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.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Invigorating Family Outings by Restoring Parks and Play Grounds

Newly restored Children Park is sheer joy, but people of every age like this park

Showkeen Mir (Rising Kashmir)

Kashmir is rising day by day, with the discovery of different picnic spots which were not known till first century and construction of new parks have added to the charm of beautiful, blooming Kashmir. Our valley was beautiful right from its origin, but maintenance was missing. Now many waste lands have been replaced by beautiful attractive gardens. One such garden is on the Lal Ded road near Bakshi Stadium known as “Childrens Park”.

Construction of this Park was started by the department of floriculture, under State Government authority, but due to some reasons the park was handed over to A.L Hussain, who is the present owner of the place. Omer Abdullah inaugurated this place and dedicated it to the public in 2006. The park has been constructed in such a manner that everybody whether young or old, child or adult is attracted and enjoys the time which they spent there. “I used to come with two Children, in the evening hours, I am very thankful to the government for dedicating such a beautiful place to public that my Children as well as me relax when we come here,” say a parent Abdul Ahad.

People from distant areas came to the Children Park to relieve their tensions of whole day. The park has flowers of various types and swings of different styles have been placed in the park for the enjoyment of Children. “I, and my friends came everyday, we enjoy very much here, it has became routine for us to come here in the late 5:00 pm,” says 5th standard student Sabir Mohiddin. At the entrance, one can see vendors selling Ice-creams, Biharis selling “Bhelpuri” and many other eatables. “The Park is constructed in a very good manner, every facility is present over here, but canteen is missing which creates problem for the people. We request to start a canteen inside the park so that both administrations of the park as well as public will be benefited,” says Aisha Syed a government employee.

Mughal gardens are very famous for its beauty but people have different opinion about this park, “In this park one can see there is no jumbling. I feel complete calmness and relaxation, moreover, this park has been constructed in such a locality that anyone from any area can came here. Because this park is well connected,” says Rubeena a doctor. She adds, I suggest government should construct more parks like this one.“

I come from Nowshera. There is no such a beautiful and decorated Park like Children park in our locality I want some more swings of other types should be there and fountains should be constructed here and this park should remain like a public place, rather than changing it into lovers point,” say 7th standard student Nazeelah.

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