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.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

First Dogs, Now Rats ...

Here it is .... Rodents terrorize staff and patients in the Chest Disease (CD) Hospital, Srinagar

Rats Rattle CD Hospital

Shafat Farooq (Rising Kashmir)

Srinagar: While stray dogs have been hogging headlines, rats seem to be not far behind. Concerned by their growing number and increased activity, authorities at Chest Disease Hospital, Dalgate have hired a rodent control agency to get rid of them.

“Rats can be seen jumping around in the wards causing inconvenience to patients, attendants and the hospital staff. Besides, they are carriers of infection so we need to get rid of them as soon as possible. The hospital is in desperate need of a pied piper,” said a senior official of the hospital, wishing not to be named.

The hospital authorities committee has been constituted in this regard which decided to hire a rodent control agency to clear the hospital of the rats.

“We have already approached a rodent control agency which has been approved by the purchasing committee. They will arrive here in next 10 days and after assessing the situation they will take action accordingly,” Medical Superintendent CD Hospital, Dr Mirza said. “This is a big hospital and it will take some time for the team to clear the hospital of the rats. The team will measure all the areas where the rats have entered and they will be paid according to the space covered by them,” Mirza said.

Besides eating the eatables, rats have also bitten some people in the hospital while the officials have failed to curb their movement and population.

“I was in sleep and suddenly four rats swooped on me. I was lucky to be bitten only on my right foot. But the behavior of the authorities was more shocking as I was asked to go outside the hospital for treatment,” said Bashir Ahmed, who is attending his ailing father in the hospital.

He said they can’t sleep peacefully at night for fear of rats.

“It’s impossible to sleep in the hospital, particularly for the patients. Yesterday half of the bread kept in a drawer vanished,” Bashir said. About the complaints, Dr Mirza said, “They should take care of themselves. It is chest disease hospital, we can’t cure rat bites here.”

Presence of rats in hospitals is not uncommon. Rats nibbled on a 70-year-old paralysed man at a Jodhpur hospital in January earlier this year. The incident had evoked widespread concern with Rajasthan government coming in for strong criticism, especially from media.

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