely on Allah or the Chaiwala or the rented Muslims working for
    the Chaiwala ?

    Industry = Doomed
    Banking = Doomed
    Mudra = Completely Doomed
    Agriculture = will also be doomed – as there will no labour and logistics across the supply chain.

    Will the Indian Dindoo Muslims and other minorities resurrect their insurrection ?

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