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.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

So Many NGO's, So Little Focus on Issues Dealing With Women and Children

Seminar highlights diversity in NGO's as a means for ensuring balalnced development of a culturally rich society

"HR issues get politicized in Kashmir"

NGOs not doing enough: Kirmani

Ishfaq Mir

Srinagar: Noted jurist, Justice (Retd) B A Kirmani said despite having 3500 registered Non-Governmental Organizations there has been little ground work on various issues concerning women and children in the state while human rights issues usually get politicized.

Kirmani, who was speaking as the chief guest at a launch ceremony of VIVA Kashmir, a web portal and humanitarian initiative by a group of Kashmiris said there are 3500 NGOs in J&K, but how many of them are working on ground is not clear.
He said human rights violations start when an individual imposes himself on the system.

Stressing on the need for understating the pros and cons of operation of VIVA Kashmir, Kirmani said, “There are various other issues which are not looked into. Issues pertaining to children getting HIV infections are not attended at all when the number of such cases has reached an alarming 25 lakh across the globe.”
The vision of VIVA Kashmir is to see Kashmiris living a dignified life, enjoying all the universal rights for humans as acknowledged by the developed world. The vision statement of VIVA Kashmir also includes an ecological and economic stronghold, a centre for knowledge, spirituality, trade and human welfare with a peaceful multicultural existence.

On the launch ceremony of VIVA Kashmir, Ishfaq Mir, one of the members behind the initiative said, “It’s an initiative that connects Kashmir to the rest of the world on a humanitarian platform.

“Humanitarianism and human rights are closely associated and VIVA Kashmir will make an effort to expound that the turmoil in Kashmir is about blatant abuse on the rights of the inhabitants, who are caught between nuclear capable nations with colossal animosity against each other”.

Mir added, “The danger of a nuclear holocaust for this region is as real if not more, as it is in the Middle East. The ongoing tribulations and atrocities on Kashmiris make it a fundamental duty on the entire humankind to come forward and chip in an effort for peace in the region which permits dignity and honor to Kashmir, its residents and thus to the whole subcontinent.”

The portal is currently under development and should be operational in beta version by December end. Vice Chancellor Islamic University of Science and Technology, Prof Siddique Wahid who was the guest of honor on the occasion said, “It is good that VIVA Kashmir has come forward but I think visions are supposed to be long term. This can prove a good centre for youth and there is a dire need to reach out to them (youth)”

Viva Kashmir is a common thread that unites all Kashmiris into a uniform nationhood. It also is a medium that connects the outside world, neighbors of Kashmir to the sons and daughters of Kashmir.

This initiative has been started by the people of Kashmir and that is our primary identity.

A R Wani (Retd IFS officer) presided over the function and also spoke on the occasion. Kirmani also launched the membership drive for VIVA Kashmir.

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