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 14, 2010

Literally Going to Dogs

Sameer shares a common topic of discussion these days

Dog Menace: Problems and Remedies

Sameer Rashid Bhat

The pleasant weather last evening compelled even a slothful person like me to take a stroll. Within few minutes my leisure walk quickened to a brisk pace and soon I had to hasten myself home, courtesy stray dogs.

Kashmir valley, particularly Srinagar city, has been literally left to dogs. The dog population is growing exponentially in the city. Officials estimate that 100,000 stray dogs roam the streets of the city. According to some estimates, the dog population will equal the human population in Kashmir in 2014. One can only imagine the results in such a situation.

The number of dog bite cases reported at SMHS in 2007 stood at 3185 while in 2008 it increased upto 3866. There may be many more cases of dog bites which go unreported while they are treated at district hospitals or private clinics. SMHS hospital receives dog bite victims from Baramulla, Anantnag, Budgam and other districts too besides Srinagar. Kids are the main victims.

Stray dogs also pose threat to pedestrians, cyclists and two wheelers, particularly in the evening hours. There have been instances where people have died after being bitten by an apparently healthy dog. In Ganderbal, for instance, a boy accompanying his father was licked by some puppies in his wounded feet. Nobody took it seriously but later on the child developed rabies and died.

There is a desperate need to take some measures for the prevention of dog biting. Mutton shops near residential areas should be closed immediately and alternative places should be allotted to them. Srinagar Municipal Corporation should provide shelter and food to old and weak dogs. Birth control programme for dogs can be taken up to check their population. In municipal heath centers, there is severe shortage of rabies vaccine. We need to have adequate supply of the vaccine. The stray dog menace is a grave problem and the authorities should act to tackle this issue effectively.

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