The months of curfews last year meant transport services came to a halt in Kashmir. 02:56. “My husband is daily-wage worker and he is also out of work for a year.”. Two weeks later, the crisis has not abated, and already the cost of the damage is estimated at close to $1 billion. They can order books online or could approach their teachers but for us everything has become very tough because of the place we come from,” she said. India’s total infections now stand at 21.49 million, while total deaths have reached 234,083. For most of her life, Akhtar has struggled with poverty. “We watched helplessly whatever was happening. The out of body girl: My fragmented life with dissociation, These Iranian woman are crushing it in crypto, An Indian abroad: ‘My mind is a graveyard of the living’, Netanyahu: Gaza campaign is continuing with full force, Israel’s doctrine: Humane bombing and benevolent occupation, Netanyahu says Gaza bombing to continue ‘in full-force’, US legislator AOC calls Israel an ‘apartheid state’, Al Jazeera Centre for Public Liberties & Human Rights. Supplies to private persons/societies/NGOs (other than hospitals) shall be made only with prior approval of the District Magistrate,” the order said. “I think it’s a deliberate policy to push us towards giving away land. ... [Shuaib Bashir/Al Jazeera] Series of measures. Al Jazeera speaks to author Mridu Rai about how the minority Hindu community fits into the Kashmir dispute. “I was without work for so many months and I had to find a way to feed my family. If you don’t give oxygen on time, it’s of no use,” he said, hoping that the administration “will restore the process”. I had made it a point last year to study day in and day out because I wanted to do it.”. “It would help me feed my family of six which includes my three sons, a daughter and wife. Preventing NGOs or making it tougher for them to help people get cylinders is dangerous,” he tweeted. This is an extra burden on us. One year on, there is palpable anger against the government’s move to abrogate Article 370 of the constitution that granted the Muslim-majority region a measure of autonomy. “They want to hush up the things and do not want the public backlash. “[They] will stop supply to any private NGO with immediate effect. “We have been giving oxygen cylinders to people in home care. LATEST: Pakistan says it will put maximum pressure on India over its decision to strip Indian-administered Kashmir of its autonomy. Schools and colleges in Kashmir were turned into barracks for additionally deployed paramilitary forces. On Thursday, the region recorded 52 deaths while the overall tally stands at 2,562. When she would feel unable to concentrate due to the dire political situation, she says she would cry on a prayer mat. Al Jazeera profiles five Kashmiris whose lives have been adversely affected by last year’s decision. Kashmir doctors prohibited from speaking to media as COVID rages. He said there are at least 350 patients on oxygen support provided by his NGO. Link/Page Citation ISLAMABAD -- Although, at present everyone in Kashmir is being immensely subjugated, but women are the biggest victims of this inhumane siege, AlJazeera TV reported Wednesday. “Speaking and putting out loopholes in the public glare is the only way to improve the condition of the situation we are in right now,” she told Al Jazeera. Majeed has three children and a wife to feed. “I knew I had no other option,” Sheikh told Al Jazeera. Topics: Kashmir … Claim: BBC, Al Jazeera, Reuters fabricate reports of unrest in Kashmir For six months, the Himalayan region faced an internet blackout and security lockdown that adversely affected the Kashmir Valley’s nearly eight million people. Warning the doctors of “strict disciplinary action”, the order alleged that “contradictory and confusing messages” were being circulated about the pandemic which “misinform the public and create unnecessary and avoidable panic”. The horticulture industry is one of the pillars of Kashmir’s rural economy and apples remain the jewel of this industry. But I have been dreaming for it for years. Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), a local body of industrialists in the region, has put the preliminary amount of losses to $5.3bn from last year’s lockdown. I don’t even go to my orchards now, it causes anxiety.”. “It is just on the mercy of Allah that we are surviving. “I am sure if this deprivation of our work continues we will all be facing psychiatric issues. Places India, Kashmir, Pakistan Topics Natural Disasters, Weather ... Get email updates from Al Jazeera America . She says the situation in Kashmir “has made her tough and strengthened her will to move forward”. “We can’t watch educational videos. Kashmiri social media user, Faheem Aslam, wrote that by hampering the work of NGOs in the middle of a “grotesque pandemic”, the administration is literally “aiding their death”. “Last year, on August 3, we were towing our boats and there were hundreds of tourists. ... Ganai’s school certificate shown to the court by his family, and also seen by Al Jazeera, shows that Ganai was born in March 2003. For months last year, Shakeel struggled to prepare for the exams and apply for scholarships in colleges outside India, which has always been her dream though her parents were against the decision. “In this situation, we do not even feel that we have anyone to listen us like a politician or a leader. A number of NGOs, charities and volunteers are currently working in Indian-administered Kashmir to provide and refill oxygen cylinders to coronavirus patients being treated at home. His oldest son is paralysed. With nearly 250 people dead and 600,000 thousand stranded, a sizzling summer turned into a disaster overnight. For Javaid Ahmad Ganai, an apple farmer, life has not been the same since last year. The traders’ body also said about half a million jobs had been lost since August last year. I chose the latter,” he told Al Jazeera at his house in Sholipora village in Budgam. Who has the correct analysis on the Kashmir Dispute, Al-Jazeera (AJ) or the New York Times (NYT)? “Last year, after the lockdown, we were not able to sell our produce. Al Jazeera … In the villages it is the same situation for everyone. We are denied many rights but need to give our best in this suffocating environment,” she told Al Jazeera. But the official figures themselves present a different picture. The order, issued by the district magistrate of Srinagar, Muhammad Aijaz, directed all the manufacturing units within the jurisdiction of Srinagar to supply oxygen only to designated hospitals and clinics. 14 Aug 2008. She got a full scholarship to study at Georgetown University in Qatar. The authorities in the health sector do not want to be exposed for having done nothing in the last one year to gear up for the pandemic.”. Sajad belongs to the generation of Kashmiris born between the late 1980s and early 1990s, when armed rebellion against the Indian administration of Kashmir first began. There is brewing conflict between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan, once again at loggerheads over the territory that lies between them: Kashmir. It’s extremely tough for students in Kashmir to stay without internet. LATEST: Pakistan expels India's ambassador and takes other political measures, as tensions remain high in the disputed territory of Kashmir. Kuni Takahashi for Al Jazeera America NADIHAL, India — At 3 o’clock in the morning of April 30, 2010, a unit of the Indian army’s 4th Rajput Regiment was patrolling an area of the Line of Control, the de facto border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. He was the sole breadwinner for the family which includes his wife and three children aged 5-11. A family in Delhi grieve the loss of their 29-year-old son who died from COVID-19, leaving a wife and newborn baby. But suddenly, police came and started taking away tourists to the airport,” Majeed, 45, told Al Jazeera. Yemen: Remembering the Arab Spring. They also come for a refill. Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits still live in … With a daily income of 300-500 rupees ($4-6.6), the 45-year-old from central Budgam district barely managed to make ends meet. Last month, Shariq was hit by a burst of pellets fired during a protest near his village. “I am an unfortunate father,” he said with tears in his eyes. According to a series of tweets posted by Adnan Bhat Monday, a report … He said the only option available before him is taking loans but he fears that he might have to mortgage his land. “I avoid going to my home because I cannot afford to buy most things that my wife asks me to buy,” he said. He sought his wife’s permission. At home, Ganai said he has no answers to his children’s demands. It is more important that doctors tell you about the health crisis but now we have all been silenced,” a doctor in one of the main public hospitals in the region told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity. That’s the last time we had some work,” Majeed told Al Jazeera. India has taken al-Jazeera off air for five days, claiming that it had shown wrong maps of Kashmir. Her scholarship bid also turned out to be successful. In another order on Thursday that was widely slammed by the region’s residents, the authorities have directed the oxygen manufacturing units to stop supplies to the NGOs and private users. “I feared that my situation might keep me behind despite my hard work. The news channel showed a blue screen on Wednesday with a … “We can’t even study in the Zoom classes like students everywhere else. An Indian doctor describes a typical day during COVID, including turning away patients because there aren’t enough beds. Video: Kashmir fails to calm Read more. Majeed says he just tries to “find an escape”. As per AJ, the NYT editorial totally distorts the nature of the Kashmir Issue and bolsters the false impression of it being a “territorial dispute” between India and Pakistan. I could also fund for the education of my children,” he said. India Bans al-Jazeera for 5 Days for Showing 'Incorrect' Maps of Kashmir A logo is seen at the Al Jazeera bureau in Berlin on Feb. 27, 2014 Adam Berry—Getty Images “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. “In my village, more than 90 percent growers are taking loans. She remembers her last day at the school before lockdown when she was busy with her friends discussing upcoming school events. “During a pandemic, stopping doctors from raising genuine concerns to the media is going to have bad consequences. She secured 98 percent in her grade 12 exams and topped in Kashmir. “I have only seen struggles in life. “All Chief Medical Officers/Medical Superintendents/Block Medical officers of Kashmir Division are enjoined upon to issue instructions to all the staff under the administrative domain to desist from media interactions,” said the order signed by Dr Mushtaq Rather, director of health services in the disputed region. According to the Kashmir Transporters Welfare Association, the lockdown affected nearly 150,000 people associated with the transport sector. A resident of south Kashmir’s Tahab village, Ganai said farmers like him are “now taking loans and keeping their land on mortgage to run homes”. “NGOs were working when the government was still in deep slumber.”. She could not attend school in the wake of the lockdown announced last August while the internet blackout meant she struggled to continue her studies. NEW DELHI: India's government took Al Jazeera news channel off the air on Wednesday for five days after officials insisted it had repeatedly shown wrong maps of disputed Kashmir. That generation’s political conscience was shaped during the 2008 and 2010 civil uprisings, as Kashmiris carried out mass rallies and protest marches demanding independence. Stopping the hoarding/black marketing of oxygen cylinders is a laudable goal. Activists have accused Indian authorities of using draconian laws to stifle dissent and committing human rights abuses against Kashmiris. Her hope, however, was her elder son, Shariq Ahmad, whom she hoped would one day earn and support the family. “The income is completely lost. Amid the surge, the federally-run region’s administration claims there are enough supplies of oxygen, critical care drugs and other COVID-19 facilities to meet the crisis. New Delhi: A Kashmiri freelance journalist has alleged that the Doha-based media network Al Jazeera (AJ) deprived him and a fellow reporter of credit for a report that made the merit list for an international award. Nazir Ahmad Sheikh, a bus-conductor, at his home in … The only way left is loans or selling my own property or trees to help feed my family. Related News. Nearly 3.3 million people in the region are directly or indirectly associated with horticulture, according to government figures. One of the earning hands for the family suddenly found himself confined to his room. “The short-term effect will be very big. Al Jazeera in India showed a blue screen on Wednesday with a sign saying "as instructed by the ministry of information and broadcasting, this channel will not be available". According to the Private Schools Association in Kashmir only 20 percent of students in Kashmir who had fixed-line broadband at home could take “advantage of the online classes”. The slow internet causes connectivity issues in e-learning and online classes, students say. “I am trying to get best out of this situation. “I sent my first 50 apple boxes and was paid money for them,” Ganai said. “When I sent the second lot of 250 boxes, I was told that they could not find a buyer and I was never paid for it.”. “This year has been the worst,” Akhtar told Al Jazeera. I know most of us cannot repay (the loans) and we will have to surrender our land,” he said, referring to a general sentiment in the region that New Delhi wants to bring about demographic changes by allowing Indians to buy land there. Muhammad Afaaq Sayeed, project director at Social Reforms Organisation (SRO), a Srinagar-based NGO, said the order will impact their work “immensely”. 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Who is Aung San Suu Kyi? “I just wanted to educate my children and provide two meals to my family but in this situation, I am not able to do anything, I am feeling extremely helpless.”. Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, but claimed in its entirety by both countries. Last year’s lockdown had coincided with the harvest season, with one farmer describing it as “one of the finest crops he has seen in his lifetime”. In the absence of the internet and phones last year, Shakeel described it as the “hardest time”. Authorities ban doctors from talking to reporters and direct oxygen manufacturing units to stop supplies to NGOs and private users. We are feeling abandoned by everyone. It seems we will have to sell everything ultimately.”. Kashmiri doctors say the order is aimed at stopping them from “flagging genuine issues” related to the healthcare system in the region. He was partially blinded. The report dealt with the lockdown that followed the scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir in 2019. “We have been hit by a storm one after another.”. “This time 50 percent of the produce on trees has a disease and we can already see our economy for the next many years in shambles.”. South Asian nation battling ferocious second COVID wave added 1.57 million cases and over 15,100 deaths this week alone. 6:25 “We were in shock. The tourism sector contributes nearly 6.92 percent to the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the government economic survey. “My son had his surgery last week but we were not able to get it done because it would cost 25,000 rupees ($334). Asma Shakeel, 19, a resident of the main city of Srinagar, has a story of hope and an unending struggle. We could not take care of the trees like buying fertilisers on time because we had no resources,” Ganai said. I knew I could not even ask a penny from my father whose business has already suffered a lot,” she said, adding that she had to travel to the Indian capital New Delhi last year twice to apply for scholarships. Doctors say Kashmir, which has been under a security lockdown since August, is ‘ill-equipped’ to deal with the pandemic. “We cannot speak about the situation on the ground fearing for losing our jobs.”. Many people are commenting that these videos are from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). And in such situations as a student it is hard to study at home,” said Shakeel who has an older brother and a twin sister. “We are not able to maintain our orchards. In other places [outside Kashmir] at least students have access to high-speed internet and other facilities. For months, she did self-study at home. Sumeena Jan, 26, a resident of Srinagar, said the government is preventing people from knowing about the “catastrophic situation”. Pakistani and Indian border guards traded gunfire and mortar shells Tuesday along their disputed border in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, killing two Pakistanis and an Indian, officials said.. At least 14 civilians also were wounded by Indian fire in the Bajwat sector near Sialkot, a city in the eastern Punjab province, Pakistan's military said in a statement. But the spokesperson of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Indian-administered Kashmir, Ashok Koul, refuted such allegations and said Article 370 was removed to “bring progress and development in Kashmir”. Al Jazeera profiles five Kashmiris whose lives have been adversely affected by last year’s decision. To save his family from shame, Sheikh decided to travel to the nearby district of Srinagar, the main city in the Kashmir region, to beg. The region’s economy was devastated while schools and colleges were shut, many of them emptied out to accommodate Indian soldiers. As businesses gradually started to reopen earlier this year, new restrictions were imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, burying any remnants of hope for Sheikh, who had no option but to beg to be able to feed his family. I thought I had two options either to become a thief or to beg. India on Friday reported a rise of 414,188 new COVID-19 cases and 3,915 deaths – both the highest ever so far, despite experts saying the figures are an undercount. NEW DELHI: India’s government took Al Jazeera news channel off the air on Wednesday for five days after officials insisted it had repeatedly shown wrong maps of disputed Kashmir. We could not question anyone.”. There is no one to hear us,” he said. Budgam, Indian-administered Kashmir – On August 5, 2019, India stripped Indian-administered Kashmir of its limited autonomy saying the unprecedented move was meant to integrate the Muslim-majority region into India to bring “development” and end violence. Indian-administered Kashmir recorded close to 5000 infections on Thursday and currently has nearly 27,000 active cases of the coronavirus. Horticulture contributes nearly 5,000 crore rupees ($666,000) annually to the region’s economy. But I fear to think about the future. At her home in Karimabad village in southern Pulwama district, Shaheena Akhtar, 37, has to nurse her two children: An 18-year-old daughter who is suffering from severe gastroenterology illness and her 20-year-old son who was hit with pellets on his right eye. Srinagar was turned into a ghost town immediately after the lockdown was announced. Omar Abdullah, the former chief minister of the Muslim-majority region, also condemned the government order. More video clips from the story. All his life, Abdul Majeed has followed a dedicated routine – he would leave home in the morning to row his boat on the famous Dal lake where he would take tourists on joyrides. Sheikh began sitting on roadsides where he would carry his young paralysed son in his arms. India demands Pakistan take 'credible action' over Kashmir attack | Al Jazeera English . A debate is raging on social media for the last few days since Al Jazeera and the BBC put up two video clips, purportedly showing a protest march that took place in Srinagar last Friday (August 9). Several injured in grenade attack in Kashmir. Pakistani, Indian troops trade fire in Kashmir, killing 3. In the six hospitals designated for treating coronavirus patients in the main city of Srinagar, home to more than 1.4 million people, there were just 11 ICU beds vacant on Thursday. Despite the hardships, Shakeel is a success story. What led to that move? Kashmiri students could not attend classes after August 2019, making it one of the longest pauses for the region’s education sector and it has affected more than a million school-going students. India's government took Al Jazeera news channel off the air on Wednesday for five days after officials insisted it had repeatedly shown wrong maps of disputed Kashmir. It’s not only the wound on my son’s eyes, we are dead deep inside too, struggling for survival,” she said. While authorities asked schools to opt for online education during the coronavirus pandemic, the students had little chances as the high-speed internet remains banned due to “security reasons”. Ganai says they will have to bear the consequences of the lockdown for many years to come. Our situation is not normal,” Shakeel said. “From my childhood, I have been doing this work and I never felt this much anxiety,” he said, adding that even at the peak of the armed rebellion against Indian rule in the 1990s, things were not as bad as it is now. Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir – Authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir have barred doctors from speaking to media and directed the oxygen manufacturing units to stop supplies to the NGOs and private users. “Applying for scholarships was difficult. “My parents did not want me to apply for colleges outside. Since Sept. 7, Indian-administered Kashmir has been dealing with the biggest and most ferocious floods in a century. My hope was my son. He dropped out of studies three years ago when the situation in the family became difficult,” she said. The use of pellets to disperse protesters has widely been condemned as hundreds of people, most of them teenage boys, have been blinded by the shots of iron projectiles to ward off demonstrators in recent years. “In Kashmir, what we see mostly is a shutdown after someone dies. Kashmir was in the headlines over the summer after India stripped the region of its autonomy. “I had to work on my own at home and seek help from my school teachers.”. Without work, he feels frustrated and restless. India has said it will completely isolate Pakistan, following Thursday's suicide bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir. She passed her high schools exam in July this year with flying colours. The 44-year-old said before the lockdown he used to earn at least $300 a month. Wire services. Al Jazeera profiles five Kashmiris whose lives have been adversely affected by the revocation of autonomy. by Al Jazeera English. Every tourist was made to leave and hotels were emptied as the Indian government was preparing to impose the unprecedented lockdown. Nazir Ahmad Sheikh, who worked as a bus conductor for decades, was rendered jobless as hundreds of passenger vehicles were barred, creating a dire situation for the families dependent on the industry. I finally convinced them but the worst part during the communication blockade was that my teachers could not send me letters of recommendation,” she said. Ganai said the government last year announced measures to help farmers sell their produce at “good rates” but on the ground, the reality was different. The order issued by the region’s department of health on Thursday came as it battles a deadly wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with hospitals running short of beds and patients scrambling for oxygen cylinders, medicines and medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators. Two Pakistanis and one Indian are killed, 14 civilians injured, in disputed Himalayan border region of Kashmir. Thousands of politicians and activists were jailed, some of whom have since been released. One year on, tourists have not returned and that has paralysed the region’s tourism industry which provided jobs to thousands of people. Most of it either rotted on the trees or in the vehicles or fruit mandis,” said the father of four. Stay on top of Conflict latest developments on the ground with Al Jazeera’s fact-based news, exclusive video footage, photos and updated maps. During the last 12 months, Majeed stayed loyal to his routine but earned nothing as the security lockdown forced tourists from the picturesque region. “I don’t know whether to buy medicine for my kids, take them to the doctor or eat two meals,” she said. Scientific adviser to Indian government says pandemic’s further waves ‘inevitable’ as about 4,000 people die in a day. Before him is taking loans but he fears that he might have to sell our produce healthcare in... Both countries NYT ) now stand at 21.49 million, while total deaths have reached 234,083 and other... For additionally deployed paramilitary forces us like a politician or a leader nearly... 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