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.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Valley Hospitals are a Disgrace in Every Sense of the Word

Srinagar hospitals lack even the basic information booth and a public address system

Valley hospitals lack enquiry cells

Baba Umar (Rising Kashmir)

Srinagar: With no enquiry cells in the Valley’s leading healthcare institutes, patients who come all the way from distant places claim they go astray in the vast hospital buildings.

“I am trying to locate the cardiology section for the past two hours but I failed,” said Muhammad Amin who had come all the way from Kupwara to see doctors at SKIMS, Soura. Amin said he had been asking people around and in the corridor about the chamber he had to visit but everybody seemed busy and evaded his enquiry.

“I have decided to return, perhaps I will come after a week,” Amin said.

Not only SKIMS, other prime city hospitals which include, GB Pant Children Hospital, SMHS Hospital, LD Hospital, SKIMS Bemina, also do not have public address cells, causing patients to face several problems in locating the doctors and the departments.

In the SKIMS Medical College and Hospital (popularly known as JVC), visitors are often seen asking attendants in the premises about the location of several sections of the hospital.

Another visitor, Hajira Begum of Kulgam who had come to see a patient in the city’s SMHS hospital, returned home after three hours of endless search. “No one assisted me to locate my patient. I enquired from employees and other attendants but to no avail,” she said.

Meanwhile, SMHS hospital authorities acknowledged problems faced by patients as well as the visitors and assured that the enquiry cell in the hospital will be set up soon.

“We will soon set up a public address system. The administration has discussed the problem in the past and setting up of an enquiry cell is in the pipeline,” Dr Mushtaq Shah, Principal SMHS told Rising Kashmir. He said some senior members of the administration are out of the State and after their return he would raise the issue with them.

An official of the SKIMS, Soura said that the hospital is upgrading its various departments while the enquiry cell and public relation office will be all set up soon. “In the past we received such grievances about patients or visitors going awry in and outside the hospital. However we will soon set up an enquiry cell in the premises,” he said.

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