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.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Can we Talk About the Disposal of Biomedical Waste?

Typical Kashmiri approach of ignoring festering issues until these become unmanagable does not apply only to political controversies

Biomedical waste

The advances made in medical science and the technological interventions in the surgeries conduct these days, have given much relief to us. But with this a new problem has risen. One such serious issue is related to our environment. While our environment is facing many threats, improper and unscientific disposal of biomedical waste is menacingly looking at us, right in the middle of our face.

The production of this waste has increased manifold which has resulted in serious threat to environment. The reason for this is that the people are not very cautious while disposing off this waste. Improper and unhygienic disposal has resulted in a number of issues which need to be addressed at the earliest.

In this regard Jammu and Kashmir State Pollution Board, JKSPB, organized a workshop cum training programme on the scientific disposal of biomedical waste at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre. Although, the officials were upbeat about the fact that there is no financial constraint which can hamper the process, however, lack of awareness and knowledge among the medical practitioners about the proper disposal and dumping of the biomedical waste has been a matter of great concern. Medical professional make use of the equipment, but hardly bother about its disposal. However, before the situation goes out of control and take turn for worse, there are certain methods which can be effectively used to curb the problem from spreading any further.

First and foremost is to aware the people, particularly the medical fraternity, about how the waste can be managed. This awareness can be created by organizing seminars and by using the means of mass media. However, the scope of these programmes should not be narrowed down to Srinagar or its adjacent areas. It should cover every district, sub district, and every village. An important part can be played by NGOs and media; if these two organs of the society join their hands and launch a large scale campaign involving various sections of the society, a lot can be achieved. And hopefully we can be able to protect ourselves and our environment.

(Rising Kashmir)

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