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, September 21, 2012

How Much Do Sweepers Earn? Prepare for the Jolt!

Believe it or not, a city sweeper in Kashmir earns a salary of Rs. 7,500 per month

SMC Spends More Than Rs 2 crore on Salary of Sweepers

Rising Kashmir News

Srinagar: Even if the sweepers in Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) have boycotted their work demanding the early release of their salaries, the Corporation is said to have engaged more than 2000 permanent and daily wage employees for whom more than Rs 2 crore is being spent as monthly salary. According to the information furnished by the SMC in response to an RTI query filed by an NGO, SRVES, corporation has 1360 permanent sweepers on rolls where as 1363 people have been engaged on temporary basis to keep the city clean. (KNS)

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