Introduction to KashmirForum.org 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.
www.kashmirforum.org

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Hero By Any Calling


Pervez writes about a remarkable and a resilient Kashmiri young man named Javed Tak, rendered disable in a militant attack, who fights for the rights and welfare of physically challenged people in Kashmir

(Mr. Pervez Majeed Lone, 37, was born in Ashpora, a hamlet located in Handwara Tehsil in the Kupwara District. His primary schooling took place in government schools in his hometown, and he finished his higher secondary education from the Government Higher Secondary School, Kupwara. He graduated from the University of Kashmir as a Continuing Education student with Sociology, Philosophy and English Literature as major subjects. In 2004, he completed his Master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Kashmir. He has worked in various local Urdu journals (Chattan, Pukar) and the Radio Kashmir (Sheharbeen) before joining the Sahara Time, a weekly national news magazine from the Sahara Group. He is passionate about the Urdu language and poetry, and loves to listen to music, read English literature and traveling.)

Standing on His Own Feet

He was like any other enthusiastic boy of the times; keen on studies while nurturing a dream to become a lawyer. But a fatal attack by militants crushed his body, yet not the dreams. Today Javed Ahmad Tak is an embodiment of determination, courage and hardwork. He overcame the physical trauma by his sheer imagination and grit, and changed not only his own life, but many of his ilks around.

On 21st March 1996, Javed, then 21 and a BSc final year student was fatally injured in midnight attack by militant in his uncle’s house. His spinal cord, liver, kidney, pancreas, spleen and intestine got injured. After multiple surgeries his right kidney, spleen, a part of the liver and intestines were removed while as a spinal fixation was done. “It is a miracle I am alive,” Javed says as he reminisces that gory night. 

Sixteen years after that bloody episode, Javed has come a long way of hard work and preservation. “After remaining gloomy for sometime, two episodes changed gave me impetus to stand up and work,” he says: “When a reputed orthopaedic surgeon said my injury is so grievous that it will take years to heal, and another surgeon specialist said, ‘God helps those who help themselves,’ I took my life in my hands and started to live and make the most of my present,” he maintains.

Despite being wheel-chair bound with hundred percent disabilities, Javed qualified a number of academic and professional courses including masters in social work and certificate course in human rights from The University of Kashmir. He took up cause of the disable and various social service initiatives and today he is known for his charity work, social advocacy and community work in Kashmir. Appalled by the pathetic state of disable in Kashmir, Javed formed “Humanity Welfare Organization Helpline (HWOHL)” an NGO working for the rights of persons with disabilities in the Valley. Besides HWOHL has established a school for the poor and differently-abled children where physiotherapy, speech therapy and special education is provided to the 75 enrolled students.

He is active as a defender of the rights of disable and has filed several PILs and suits in J&K High Court and State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) which resulted in immense relief to disable. His PIL in J&K High Court resulted in formulation of Draft policy for the persons with disabilities in Jammu and Kashmir. With his efforts various government institutions including office of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir office, Raj Bhawan Srinagar and The University of Kashmir established ramps for the disable employees and visitors.

 Javed has received nearly a dozen awards and honours for his social service including national award for working for “Welfare of Persons with Disabilities in2004 and J&K State Award for Empowerment and upliftment of Disabled People in2007. He was also part of the youth delegation to China under “Understanding and friendship program” in 2007.

“Today, I consider myself blessed for what happened to me. Despite my disability I have found a place in society at the academic and professional level. I am privileged to help the needy and disables like me,” he says with all humility and confidence.

Editor's Note: You can read about Mr. Javed Tak elsewhere on this Blog.

1 comment:

sonali chitalkar said...

A story of inspiration.What makes it special is the sensitive reportage.In the hungama that Kashmir has become,such controlled voicing stands apart.I wouldnt have known about Javed Tak if Pervez Majeed had not conveyed the message so well.