Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

One small step in the campaign against leprosy, one big step in evolving Kashmiri social consciousness

Kashmir University's Law Society organises charity event ‘Ehsaas’ and collects Rs 1.5 lakh for leprosy patients

Srinagar, April 7: The Law Society of Kashmir University, which organised a charity musical show ‘Ehsaas’ at University of Kashmir on Monday said they have collected Rs 1.5 lakh for the leprosy patients of the Valley.

Inspector General of Police, Shiv Murari Sahai who was the guest of honour on the occasion, announced that he too would donate Rs 50,000 for the lepers.

The KU’s Law Society comprising of students of the University of Kashmir (KU) collected Rs 1.50 lakh by selling the entry tickets of the musical show ‘Ehsaas’ that was organised at the university’s auditorium.The students of various departments of the varsity besides the Faculty of Law volunteered the whole discourse of Ehsaas.The students on their own have also arranged 67 gas cylinders, solar lanterns and bedding for the lepers. “The motive of organizing this charity musical show was to collect money for the patients suffering from leprosy,” said a volunteer.

In his brief speech, the guest of honour Sahai grabbed the attention of audience saying, “I will deposit the booking charges of the convocation hall on behalf of students if the university charges them. If the university doesn’t then I will donate Rs 50,000 for the leprosy patients.”

Reacting to Sahai’s announcement Registrar KU, Prof S Fayaz announced that KU won’t charge organizers for the convocation hall. Dean Academics, Prof Abdul Aziz who was the chief guest on the occasion stressed that the society should not ignore patients suffering from leprosy.He regretted over the apathy of the government toward the leprosy patients.“It is encouraging to see students take part to highlight such issues. We have decided to hold such events in future also. It was inspiring to see that our students were approaching door-door to collect money for this cause,” said Aziz.

The programme started with Rabab by Shah Sahib, a talented Rabab player. Following this, leading performers of the Valley including Waheed Jeelani, Rizwan Rasool, Rayees Mohi-ud-Din, Mehmeet Syed, Shafi Sopori and others also performed.Young and talented local pop star, King Paul Singh’s performance was the topping on the cake for the audience. The audience members were tapping their feet as the hall reverberated with Singh’s beats.

The renowned singer of the Valley, Waheed Jeelani touched the hearts of audience with his crooning notes and melodies. Jeelani told Rising Kashmir, “I was enthusiastic to perform in this charity show. I performed free of cost and I am always ready to perform in such programmes.”Adil Sidiqqui, a student of the department of Law said, “Music is a thread which connects. Today’s function proved it. This is the best creative way to highlight the issues of the society, which most of the times remain unattended.”

A Jammu based local English daily Kashmir Times was the main sponsor of the show which was supported by Logix. BIG 92.7 FM was the title sponsors while CP Advertisers were the advertisement sponsors. Mirza Sons, Sub-urban Infotech, Chowdary Motors, Babbage computers, Legends School and Kashmir Book Trust were the other co-sponsors.

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