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, April 1, 2012

The Canine Paradox

Everyone knows that stray dogs in the valley (especially Srinagar) are posing a threat to public health and safety. So how come the Municipality is not getting rid of them? Even more puzzling, why is not public in an uproar? Two reports from the Greater Kashmir


For three-year-old Dua Me’raj, it’s painful even to cry because that could tear stitches on her cheeks. The little girl sits quietly on the bed as tears continue to trickle down her face while her family members try to console her.

This girl from Baba Pora, Habba Kadal area of Shaher-e-Khaas is a latest victim of attack by stray dogs, over one lakh of whom prowl in this summer Capital, while the state government has been defending the case of dogs saying “rights of animals need to be upheld come what may.”
Just last week, Dua’s parents had admitted this youngest of their five daughters in a school at Hyderpora. But on Friday afternoon she was attacked by scores of dogs near her residence while coming back home.


Dua’s mother Maqsooda and 11-year-old sister Atoofa who had reached home early, were waiting at the bus stop when the little girl got down from the school bus at around 12:30 PM. The elder sister picked up her schoolbag and the sister duo started walking towards their humble dwelling in the nearby lane, which wore a deserted look as most men were busy with preparations for Friday congregational Salah.

The mother, however, took a halt to procure some vegetables from a hawker. But the sisters had barely walked a few yards that they heard some women shouting: “Hide somewhere, dogs are coming running.” But before the girls would get it, they found themselves being chased by over a dozen dogs.

Scared, little Dua lost her balance and fell on the ground. Ahead it was all blood. The stray packs at once pounced on her trying to make every wound on her face as she cried and they bit and barked.

Atoofa says she tried to rescue the younger sister by beating the dogs with Dua’s schoolbag but in futility. Hearing the cries, the locals peeped out from the doors and windows only to find Dua lying in pool of blood as the dogs declined to step back.

“Some of the neighbours jumped out straight from the windows, others too came running to rescue us,” recaps Atoofa. The locals chased away the dogs and instantly rushed Dua to SHMS Hospital.
By now the mother, unaware of the deadly attack, found crowd near a pool of blood and the moment she heard that Dua was attacked, she fainted.


Medical records vide Card No 254398 reveal that Dua was a “Dog bite Category III case.” “Face and cheeks have multiple bite marks lacerated around angles of mouth,” it adds.

A medico explaining the diagnosis says this means the patient’s mouth has been torn apart by dogs. The same is visible on Dua’s swollen face which has multiple stitches on the two sides of her mouth, near the nose and her eyebrows.

But the treatment didn’t come easy for this family whose sole bread earner, Dua’s father, is a bus driver.

Immunoglobulin, something vital for treatment of dog bite cases wasn’t available at the hospital. The family spend around Rs 700 to get it from open markets.

An official at the GMC while admitting the failure to keep available the stock of this vital medicine says: “We don’t procure this because we cannot afford it keeping in view the inflow of dog bite cases. So victims have to get it of their own.”


At the Karan Nagar hospital, Dua’s newly tailored school uniform was drenched in her own blood. The family and neighbours didn’t want to take back home the child in such scary clothes.
“We removed her clothes and burnt them right there while one of us covered her in jacket till we reached home,” the mother recaps.


The summer capital with over one lakh dogs reportedly on prowl has witnessed a surge in the canine attacks while at least three persons including a 10-year old boy of Zaina Kadal died in the past around a year.

While the SMC admits its failure to eliminate stray dogs, the government has failed to formulate an alternative strategy to counter the menace other than looking ahead for a million dollar investment for “rehabilitation of dogs at state-of-the-art” pounds where the male of the specie could be sterilized.

The National Conference led coalition government is seemingly so concerned towards the welfare of dogs that in 2010 following reports of alleged killing of stray packs in some area, it formulated a high level committee to probe the allegations.

As for now, the SMC Commissioner Dr Qasba, who recently assumed the charge, is optimistic of making the sterilization of dogs, a “big success”.

“See we cannot kill the dogs because law doesn’t permit it… But what I assure you is that we will make sterilization a success,” he hopes.


As this correspondent was talking the family at Teli Manzil, a typical old City mud house, some cries could be heard from outside. Another women is bitten by dogs and rushed to hospital. “This is the third attack after that on Dua,” says a neighbour who rushed in. The news of another dog attack scares Dua.

Fear writs large enough on her tiny wounded face. She wants to say something but cannot. The family consoles her amid fears that will her facial wounds heal up completely or not? Will they be able to spend huge amount on this treatment or not?
May be Dua too is scared of what has happened to her face because of which she can’t cry, talk or eat either. Dua is silent, so is her family amid fears of the fate of her face!

In 1637 Cases Reported In SMHS,34% Victims Were Kids: Study

Srinagar: The government’s failure to check the increasing number of stray and rabid dogs in the Valley is showing dangerous ramifications on ground with canines wreaking havoc across Kashmir and targeting children.

Doctors in the SMHS Surgery Department told Greater Kashmir that a survey conducted has revealed that these dogs attack the minors between the age group of 0 to 10 years and inflict multiple bite injuries.

“For the last five years, the Department has received 1637 dog bite cases from across the Kashmir and out of these 34.02 per cent victims were children in the age group of 0 to 10 years,” the study revealed, adding that these figures were other than the cases reported by the Social and Preventive Medicine Department of the Government Medical College.

The study revealed that out of all the bite cases, 1134 were males and 503 were females and 994 patients were from rural areas and 643 from the urban places.

The study disclosed that 515 children were bitten by both stray and rabid dogs. According to the study, majority of these children suffered Category two and Category three bites (severe injuries). “Out of 515 children, 152 received grievous injuries (Category three) bites while as 328 received Category two wounds,” the studies showed, adding the kids were very vulnerable to the dog attacks as the canines are able to pounce on them.

According to the study, majority of these children had received bites on head, neck, upper limb and trunk. “During the treatment of these children, it was seen that the dogs had inflicted injuries on the left leg of the children while they were on the run,” the study said, adding that majority of the children were also bitten on neck and head.

The study showed that after children, the dog attacks were predominant in the age group of 21 to 40 years. “The dogs had also attacked 420 persons in this age group,” the study revealed, adding that 126 people had suffered category three bites while as 287 had received category two bites.
Sources said that many of these persons were attacked in the early morning or late evening.

The dogs, the survey said, had also attacked 294 teenagers in the age group of 11 to 20 years and 241 people above the age group of 40 years.

According to the medicos, the number of dog bite cases was increasing with every passing year. “With manifold increase of dogs across Kashmir, these incidents have shown steep rise over the years,” the medicos in the hospital told Greater Kashmir.

The medicos said that few days back, the hospital received a full blown rabies case from Noor Wali Uri. Bashir Ahmad son of Noor Wali of Uri was bitten by a rabid dog and was battling for life, they said, adding the attendants of patients later took him back to home as his condition became very critical.

The rabies patient, medicos said don’t have any chance of survival.

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