While many Kashmiri Pandits have with their hard work and Education overcome many difficulties, Still Thousands of Families are languishing in the one room apartments of Jammu Refugee camps. The youth have been deprived of Jobs by the successive governments. Their miseries have elongated with time and have become a part of their life. Self owned flat or house is still a distinct dream for many. Chuni lal poignantly recalls old days in Kashmir as he says,”we had a big house in our village in Kashmir,It had 12 rooms and each room was not less than 800 sq.feet. Here, in jammu my whole family lives in a 400 sq.feet,one room flat”. This is a story of many….
Govt. of j&k is playing hide and seek game with the future and lives of many Kashmiri Pandits. Sometimes they announce employment package and then mysteriously roll back the announced schemes. Pre 1989,there was a sizeable portion of Kashmiri Pandits who served the Government at various responsible positions. Today, Their number is not even 1/10 of that size. This antipathy towards the careers of majority of KP’s has forced them to look for the jobs outside the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This is definitely a conspiracy of keeping KP’s away from J&K.
Pakistan sponsored terrorism, which cleansed the indigenous Kashmiri hindus from Kashmir, have been carried on by the successive Governments, by not providing fundamental livelihood in the form of jobs to the displaced community.
Usually as a matter of fact Leaders emerge, But with Kashmiri Pandits they are announced by the political patriarchs of Kashmir. These handpicked politician’s empathy towards their brethren gets transformed into apathy once they enter the arena of power and follow the footsteps of their political mentors. This metamorphosis may be good to them but this hardly mitigates the sufferings of general KP’s.
Satish Kumar, aged 37 years, lives in one room dingy apartment at Nagrota camp, which is hardly 12Kms from Jammu city. Till August 2008, He was considering himself lucky than most of his friends in the Refugee camp and why not,at least he had a job.He was working with a private firm and obediently looking after his family which apart from his wife also consists of his aged parents. During the peak of Amarnath land agitation, in which number of unarmed agitators were killed cold bloodedly by the Government Machinery, Satish had gone to local market to buy vegetables, He was hit by tear gas shells, and was seriously hurt. This incidence changed his life forever…
Today he is unemployed and handicapped, Repeated surgeries has severely affected his right leg and gangrened his Right foot, He also has lost the vision of both his eyes. His family had to incur huge medical expenses ,which eventually drained their lifelong savings. Now in debt, His only source of income is Rs 3000/month which he gets as a relief(dole) from Government for being a Kashmiri refugee. Future seems bleak to him, Visibly in Physical pain, he murmurs “ I want money, so that I can get better medical facilities”.
Not a single political leader has approached him so far, the condition of this family is appalling monetarily as well as emotionally, Satish has compromised with his fate, and he aspires to raise decent funds to cover his medical expenses and look for better medical facilities, Though he has not met with success yet, his sense of responsibility towards his family has kept his spirits going on so far, as he has learnt walking with the stick of Hope….
life goes on..for you and me, But for some like the Kashmiri Hindu refuges of Muthi and Nagrota camp,life in a Refugee camp in nothing short of nightmare,however the only motivation and inspiration which keeps them going and gives them courage for their daily struggle of existence lies somewhere in the memories of older generation, who keeps telling the stories of their Grandeur past in Kashmir to their children and grand children, and the youth, who are determined to live a better life, away from the Refugee camps, provided they are given opportunities by the system, which at present seems to be Hostile towards them.