The ‘Paradise’ In Distress


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Sadaf Khan

Thanks to prevailing political uncertainty in Kashmir, the reports have suggested that as many as 1.8 million people here suffer with mental distress.

According to report, 1.8 million Kashmiri adults suffer from mental distress which means every second adult is going through mental trauma, which is seriously an alarming rate. In 1989, 1,700 people have visited single psychiatric hospital in Srinagar for the treatment purposes but the number rose upto 1,00,000 last year.

Kashmiri psychiatrist Mushtaq Margoob said: “it’s because of political crises that the number of distress patients is increasing in Kashmir. This is transgenerational transmission of trauma.

Living in a violent place is like life in conflict; it affects psychology and mental setup. All these restrictions, curfews, violence leave an impact on mental health.”

Results reveal that the prevalence of depression is 55.72%. It’s highest (66.67%) in the 15-25 years age group followed by 65.33% in 26-35 years age group. Overall 60% females and 51.34% males are going through depression.

Due to rising number of issues, youth of valley is facing many situations and feel like dejected. Many get addicted to drugs. Huge number of people including male and female are taking drugs and have become addicted.

These all situations in Kashmir are due to conflict which has left people mutilated and disheartened. Kashmiries are facing other challenges too, like unemployment, bribery, poverty, corruption, underdevelopment etc aggravating their problems further.

According to United Nations International Drug Control Program Survey more than 70,000 people are drug addicted in Kashmir, among which approximately 4,000 are females. Due to the easy availability of drugs the number is increasing day by day.

Poppy, brown sugar, fukki, charas, intoxicants are some of the drugs which are cultivated and marketed in the Kashmir.

According to DNA, official figures revealed that police have seized huge consignments of drugs and intoxicants in different parts of Kashmir in 2016, including 64 kilograms of charas, 7.5 kilograms of charas powder, 194 kilograms of bhang and bhang dust, 925 kilograms of fukki, 915 kilograms of poppy and 3.75 kilograms of brown sugar, 26,457 intoxicating capsules, 10,533 intoxicating tablets and 12,983 bottles of intoxicating syrup.

The situation is really going worse day by day as illicit drug trade is soaring in Kashmir alarmingly. After Punjab, Kashmiri is becoming the safe and new den for the drug addicts and for the people who sell it. It may set the precedence for the new Udta Punjab if not curbed effectively and instantly.

Jammu and Kashmir police has opened drug de-addiction centers in which over 20,000 affected persons, according to officials have been treated till now.

As there are apprehensions of illicit trade of drugs across the Line of Control after the seizure of drugs, charas and other banned items at several occasions by the police at trade transition point in Uri of north Kashmir, it prompts one to think how under the garb of conflict this illicit trade is taking place and destroy the young generation of Kashmir.

Living in a pressure cooker situation doesn’t mean we should push ourselves in the fire of hell. Kashmir has been bleeding since the partition.

We have suffered through uproars of violence of the war, but it seems that situation continues to worsen. But we should not lose our hopes and continue to work for better and prosperous future.

Off course gun is certainly not the solution and violence leads to violence, it will just ruin everything; dialogue between Indo-Pak can be solution for our better lives otherwise the stress would continue to prevail in Paradise.

The article appeared in print edition of Aug 02-08, 2017.


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