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, August 31, 2012

Alarming Deaths, No Outrage

Why is it that no one cares about the quality of medical care in Kashmir? The numbers are as shocking as they are disturbing

After GB Panth, Deaths in SKIMS Shock People

Early Times Report

srinagar, Aug 28: Even as the state is yet to recover from the shock of infant deaths in GB Panth hospital, official documents with Early Times reveal that the SKIMS is no different as far as mortality rate is concerned. The documents show that 3400 deaths have occurred in the Valley's lone super specialty hospital from January 2011 to July 31, 2012.

The neurosurgery department, documents reveal heads the list with 714 deaths. It is followed by neurology with 626 deaths and urology department with 602 deaths.

The Accountant General of the state ascribes the reason to alarming death rate to lack of staff and infrastructure. The audit party of the accountant general's office has exposed the rot behind the rosy picture projected by the management.

The party said the hospital's casualty and accident/ emergency ward was overcrowded, dingy and shabby. The party found patients lying on the floor outside the casualty. There are some wheel chairs but no nurses to ferry the patients."
The audit party found long queues of patients at different counters waiting for their turn. Pertinent to mention the hospital can cater to needs of 600 patients on a daily basis in the out patients department (OPD). But it receives around 1200 patients.

There is acute shortage of drugs in the hospital, said the audit party. Even normal saline (glucose) is not available in the super specialty hospital. The patients have to purchase it from the market. Curiously the Institute purchases drugs worth crores of rupees every year but the patients have to rush to the market for most of the medicines, a senior doctor said.

The mortality rate attracted the attention of Speaker, Mohammad Akber Lone. He has constituted a committee of the members of the house to investigate the alarming death rate. The committee has not submitted its report.

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