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 16, 2008

United Nations Agency Doing Humanitarian Work in Kashmir

Whether people realize it or not, an agency of the United Nations Organization (UNO) is very active in Kashmir

UNDP prepares docs to tackle crisis

Srinagar: Preparing the medical fraternity to cope up with the crisis situation in case of any disaster in the state, two days training programme for doctors was organized here on Monday by the divisional administration in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Project coordinator UNDP, Aamir Ali said, “Doctors need to be well equipped with the latest technology and the know-how to coping up with any crisis like situations. Since Kashmir falls under seismic zone five, the training programmes like these are compulsory”.

The training programme was inaugurated by Director SKIMS, Dr. Abdul Hamid Zargar and attended by Principal Government Medical College, Srinagar, Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad, Medical Superintendent Psychiatric hospital, Dr. Hameed-ullah, project coordinator UNDP and HoD Disaster Management, IMPA, Srinagar G.M. Dar.

About 40 doctors associated with different health institutions of the state participated in the training programme. The training was imparted by the experts from Academy of Traumatology, Ahmedabad, Dr. Sharad Vyas and Dr. Pankaj Patel.

The programme named “Trainer’s Training Programme for Disaster Preparedness in Hospitals” is being organized under the Urban Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction Project of UNDP. “The programme is aimed at training the medical professionals to make them respond to the unpredictable situations arising due to disasters effectively with optional promptness and minimum chaos,” said Dr Dar. The experts made the participants to go through an intensive programme lectures, table top exercises, practical skill training, followed by an assessment of practical skill. “Doctors in valley need to chalk out a plan so that they can be ready to counter any happening and be prepared for facing any disaster whether manmade or natural,” said Dr Pankaj.

While speaking on the occasion, Dr Hameed Zargar said that the primary and secondary healthcare systems in valley need to be strengthened for copping any disaster. “We need to train non-professionals so that they can help in minimize the losses during the disaster,” he said. Aamir Ali said that divisional administration is in the process of identifying a disaster management teams in valley that could be trained with basics of managing any disaster.

(Rising Kashmir)

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