J&K govt to conduct fresh survey of militancy affected people
Srinagar Friday, May 29 2009 IST
Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to conduct a fresh survey of the militancy affected people of the state, while Rs 30.46 lakh scholarship was provided to 596 children of victims and Rs 8.35 crore for rehabilitation of migrants and Rs 1.48 crore for the welfare of the widows.
An official spokesman said here today that this information was given in a meeting of Working Group for rehabilitation of militancy- affected people, held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary, S S Kapur. He said the fresh survey of affected families would be compiled and submitted to the government for necessary action.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Secretary stressed upon ensuring total transparency in the implementation of the scheme so that the goal of holistic rehabilitation of the victims is achieved.
Mr Kapur issued instructions that the Deputy Commissioners of all the districts in the State should be asked to ascertain the identity of the victims so that benefits percolate to the real beneficiaries.
He said a Committee should be constituted under Director, Health Services, for considering enhancement of compensation paid to the injured militancy-related persons. He instructed for conducting fresh survey of the affected people so that same could be compiled and submitted to the government for necessary action.
As many as 596 children of victims of militancy-related incidents have been provided scholarships amounting Rs 30.46 lakh. Besides, the government has also provided Rs 8.35 crore for rehabilitation of migrants and Rs 1.48 crore for welfare of the widows by February end this year.
Militancy victims among 400 quake orphans being rehabilitated
December 11, 2005 17:31 IST
Most of the 500 orphans from Jammu and Kashmir [ Images ], who were being sent to the Bharatiya Jain Sangathan in Pune for rehabilitation, were victims of militancy and not the October 8 earthquake, claimed some of the children who are part of the group.
Complete Coverage: Terror from the earth
Although the government has claimed that the children were orphaned by the earthquake that devastated Uri and Tangadhar areas, the beneficiaries said most of them were victims of militancy.
"I am not an earthquake victim. My father was killed by militants in 1995," Shabir Ahmad, a resident of Kupwara town, told PTI as he boarded a bus at the youth hostel in Srinagar
Shabir and his friends, all in their late teens, said their village in Kupwara was not affected by the earthquake.
"We were told about our adoption at Pune even before the earthquake struck. Our family has been literally outcast and it is more because of safety reasons that my mother agreed to keep me away from home," Shabir said.
Sixteen-year old Riyaz Ahmad Khan belongs to Uri, which was almost flattened by the 7.4-magnitude earthquake. But evenhe was not orphaned by the quake.
"I do not know how my father died. I was too young in 1992 when he passed away. My mother or anybody else in the family has not told me what happened to him," Khan said.
Khan said out of the 235 children from Uri, who were part of the contingent, less than a dozen were earthquake orphans.
Senior administration officials refused to comment on the issue.
B B Vyas, who was divisional commissioner of Kashmir division and overall incharge of the relief operations till Saturday, said he had handed over the charge to his successor Basharat Dhar. Several attempts to contact Dhar went in vain as his personal assistants said he was leaving for Uri.
Although nearly 400 children lost one or both parents in the quake in Tangdhar sector, only 10 made it to the group of 500 from that area.
The rest of the children were drawn from militancy-affected families.
Iftekhar Ahmad Malik, 14, from Naya Gabbra village in Tangdhar sector, said his father passed away in 1996 due to natural causes.
"I wanted to become an army officer. I was told by 'sahab'(officer) that I can join the army if I studied in Pune," Malik said.
Nearly 200 children were selected for adoption from Kupwara and other areas of the district, which were almost untouched by the devastation wreaked by the earthquake.
The shifting of the children has met with strong resentment from non-governmental organisations who have threatened to move the court on the issue.
Soon after the quake, the centre and state government said they will send 500 quake-orphans to a children home in Pune. It was also announced that Rs 5 lakh will be deposited in each oprhan's bank account.
M I Jehangir
Jammu and Kashmir: Survey reveals multiple effects of the armed conflict on children (August 2005)
survey covered children from the Kashmir region and children of Kashmiri Pandits, border migrants, inter-district migrants and police personnel
lack of awareness about how children of "other communites" are affected
the most pronounced impact is psychological
education process afftected
half of the militants recorded to be between 14 and 18 years of age
Frontline, 12 August 2005:"A SURVEY conducted among children in Jammu and Kashmir reveals the multiple effects of the armed conflict on young lives. The survey covered children from the Kashmir region and the disturbed parts of Jammu; and children of Kashmiri Pandits, border migrants, inter-district migrants and police personnel. The 2,326 children also represented the socio-economic and other groups within each section. Field investigators found that a good majority of the persons killed belonged to the lower economic and social strata. Though children of every community and region have been affected, there is a serious lack of awareness among children and elders about how children of the "other community" have been affected, particularly among children who are no longer in contact with those of the other community. AFTER the almost en masse migration of Pandits from the Kashmir Valley to Jammu and elsewhere, when they felt threatened by the rise of militancy in 1990, children of the two communities lost contact with each other. Thus, 88.85 per cent of the Muslim children have no Hindu friends, while 82 per cent of Pandit children have no Muslim friends. The preponderant reason is that no children of the other community are there in the neighbourhood or in the school. Children of each category have been subjected also to many other effects; on their personalities. The most pronounced impact is psychological. In a society where children continue to witness, experience and hear of killings and atrocities, and are exposed to physical and emotional violence, they suffer from various psychosomatic and psychiatric ailments. In the Kashmir region, 57.38 per cent of the children have become fearful, 55.36 per cent suffer from depression, and 54.25 per cent cannot sleep. In the mixed parts of the Jammu region, the corresponding figures are 51.17 per cent, 25.98 per cent and 41.17 per cent. (As the children suffer from more than one ailment, the figures cannot be added up.) Similarly, when children are forced to move from their familiar socio-cultural-geographical surroundings to an unfamiliar world where familial relations are altered, emotional ties are broken and thoughts of an uncertain future haunt them, the psychological and social impact on them can be shattering. This phenomenon, more pronounced in the case of various types of migrants, is equally applicable where the child has to move to another family or place after the death of either of his/her parents. There are only two psychiatric diseases hospitals in the State, one in Jammu and the other in Srinagar; which have five and six psychiatrists respectively. The resources available to them are inadequate to cope with the problem. Most children seek and get relief by visits to peers/saints, and from prayers or religious sermons that they attend. Sympathy from relatives, friends and neighbours also helps children. Significantly, the girls are extremely reluctant to disclose, let alone discuss, their psychiatric problems, because of social stigma attached to them. Visits from relatives, friends and neighbours sometimes become infrequent, because people get wary of the needs of the bereaved families. Sometimes friends and neighbours stay away if the slain man had been targeted by militants for his suspected role as an informer of the security forces, or for his political associations. If the bread-winner is killed, injured or disabled, the family often lacks the resources to give education to its children, particularly because the victims usually belong to the lower socio-economic strata. Many children have been forced to give up their studies in order to earn a living for their families. The education of children has been disturbed, disrupted or discontinued for many reasons connected with the conflict.
According to official figures, 928 school buildings have been destroyed by militants, and a large number of school buildings (of which no official count is available) occupied by them. This affected education. In many militancy-prone areas, teachers play truant. They engage less qualified people to do their work and appear once in a while to draw their salaries. Most of the children study in government schools (50.16 per cent) or private schools (40.54 per cent) in the Kashmir region. Only 3.14 per cent study in madrassas. In the part of the Jammu region affected by the armed conflict, the respective percentages are 71.52, 26.16 and 1.16. None of the girls said that she was raped or molested, though some indicated a sense of insecurity. There is social stigma attached to a victim of rape or molestation. The number of protest demonstrations against alleged incidents of rape and statements of local people, however, led to the field investigators to conclude that women are exposed to sexual assault in areas directly affected by armed conflict. That the sex trade is also growing is evidenced by occasional police raids on regular brothels and arrests of call girls and their agents, mainly in the big towns and cities. This is believed to be caused by the rise of militancy in the State. According to Army sources, 50 per cent of the militants are between 14 and 18 years of age. They also assert that nobody under 18 years is recruited or used by the armed forces in the ongoing conflict in any manner. THE first thing that needs to be done is to the collect fullest possible data about all dimensions of the problem - in particular, the number of widows and orphans left to fend for themselves by the armed conflict. A single or nodal agency should be created to deal with the problems of internally displaced persons (55,000 families from Kashmir and 30,000 families from the border), which are becoming gigantic. The problem of education and health needs immediate attention. Special efforts have to be made for preserving the cultural and linguistic identities of the children of Kashmiri migrants. While negotiating their safe return, living conditions in the camps must be improved. A United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report has described how "the refugee camps, intended as temporary refuge, often become shelters where an entire generation of children grows up". A statutory Child Commission might monitor child abuse and protect the rights of children, sponsor studies of their problems, coordinate the activities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working for the welfare of the child, and organise workshops for workers in the field of activity relating to children." Back to top
Frontline, 12 August 2005, Young victims of militancy
Who's the victim?
Militancy has left J&K with an estimated 40,000 widows. But government help is selective and arbitrary, adversely affecting many families.
Whatever the actual numbers, it is clear that the government's relief scheme for the families of the victims of militants has not been a success.
Terror strikes: Nearly 200 widows struggle to make ends meet in Dardpora village of Kupwara district. - NISSAR AHMAD
Across the Dal Lake, in an idyllic island setting in Gawmarg, Jammu and Kashmir, sits 32-year-old Firdausa. She is weaving and her fingers move mechanically. Her eyes are tired and she neither notices the sun shining brightly overhead nor the cedars in bloom around her. She has two ageing parents-in-law and two small children to care for. Born into a poor family, Firdausa's life was never easy, but things turned particularly bleak after her husband — the only earning member of her family — died in a militant attack. She is now the sole earning member in the family.
Though registered under the compassionate appointment rule — SRO 43 (a State government directive under Central government supervision) — Firdausa's is a long wait. She is entitled to an ex-gratia payment of Rs 1 lakh, but only part of the money was released. It was spent within two years. The rest of the money, meant for the children, will be released only when the children turn 18. Now, weaving beautiful Kashmiri shawls, Firdausa makes only about Rs 1,000 a month in spite of the backbreaking labour she puts in.
Firdausa is not alone. Ghausiya, 21, has a four-year-old daughter. Her husband was killed by the army three years ago. Since he was a suspect, the government offered her no relief. Unwanted by her mother-in-law and two brothers-in-law, she went back to her mother, also a widow. Last year, her sister lost her husband in an accident and came to live with them. The three women sustain themselves by taking up odd jobs, mostly weaving.
The authorities have no census for the number of widows such as Ghausiya and Firdaus in the Kashmir valley. The State Women's Commission, which has been without a chairperson for the last two years, too has no official figures to quote. Unofficially, though, the Commission puts the number of women whose husbands were killed in `militancy-related activities' — that is, both widows of those killed by militants as well as those killed by armed forces — at around 40,000. The Public Commission on Human Rights (PCHR), also unofficially, puts the number at 25,000-30,000. The PCHR puts the number of women whose husbands were killed by the armed forces at more than 50 per cent of all women widowed due to `militancy-related violence'.
Dr Hameeda Banu — Professor of English at Kashmir University and Founding Member, Women Waging Peace, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University — explains: "With 17 years of conflict claiming the lives of an ever-increasing number of men, more and more women are the main bread-earners," she says.
Whatever the actual numbers, though, it is clear that the government's relief scheme for the families of the victims of militants has not been a success.
The most immediate concern is that the government's definition of `victims of militancy' is narrow. It only accounts for those killed by militants; all people killed by the armed forces are automatically classified as `militants'. "Government largesse does not extend to families of those classified as `militants' — and these families are in a majority in the Kashmir valley. They are left to fend for themselves; their children suffer, go hungry, are unschooled and are often forced into child labour," says Asiea Naqash, a member of Srinagar Municipal Corporation and Secretary General of the women's wing of the People's Democratic Party (PDP).
The Social Welfare Department doles out a meagre stipend (about Rs 200 per month) to militancy-affected widows, but this does not include women whose husbands died in an army encounter. Similarly, the National Foundation for Communal Harmony, set up by the Indian Home Ministry, provides Rs 600 per month only for children of people killed by militants.
"How are the children of so-called militants at fault? The government does nothing for them. Can we blame them if they take up the gun when they grow up?" asks Naqash. The PDP has been pleading with the Centre for the past three years to provide aid to all children who suffer due to militancy, without any categorisation.
Some NGOs such as the Maqbool National Welfare Association (MANWA) and the Yateem Trust — both working with orphans and widows in Kashmir — have also taken up this issue with both the State and Central governments. According to Abdul Rasheed Hangura, General Secretary of the Yateem Trust and State representative to the National Planning Commission, there are 15,308 orphans whose fathers were killed by the armed forces. Both Hangura and Hashim Qureishi, Chairperson of MANWA and of the Democratic Liberation Party, demand that the government provide relief in some measure to widows and children of those the government categorises as `militants'. "Otherwise, the government could be creating an entire generation of terrorists," warns Qureishi.
However, most NGOs in Kashmir have not taken up this issue with the government. Nighat Shafi Pandit of HELP Foundation, which also works with orphans and widows in Kashmir, feels that it is better to set up her own initiatives than waste time lobbying with the government.
Meanwhile, even the widows and children who meet the government's `victims of militancy' definition have not found justice or aid forthcoming. SRO 43, passed in 1994, guarantees the next of kin of such victims an ex gratia relief of Rs 1 lakh and a Grade IV government job. But there are not enough jobs to go around and the bureaucratic red tape further lengthens the process, government officials explain. There are an estimated 3,000 cases pending still, according to the office of the Divisional Commissioner.
There are schemes in Jammu and Kashmir that do not discriminate along the lines of SRO 43. However, even these schemes have proved to be ineffective.
There are several Central government schemes available to all poor women, including widows, irrespective of the category they come under. But the Social Welfare Department, which is responsible for the schemes, is accused of not disseminating information adequately, leaving the potential beneficiaries unaware of the schemes' existence. Shamim Firdaus, President, Women's Wing, National Conference, accuses the Department of corruption, nepotism and poor work culture. Many others, like Pandit and Qureishi, also make these charges.
The State's Rural Development Department, for example, has self-employment schemes for poor women, which includes all categories of widows. But here too, lengthy procedures and bureaucracy affect the timely administration of aid. The women end up spending a long time going from one desk to the other in the department.
Nahid Soz, Managing Director of the Women's Development Corporation, a body that grants loans to individuals, confesses that the time taken between submission of a loan application and the actual reimbursement of the loan can go beyond six months.
And the process is, of course, saddled with red-tapism just as it is in the other departments. In her current post for only two months, Soz is now trying to ensure that the whole process is completed in under a month.
Naqash has managed to register some 300 women with a scheme offered by the Handicrafts Department, for which she has had to stand in as guarantor herself. Many more await registration.
At Naqash's office, a quiet old widow, in her mid-60s, pulls out her son's photograph. Her only son, killed by the Indian army. She will get no relief from the government; a bank loan is her only hope. Unless the government includes her — and others like her — in SRO 43.
Women's Feature Service
Volume 22 - Issue 16, Jul 30- Aug 12, 2005India's National Magazinefrom the publishers of THE HINDU
JAMMU & KASHMIRYoung victims of militancy
The children of Jammu and Kashmir have perhaps been the worst sufferers of the armed conflict that has ravaged the State since the late 1980s. A look at what can be done to help them.
NISSAR AHMAD A child wounded in an explosion outside a school in Srinagar on May 12 being taken to hospital.
A SURVEY conducted among children in Jammu and Kashmir reveals the multiple effects of the armed conflict on young lives. The survey covered children from the Kashmir region and the disturbed parts of Jammu; and children of Kashmiri Pandits, border migrants, inter-district migrants and police personnel. The 2,326 children also represented the socio-economic and other groups within each section.
Field investigators found that a good majority of the persons killed belonged to the lower economic and social strata. Though children of every community and region have been affected, there is a serious lack of awareness among children and elders about how children of the "other community" have been affected, particularly among children who are no longer in contact with those of the other community.
AFTER the almost en masse migration of Pandits from the Kashmir Valley to Jammu and elsewhere, when they felt threatened by the rise of militancy in 1990, children of the two communities lost contact with each other. Thus, 88.85 per cent of the Muslim children have no Hindu friends, while 82 per cent of Pandit children have no Muslim friends. The preponderant reason is that no children of the other community are there in the neighbourhood or in the school. Children of each category have been subjected also to many other effects; on their personalities.
The most pronounced impact is psychological. In a society where children continue to witness, experience and hear of killings and atrocities, and are exposed to physical and emotional violence, they suffer from various psychosomatic and psychiatric ailments. In the Kashmir region, 57.38 per cent of the children have become fearful, 55.36 per cent suffer from depression, and 54.25 per cent cannot sleep. In the mixed parts of the Jammu region, the corresponding figures are 51.17 per cent, 25.98 per cent and 41.17 per cent. (As the children suffer from more than one ailment, the figures cannot be added up.) Similarly, when children are forced to move from their familiar socio-cultural-geographical surroundings to an unfamiliar world where familial relations are altered, emotional ties are broken and thoughts of an uncertain future haunt them, the psychological and social impact on them can be shattering. This phenomenon, more pronounced in the case of various types of migrants, is equally applicable where the child has to move to another family or place after the death of either of his/her parents.
There are only two psychiatric diseases hospitals in the State, one in Jammu and the other in Srinagar; which have five and six psychiatrists respectively. The resources available to them are inadequate to cope with the problem. Most children seek and get relief by visits to peers/saints, and from prayers or religious sermons that they attend. Sympathy from relatives, friends and neighbours also helps children.
Significantly, the girls are extremely reluctant to disclose, let alone discuss, their psychiatric problems, because of social stigma attached to them. Visits from relatives, friends and neighbours sometimes become infrequent, because people get wary of the needs of the bereaved families. Sometimes friends and neighbours stay away if the slain man had been targeted by militants for his suspected role as an informer of the security forces, or for his political associations.
If the bread-winner is killed, injured or disabled, the family often lacks the resources to give education to its children, particularly because the victims usually belong to the lower socio-economic strata. Many children have been forced to give up their studies in order to earn a living for their families. The education of children has been disturbed, disrupted or discontinued for many reasons connected with the conflict.
NISSAR AHMAD The father of this little girl, here seen in a May 2002 photograph, went missing in 1997 after his arrest by the Army.
According to official figures, 928 school buildings have been destroyed by militants, and a large number of school buildings (of which no official count is available) occupied by them. This affected education.
In many militancy-prone areas, teachers play truant. They engage less qualified people to do their work and appear once in a while to draw their salaries. Most of the children study in government schools (50.16 per cent) or private schools (40.54 per cent) in the Kashmir region. Only 3.14 per cent study in madrassas. In the part of the Jammu region affected by the armed conflict, the respective percentages are 71.52, 26.16 and 1.16.
The confusion in the minds of children was reflected in their varied responses to the question: When will the present turmoil end? As many as 38.75 per cent of the children in Kashmir did not reply, while 20.83 per cent did not know the answer; 15.82 per cent were so pessimistic that they said it would never end; 19.07 per cent were optimistic enough to believe that it would end soon; 2.72 per cent pinned their hope on America to end the turmoil; 0.18 per cent held that it would end when Kashmir got "freedom". Children elsewhere were equally confused and were similarly divided among the pessimists and the optimists, except that no non-Muslim child sought an end of the turmoil in "freedom" for the State.
Among the children of the Kashmir region, ignorance of their rich cultural heritage is alarming. Only 31.11 per cent could name the "five greatest Kashmiris ever born", while 8.10 per cent mentioned one name. The range of names was too wide to indicate any consensus. Of course, Nund Rishi (the popular name of Sufi saint Sheikh Nooruddin Noorani) was a common response. About 0.44 per cent, that is, five out of all the children questioned, considered militant and secessionist leaders as great Kashmiris. Three Hindu names that got mention in the responses of Muslim respondents were the saint Lal Ded, Kashmiri poet Dina Nath Nadim, and Jawaharlal Nehru. There was greater awareness among the minority children (Hindu and Sikh) living in Kashmir about the great Kashmiris: 43.90 per cent could come up with five names, though the list of favourite names was not much different from those mentioned by children of the majority community, except that none named a militant or a secessionist.
Similarly, only 21.44 per cent of Kashmiri children could name "the five most important religious places in Kashmir" and 21.26 per cent expressed a liking for folk festivals. Among Kashmiri Pandit migrants in Jammu, only 11 per cent and 34 per cent respectively knew of the two great Kashmiri kings, Lalitaditya and Bud Shah; 12 per cent were aware of the shrine of Charar-e-Sharief. However, as many as 87 per cent knew of the Hindu pilgrim centre of Khir Bhawani and the Hazratbal shrine. Fifteen per cent of Kashmiri Pandit children were unable to speak Kashmiri and were not very optimistic about their return to the Valley. Seventy per cent of the children did not consider it safe, 23 per cent saw no career opportunities there. Only 7 per cent felt adjusted in Jammu. As many as 83 per cent said going back was an option only if militancy ended. In the disturbed and mixed part of the Jammu region, however, cultural alienation of children has not taken place yet. Most of the children named historical personalities (93.38 per cent) and important religious places (71.82 per cent) of the district they belonged to. Almost all children knew the religious places and festivals of the other community.
Though none of the children admitted that he/she was addicted to drugs and no official record was available to indicate the extent of drug addiction among children in the State, there was sufficient evidence to show that it existed. Press reports of police raids on drug peddlers; informal statements of drug-suppliers who refused to be quoted; and a preliminary study by a Kashmir University scholar have confirmed that adolescent boys and girls are increasingly taking to drugs in the hope of immediate relief from depression and psychological stress.
None of the girls said that she was raped or molested, though some indicated a sense of insecurity. There is social stigma attached to a victim of rape or molestation. The number of protest demonstrations against alleged incidents of rape and statements of local people, however, led to the field investigators to conclude that women are exposed to sexual assault in areas directly affected by armed conflict. That the sex trade is also growing is evidenced by occasional police raids on regular brothels and arrests of call girls and their agents, mainly in the big towns and cities. This is believed to be caused by the rise of militancy in the State.
The three detection centres in the State - one in Jammu and two in Srinagar - have detected 25,000 HIV-positive cases. As observed by the International Conference on War-Affected Children in Winnipeg in 2002, "HIV/AIDS has changed the landscape of war more than any other single factor". Jammu and Kashmir is no exception.
According to Army sources, 50 per cent of the militants are between 14 and 18 years of age. They also assert that nobody under 18 years is recruited or used by the armed forces in the ongoing conflict in any manner.
THE first thing that needs to be done is to the collect fullest possible data about all dimensions of the problem - in particular, the number of widows and orphans left to fend for themselves by the armed conflict. A single or nodal agency should be created to deal with the problems of internally displaced persons (55,000 families from Kashmir and 30,000 families from the border), which are becoming gigantic. The problem of education and health needs immediate attention. Special efforts have to be made for preserving the cultural and linguistic identities of the children of Kashmiri migrants. While negotiating their safe return, living conditions in the camps must be improved. A United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report has described how "the refugee camps, intended as temporary refuge, often become shelters where an entire generation of children grows up". A statutory Child Commission might monitor child abuse and protect the rights of children, sponsor studies of their problems, coordinate the activities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working for the welfare of the child, and organise workshops for workers in the field of activity relating to children.
Children living in areas affected by armed conflict are highly prone to psychiatric troubles. The present strength of 11 psychiatrists in the Health Department of the State is woefully inadequate. A psychiatry department in each district hospital would be helpful. With psychiatric troubles spreading fast in every part of the State, a short-term course for general medical practitioners in the hospitals and dispensaries of the State might make immediate relief available. Many complications can be avoided if children traumatised by the death of parents or close relations receive counselling early enough. Teachers might be trained to handle such situations. Psychology could perhaps be introduced as a subject in universities and colleges and in the District Institute of Education for teachers. Persons trained there could help in providing psychological and socio-psychological services to traumatised children.
The problems of girl children need special attention, particularly those of victims of rape and molestation. The services of female counsellors and child psychologists are needed in hospitals and schools. Philanthropists and the corporate sector should be invited to supplement government efforts to open hospitals to treat psychiatric diseases, at least in Srinagar and Jammu.
Children should not be allowed to suffer for the sins of their parents. All families that have lost members to the bullets of militants or security forces should be helped out with funds collected by an authorised relief and rehabilitation council, from the State and Central governments and from the corporate sector. The government should also fund the treatment of all children injured and disabled in the conflict.
Until January 2002, as many as 11,810 persons were granted ex-gratia relief after their relatives were killed. The total number of persons killed until then was 28,394. Of them 12,771 were civilians and 3,327 belonged to the security forces. Measures need to be taken to avoid delays to deal with complaints in this regard.
Special scholarships could be provided for children who are affected by the armed conflict. For admissions to institutions of technical and higher education, other State governments may be approached to reserve quotas for such children. To prevent growing alienation from and ignorance about their cultural heritage among children, suitable courses could be added in the school curriculum.
Jobs are provided to a member of each family that suffered a death in a militancy-related incident. The queue for such jobs is becoming too long. An unemployment allowance, therefore, has become necessary. The power of discretion in giving out-of-turn employment often gives rise to complaints of arbitrariness and nepotism. Some objective norms could perhaps be evolved to accommodate exceptional cases.
The increasing tendency towards drug addiction demands more centres to treat the problem, in addition to the two centres in the Government Medical Colleges of Srinagar and Jammu.
A fresh study is needed by social scientists to deal with the growing problem of commercial sex. HIV infections and AIDS can assume epidemic dimensions in the State if timely steps are not taken. The three detection centres now functioning in the State are too inadequate for the size of the problem. A special detection campaign may be started to cover vulnerable sections of society, apart from organising general awareness campaigns about the causes of the disease and the means to prevent it. Educational institutions and civil society can play a vital role in this.
There is no substitute for the emotional and other forms of support that the community at large can provide to children affected by the armed conflict. However, it has declined over a period. Moreover, it is not properly organised and institutionalised. A number of NGOs have been formed for this task. Many outside NGOs are extending their activities to the State. It would help their activities if a network is formed so that they can pool and exchange their resources.
Many dedicated persons have set up orphanages. However, children's homes should be so organised that they do not lower the dignity and self-respect of the child. The word "orphan" should be avoided in describing the children and they should not be made conscious that they are living on charity. It would help in the development of the personality of the child if foster parents are found for each.
A widow who cannot afford to bring up her child may be forced to get him/her admitted to the children's homes. But it would be far more satisfying for the child and the mother if the latter could be helped financially to keep the child at home and meet his/her needs. If a mother who has lost her child and a child who has lost his/her mother could be united, through appropriate agencies and help, it may partially compensate for the emotional loss of both of them.
Children who are affected by the armed conflict have the potential to become a means to end or reduce the evil effects of the conflict. A campaign can be built up to declare children as a zone of peace so that the combatant parties agree that no child shall be hit whatever be the crimes of his/her father and that no child shall ever be used for combat operations. Public opinion could possibly be built up to isolate children from other aspects of the conflict.
The children of diverse communities, instead of developing hatred, could be brought together as co-sufferers, so that they develop empathy for each other and act as ambassadors of mutual goodwill and communal harmony.
Balraj Puri is Director, Institute of Jammu and Kashmir Affairs, Jammu.
Rs 2.86 cr for militancy-affected families in J&KSrinagar Saturday, Sep 12 2009 IST
Jammu and Kashmir government has released Rs 2.86 crore for militancy-affected families in the State under the National Council for Communal Harmony (NCCH) scheme.
Official sources said here today that this information was given by Minister for Social Welfare, Sakina Itoo, at a high-level meeting of rehabilitation council chaired by her.
She said an amount of Rs 2.86 crore had been released for 8,964 militancy-affected people under NCCH scheme. The amount has been released to various Deputy Commissioners of the State for disbursement among the deserving beneficiaries, she said.
The meeting had a discussion on various issues pertaining to the distribution of money among the genuine beneficiaries. It was said a sustained awareness campaign was needed to be launched afresh to generate awareness about the scheme in the State.
For the purpose, the Rehabilitation Council is organising a workshop on October 7 in collaboration with NCCH.
Addressing the meeting, Ms Itoo stressed on fair and prompt disbursement of the released amount to the identified beneficiaries, adding every militancy-affected person should receive the relief before Eid-ul-Fitr. She called upon Deputy Commissioners to ensure that this amount reaches to the deserving in a transparent and hassle free manner.
Baseras’ for girls orphaned by militancy
29 April 2008
The Borderless World Foundation, a Pune-based NGO, has a mission to provide shelter for young girls orphaned by violence in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. In these baseras or homes, they find much-needed affection and care, which they have been bereft of.
Pune, Maharashtra: For young Kashmiri girls like Ruqiya, Shazia and Jamila, who recently visited Pune as part of an exploration trip, their childhood memories are not of playing in a school compound, building toy homes, dressing up dolls or soaking in the picturesque beauty of Kashmir.
Instead, their minds are filled with a series of nightmares – of explosions ripping apart human bodies, of constant exchange of gunfire between Indian soldiers and terrorists, of attending the funerals of near and loved ones. For them, the word ‘parental love’ has become a distant concept, one that can only be imagined, never felt. In fact, girls like them would have been thrown into a bottomless abyss of fear and danger had it not been for the attempts of a Pune-based non-governmental organisation called Borderless World Foundation (BWF) that has taken upon itself the task of providing shelter and education to the orphans. Aiming to provide a human touch Established in March 2002 by Adik Kadam and his cousin Bharati Mamani, the organisation aims to provide the much-needed “human touch” to the border areas of India and beyond. The BWF family is a group of youngsters with a humanitarian outlook towards life who aim to work towards alleviating the poor and the needy, the abandoned and the deprived, the suffering and the victimised people of the border areas of India and beyond towards their physical, psychological, educational, economical, social and political well being by implementing rehabilitation and developmental projects. “The concept originated in 1998 when we started work at the grassroots level in the disturbed and sensitive state of Jammu and Kashmir. Our first hand experience made us realise that the people of the nation remain ignorant of the fact that their border areas function as the shock absorbers of the country," Kadam narrates. Life for the people in these areas is far from normal, full of challenges and uncertainty. Loss of lives, violence, fear and chaos are the order of the day. Socio-economic stagnancy, corruption and civil administrative breakdown affect all walks of life. Thousands of children have been orphaned due to violence; a million of them have dropped out of their childhood.
Disturbed by the thought of what would happen to the orphaned girls, Kadam and Mamani started Basera-e-Tabassum (BeT), the first of its kind project in village Sulkoote in the frontier district of Kupwara on May 12, 2002. “We took in girls who had lost their parents as victims of militancy or due to illness and accidental deaths. Established to fight for the basic rights to survival, protection, development and participation of the girl-child and the word ‘orphan’ itself (as it brings a deep-seated psychological scar to the child’s entire life) BeT works towards their physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration,” Kadam informs. Smile comes back BeT now has 45 girls and is run on the same lines as a large household, with the children sharing the daily chores and the older ones helping to look after the younger children. School, play, and meals follow a regular routine, but the children also have a rollicking time with bhaiyya and didi (Adik and Bharati as elder brother and sister) who tell them stories, some of which entertain, teach a moral or increase their knowledge. Feeling protected and cared for, the girls now have begun to express their ambitions. Jamila, 13, would like to become a software engineer and help people affected by violence. Sumera, 10, wants to be a surgeon. Sadat states that she will be a nuclear physicist. Rubina’s ambitions are to be an “eye doctor”, while solemn shy little Ruqia, 9, has made up her mind to become “a police inspector and see that no houses are burnt and no children left orphaned”. But it has not been easy to set up BeT. Elaborates Kadam: “Working in the Valley has been a real challenge as youngsters, as non-Muslims, as non-Kashmiris. Every single day is a new struggle. The first challenge came on the inauguration day when the district issued fatwa or a ban on us, which was formidable enough to keep the district collector away from attending the function.” The district is better known as the hotbed of militancy and one has a restricted life to live. Counted as one of the backward districts, Kupwara seemed to be cut off from the civilised world until very recently. “It has been difficult for the residents to believe that youngsters like us can shun the comforts of their homes and a normal life and work in a sensitive area like theirs. What has helped pull the project through is local support. This is a peoples’ movement and we are working towards building effective community participation,” Kadam states. BWF would now like to take this program further. While they plan to open more homes in different districts of Kashmir, they would also like to bring a bunch of girls to Pune every year for three months when the harsh winter closes down schools. Here they will learn many more things, and gradually the older girls who pass out of schools could attend specialised higher education. “We have to equip ourselves to absorb a larger number of orphaned girls and ensure that their future is taken care of,” Kadam concludes.
Hit Counts: 4997
Department of Jammu & Kashmir Affairs
JAMMU & KASHMIR DIVISION
Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan DMU - Report (Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan) List of Secretaries to Govenment and District Magistrates
Acts & Rules
· The Armed Forces (Jammu & Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990
· The State of Jammu & Kashmir - integral part of India - situated in the northernmost part of India - capital Srinagar (summer) & Jammu (winter).
· One of the most beautiful places in the world - snow-bound Himalayan peaks and glaciers, pristine rivers and valleys, dense coniferous forests, and fresh mountain air - popular as Heaven on Earth .
· Shares borders with Pakistan in the west, China in the north and east, and the Indian states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh in the south.
· It consists of three distinct regions – Kashmir valley, Jammu, and Ladakh. The area and population of the three regions is –
Area (Sq. Miles) *
Population (2001 Census)
· Languages - Kashmiri, Dogri, Pahari, Punjabi, Gojari, Ladakhi or Bodhi, Balti, Dardic.
Districts in J & K
· The J&K divided into 22 districts and they are-districts of Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur, Poonch, Rajouri, Doda, Kishtwar*, Ramban*, Reasi*, and Samba* in Jammu Division and Srinagar, Budgam, Anantnag, Pulwama, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora*, Ganderbal*, Kulgam* and Shopian* in Srinagar Division and Kargil and Leh in Ladakh Region.* New Districts
History & Civilization
· Synthesis of religious and cultural influences down the ages - Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.
· Earliest detailed written history - Rajtarangini - by Kalhana - 12th century A.D.
· Part of empire of Ashoka the Great - 3rd century - Buddhism arrives - flourishes under the Kushans.
· Under Vikramaditya of Ujjain - 6th century - return of Hinduism - Lalitaditya - Hindu ruler - AD 697 to 738 - Avantivarman - successor of Lalitaditya - founded Anantipur near Srinagar.
· Ganpatyar & Khir Bhawani temples - Mahabharata age.
· Gilgit manuscripts - ancient Pali (Buddhist) script.
· Trikha Shastra - origins in Kashmir - tolerant philosophy.
· Muslim Rule - 14th century onwards - arrival of Sufi Islam from Persia.
· Rishi tradition - confluence of Trikha Shastra and Sufi Islam - essence of Kashmiriyat - cultural offshoot of Indian ethos - not fundamentalism.
· Mughal suzerainty - Akbar the Great - AD 1589.
· Pathans take over after disintegration of the Mughal Empire - dark age.
· Pathans defeated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, ruler of Punjab - AD 1814.
· Sikhs defeated by the British - Treaty of Lahore - AD 1846 - Gulab Singh, installed by the British, becomes independent ruler of Kashmir.
· Gilgit Agency under the British Political Agent - Gilgit area out of the Kashmir Court.
· Reagent appointed by the British in Jammu & Kashmir.
· Hari Singh, great grandson of Gulab Singh, succeeds in AD 1925 - continues to rule up to AD 1947.
Accession & Consolidation
· Partition of British India - 1947 - 560 semi-independent Princely States - protected by the British Empire under the Paramountcy Doctrine - 1858.
· Cabinet Mission Memorandum - India Independence Act, 1947 - end of Paramountcy - all rights of States returned - States to enter into federal or particular political arrangements with successor Government(s) of British India - India & Pakistan.
· Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir prefers Standstill Agreement with Pakistan & India. Signs Agreement with Pakistan.
· Before Agreement is signed with India, Pakistan cuts off essential supplies to Kashmir - violation of Standstill Agreement - pressure tactic to force accession.
· Pressure tactic fails - Pakistan instigates, abets and supports invasion of Kashmir by Pathan tribes - Hari Singh requests India for help - October 24, 1947.
· Partition of British India - 1947 - 560 semi-independent Princely States - protected by the British Empire under the Paramountcy Doctrine - 1858.
· National Conference - largest popular organisation - also appeals to India.
· Hari Singh writes to Lord Mountbatten, Governor General about the crisis in Kashmir - expresses accession to India - accepted by Mountbatten - October 27, 1947.
· Accession - Government of India Act, 1935 & India Independence Act, 1947 - An Indian State shall be deemed to have acceded to the Dominion if the Governor General of India has signified the acceptance of an Instrument of Accession executed by the ruler thereof.
· Authority of Hari Singh to enter into accession agreement not questioned by Pakistan - accession of Kashmir to India legal.
· India dispatch Army to repel Pathan invaders - October 27, 1947.
The United Nations
· India refers the Kashmir issue to the United Nations Security Council - January 1, 1948.
· The Council calls upon India and Pakistan - measures to improve the situation - inform about any material change - January 17, 1948.
· A three member UN Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) - look into the dispute - January 20, 1948 - membership raised - April 21, 1948.
· Emergency administration - replaced by interim Government headed by Sheikh Abdullah - March 5, 1948.
· The UNICP passed resolution - August 13, 1948 - cease-fire - withdrawal of Pak troops and all outsiders followed by reduction of Indian forces - determination of the future status of Jammu & Kashmir in accordance with the Will of the People - proposed plebiscite conditional on withdrawal of Pak troops from entire Jammu & Kashmir - never occurred.
· Cease-fire proclaimed under UN auspices - January 1, 1949.
· The UNCIP resolution - January 5, 1949 - reiterating resolution of August 13, 1948 - providing for appointment of a plebiscite administrator by the Secretary General.
· The All Jammu & Kashmir National Conference - resolution - convening a constituent assembly - adult suffrage - determining its future shape and affiliation, including its accession to India - to frame a Constitution - October, 1950.
· The Constituent Assembly formed after elections - September, 1951.
· The historic Delhi Agreement - Kashmiri leaders and the Government of India - dynamic nature of constitutional relationship between the state of Jammu & Kashmir and the Indian Union - reaffirmed its accession to India - July 24, 1952.
· The Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir adopted by the Constituent Assembly - November, 1956 - came into effect - January 26, 1957.
· The first general elections held in the State - popular Government formed by the National Conference under Sheikh Abdullah - March, 1957.
· The State Assembly - unanimously decided - amendment to the State Constitution for extension of jurisdiction of the Election Commission and Supreme Court of India over the State - 1959.
· The second general election held in the State - Sheikh Abdullah voted back to power - 1962.
Holy Relic Stolen from Hazrat Bal Shrine
· December, 1963 - unfortunate incident - the Holy Relic stolen from the Hazratbal Shrine - massive agitation launched by an action committee under the leadership of Maulvi Farroq - Holy Relic recovered and restored.
War with Pakistan
· Infiltration of intruders in Jammu & Kashmir - August, 1965 - followed by attack by the Pakistani armed forces.
· Attack repelled by the Indian armed forces.
· The Tashkent Agreement signed between India and Pakistan - January 10, 1966.
· The third general elections held for the State Assembly - Congress Government formed - March, 1967.
· The fourth general elections held - the Jamaat-E-Islami participated for the first time - won 5 seats - Congress Government formed - February, 1972.
· The historic Shimla Agreement - between India and Pakistan - all previous pronouncements on Kashmir superceded - all issues relating to Jammu & Kashmir to be settled bilaterally - the cease-fire line converted to the Line of Control (LOC) - July 3, 1972. .
· The Kashmir accord concluded - Prime Minister of India - Clock cannot be put back ; Kashmiri leadership - Accession of the state of Jammu & Kashmir to India is not a matter in issue - February, 1975.
· Sheikh Abdullah became Chief Minister - Plebiscite front found and merged with National Conference - July, 1975.
· The fifth general election held - the National Conference voted back to power - voter turnout 68% - July, 1977.
· Sheikh Abdullah passes away - September 8, 1982 - son Dr. Farooq Abdullah sworn in as Chief Minister - led the National Conference to victory in the sixth general elections - June, 1983.
· General elections to Lok Sabha held in 1984. Polling percentage 62.72.
· Governor s rule imposed in the State on 6-9-1986 followed by President s rules.
· President rules withdrawn and a coalition Government of Congress–I and NCF formed on 7-11-1986.
· Elections to the State Assembly held in March 1987 in which Congress and National conference secured 66 out of 76 seats and coalition Government formed.
· State Government resigned and General Elections to Lok Sabha held in November 1989. Polling percentage 31.61.
· Governor s rules imposed on 19.1.1990 followed by President s Rule on 18.07.1990.
· General Elections to Lok Sabha held in May 1996. Polling percentage 49.02.
· Assembly elections held in September 1996 and National Conference formed the Government. Polling percentage 54.04.
· General Elections to Lok Sabha held in February-March 1998. Polling percentage 44.42.
· General Elections to Lok Sabha held in September October 1999. Polling percentage 32.40.
· Panchayat elections held in the State during January-June, 2001. Polling percentage 53.18.
· The Lok Sabha elections were also held in 1999 in which the polling percentage was 32.40.
· The elections to the State Assembly held in 2002. The percentage of polling 44.62. The ruling party National Conference voted out. A coalition Government of Indian National Congress (I) and Peoples Democratic Party and other smaller parties formed the Government in November 2002.
· General Election to Lok Sabha held in April-May 2004. Polling percentage 35.21.
· Civic Elections held in January –February 2005. Polling percentage 48.
· Bye-elections to the four Assembly constituencies were held in April 2006 in which the polling percentage was between 62 and 76 recording the highest ever polling in the State.
· The elections to the State Legislative Assembly held in November-December 2008. Polling percentage 61.49. National Conference, being the single largest party, formed the Government in coalition with Indian National Congress.
· General Elections to Lok Sabha held in April-May 2009. Polling percentage 39.90.
List of Memebers of Legislative AssemblyCouncil of MinistersMinisters of StateList of Members of Parliament of J&K
Package announced by PM for various segments of society
Based on the report and recommendations of Working Group-I on ‘Confidence building measures across segment of society in the State’, a comprehensive package was announced by the Prime Minister on 25.4.08. This includes:
· A package for the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants who had to leave their homes in the wake of militant and terrorist violence in the State, and are presently living in Jammu and various other parts of the Country;
· One time cash compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the families of the victims of militancy in lieu of employment;
· Enhancement of pension to widows of civilians killed in militancy related violence;
· Financial assistance without discrimination for the education of those orphaned in militant violence;
· A package for 1947 West Pakistan refugees comprising measures aimed at facilitating admission to their wards in professional and other educational institutions, bank loans without mortgage for taking up self-employment/business activities, vocational training for youth under the Skill development initiatives of the Ministry of Labour & Employment;
· Package for 1947 refugees from PoK amounting to Rs. 49 crore to meet their outstanding needs in respect of allotment of land and related rehabilitation measures.
Package for return and rehailitation of Kashmiri migrants
Terrorist violence/militancy in Jammu & Kashmir, particularly in its early phase, had led to large scale forced migration of members of the Kashmiri Pandit community from the Kashmir Valley. A variety of measures have been taken over the year by way of financial assistance/relief and other initiatives to provide succour and support to the affected families, within a broad policy framework that those who have migrated will eventually return to the Valley.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister during his visit to the State on April 25-26, 2008, announced, inter-alia, a package for return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants who wish to return back to Valley. Following are the main components of the package:Housing
· Assistance @ Rs. 7.5 lakh per family for repair/reconstruction for fully or partially damaged houses.
· Assistance @ Rs. 2.00 lakh per family for dilapidated/ unused houses.
· Assistance @ Rs. 7.5 lakh per family for purchase/construction of a house in Group Housing Societies for those who have sold their properties during the period after 1989 and before the enactment of “The J&K Migrant Immovable Property (Preservation, Protection and Restraint of Distress Sale) Act, 1997” on May 30, 1997.
· The returnee migrant families will be provided transit accommodation during the interim period when they undertake the reconstruction/repair of their houses. For this purpose, construction of transit accommodation at three sites has been approved. Those returnee families, who may not be accommodated in transit accommodation, would be provided rental and incidental expenses.
Continuation of Cash Relief
· Migrants families at Jammu and Delhi who are recipients of cash relief and free ration would continue to receive the same @ Rs. 5,000/- per family (including rations) for a period of two years after their return to the Valley.
· Children of migrant families will be provided assistance @ Rs. 750/- per month per child upto the age of 18 years (extendable upto the age of 21 years in exceptional cases). Assistance for professional studies under the scheme of Rehabilitation Council of J&K will also be provided to the eligible students.
· It has been decided to provide jobs to the educated among migrant youth in the State Government service and financial assistance (Grant and Loans) to unemployed to help them engage in self-employment through vocational training.
Assistance to Agriculturists/Horticulturists
· One-time financial assistance of Rs. 1 lakh would be provided to those having agriculture holdings. Assistance @ Rs.5,000/- per kanal, subject to maximum of Rs. 1.5 lakh would be provided for restoration of orchards.
Waiver of interest on loans
· Waiver of the interest component of the loans taken by Kashmiri Pandits before migration from the Valley.
Those migrant families who are interested to return to Valley and avail the facilities announced under the package are advised to furnish necessary information on the prescribed forms, given below, to the office of Relief Commissioner (Migrants) Jammu and office of Principal Resident Commissioner, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, New Delhi.Prescribed Form
PM s Reconstruction Plan for Jammu & Kashmir
· The Prime Minister during his visit to Jammu and Kashmir on November 17-18, 2004, announced a Reconstruction Plan for Jammu and Kashmir involving an outlay of approximately Rs. 24,000 crore, which broadly includes the Projects/Schemes aimed at expanding economic infrastructure and the provision of the basic services, imparting a thrust to employment and income generation and providing relief and rehabilitation for the dislocated and the families of the victims of militancy.
· The Projects/Schemes envisaged in the Reconstruction Plan are implemented by the respective Administrative Ministries/Departments in consultation with the State Government.
· The Reconstruction Plan includes 67 projects/schemes covering 11 sectors of economy. Out of the aforesaid 67 projects/schemes, action in respect of 30 projects/schemes has been completed. Out of the remaining 37 projects/schemes, 34 projects are at various stages of implementation and 3 are in the preparatory stages.
· The progress on the implementation of the Reconstruction Plan is being monitored by Ministry of Home Affairs.
Construction of Two-Room Tenements for Kashmiri Migrants
· The Hon’ble Prime Minister during his visit in 2004 to the migrant camps at Jammu announced to provide 2-room tenements to all those Kashmiri migrants who were living in the camps in the Jammu region. Accordingly, a project for construction of 5242 flats was prepared which was approved by Planning Commission for an amount of Rs. 345.00 crore.
· In phase-I, construction of 1024 two roomed tenements with an estimated cost of Rs. 51.00 crore was taken up in three different sites at Purkhoo, Muthi and Nagrota, which have been completed and allotted. Block-wise list of the allottees are given below.
· In the 2nd Phase, Government decided to construct remaining flats at a single place at Jagti instead of different places so that the required infrastructure is provided to the migrants at one place which will not only make their stay comfortable but will also help in maintaining the Kashmiri culture. The development of this satellite colony at Jagti envisages the development of hospital, school, shopping complex, community hall, etc for the migrants. A 2 Km link road is also being constructed which will facilitate linking the township with Nagrota.
· Out of 4218 flats being constructed at Jagti, 2640 flats are expected to be completed by October 2009 and the remaining shall be completed by April 2010.
List of Occupants at camp MuthiList of villages and number of families displaced at Akhnoor TehsilLevel of Terrorist Violence and Security Situation in J&K - An assessment
· In 2008, the number of incidents is down by 35% and those of civilians killed by 42% and of security forces killed by 32% as compared to the previous year.
· In 2009 (till Nov), the number of incidents is down by 27% and those of SFs killing by 19%. and civilians killing by 17% as compared to the year ago period.
· In 2008, 76 grenade attacks have taken place whereas 107 grenade attacks took place in 2007.
· Till 2009 (till Nov), 53 grenade attacks have taken place whereas 79 grenade attacks took place during the year ago.
· The daily average of terrorist incidents is 1.93 during the year 2008 as against 3.00 for last year.
· In 2009 (till Nov.), the daily average of terrorist incident is 1.41.
Trends of Violence In J&K
Estimated Infiltration in J&K
* Source MA
Central aid for J&K slain militants' kin, says NGO
July 30, 2008 17:34 IST
The Centre has agreed to release a package for the kin of militants killed in Jammu and Kashmir during the past 18 years, an NGO has claimed. "The central government will be sending a package for orphans of the slain militants. Scholarships and pension will be provided to them similar to the relief being provided to other orphans," Nirupama Kaul, chairperson of the All India Centre for Urban and Rural Development told media-persons in Srinagar on Wednesday. Kaul claimed she met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 25 and presented a charter of demands to him on behalf of nearly one lakh families of militants killed in the troubled state. "The prime minister assured me that the Centre would be sending a package for the orphans," she said. The Union social welfare ministry is working out a package for J&K wherein about 1500 self-help groups will be provided soft loans to set up cottage industrial units, Kaul added.
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Ex-militants to teach at Pune college
By: Chandran Iyer
In a first, former militants will teach counter terrorism to help figure psyche of terrorists Three former militants trained in Pakistan, accused of massacring several people in Jammu and Kashmir and
Punjab, will now be visiting faculty at the Research Centre of Counter Terrorism and Peace Management in Pune, run by the NGO, Sarhad.The militants, who cannot be named, were given amnesty by the union government after they surrendered between 1996 and 2000. Said Sanjay Nahar, founder president of Sarhad, "These men will be talking about how they were misled by Pakistan into becoming terrorists; how young, unemployed youths of Jammu and Kashmir and other places are lured by Pakistanis, brainwashed and then trained to kill innocent people in India." Sarhad, which means border, has been working for over 19 years in areas affected by violence in India. The module will help students understand the psyche of terrorists. Added Nahar, "After their surrender, there are no cases against them. The government is killing terrorists like mosquitoes, but not the breeding grounds. This is a first step towards reconciliation." Apart from the three, a woman, the mother of a Punjab militant, killed by the police during the Punjab militancy, will also be part of the guest lectures.The two-year course costs Rs 25,000 per semester and the course has been charted out by Dr M U Rehman, former vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and former secretary, parliamentary affairs, who has observed terrorism and militancy from close quarters. Rehman handled the Hazratbal crisis when he was the home secretary. "This module was devised after watching the evolution of insurgency from close quarters. This includes militancy in the North East, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and militants like the LTTE," said Rehman. Rehman added, "Terrorism is something, which cannot be stamped out by force, but its intensity can be reduced. What is needed is an antidote to this poison of terrorism and terrorist mindset. This can be devised only by understanding their psyche."He said that terrorists were like fish that do not remain in one place and go to different places for sustenance. The collateral damage that they do to society is inconsequential to them so long as it serves their purpose. Who are they?According to Nahar, the faculty members include a former militant who was accused of killing several people and was wanted dead or alive by the Punjab police. Besides, he had a prize of Rs 15 lakh on his head. He had surrendered when terrorism was at its peak in Punjab. Another ex-militant who has given his consent to teach in the institute was accused of kidnapping a foreign tourist in Jammu and Kashmir.And the third ex-militant was also a dreaded militant in the Kashmir valley.
NGOs in Kashmir
Peace and Development?
NGOs in Kashmir
I thank the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College for its
generous support. I also thank Mr. P.R. Chari for his comments, Dr. Suba Chandran for
his guidance and the staff at IPCS for their support. I would also like to gratefully
acknowledge the assistance provided by my contacts in Kashmir that made this paper
3 IPCS Research Paper 2
NGOs in Kashmir
Agents of Peace and Development?
“In the past five years I have paid more than
ten visi ts to Kashmir, and each time I go
there I see the same helplessness, the same
fear, and yet the same determination writ
large on the faces of its hapless people. But
there is little that ordinary Kashmiris seem
able to do, as sinister, anonymous forces in
Islamabad and New Delhi dictate their fate.”1
The Kashmir conflict remains mired in the
political offices of New Delhi and Islamabad,
and to a lesser extent, Srinagar. Even
though welfare and relief work in the
country’s most violence-ridden State is at a
virtual standstill due to poor governance,
militancy and other reasons,2 Non-
Governmental Organizations (NGOs)3 are
considered a non-entity in the State. Not
much research has gone into the role that
Anirudh Suri is from New Delhi, India. He is
currently an undergraduate student at Haverford
College, Pennsylvania, USA, studying
International Politics and Econom ics with a
concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies. He
received a grant from the Center for Peace and
Global Citizenship at Haverford College to work
as an intern at the Institute of Peace and Conflict
Studies, New Delhi, India during the summer of
1 Yoginder Sikand, “Kashmir: What you and I
can do?” The Milli Gazette,
Editor of Qalandar , has written a series of
articles and pamphlets on contemporary
Kashmir. In particular he has worked on the
2 Ibid. Among other reasons, Sikand feels that it
might be because of the fact that a majority of
the suffering population is, or at least, is
perceived to be Muslims, or out of fear of the
wrath of the State.
3 As defined by the UN Interagency on
Integrated Rural Development, there are six
defining characteristics of NGOs: they are
voluntary, non-profit, service and development
oriented, autonomous from the government or
political parties, have a high degree of
motivation and commitment, and some form of
NGOs could play in Kashmir, or into what
constraints the few NGOs that do exist in
Kashmir are facing today.4 This paper will
strive to address some of these issues,
throwing light on the state of some of the
NGOs that are active in Jammu & Kashmir,
the problems in their functioning, their
relations with the Government and their
potential. The organizations that fall into the
ambit of this study include religious, human
rights, community development, charity and
voluntary bodies, along with non -political
institutions like the Media and the Army.
The refrain that ‘Civil Society is the new
terrain for democratization’5 is being voiced
all over today. India, as the world’s largest
democracy, has to shed its inhibitions about
NGOs, which are one of the most crucial
actors in the establishment of civil society in
areas where the State has failed to keep
democratic institutions running. This is in
accordance with the well-established belief
that private actors and organizations are
often more efficient than public ones. The
role that NGOs and Track II diplomacy can
play has been discussed in depth
elsewhere.6 It is well-known that the concept
of civil society and the role and importance
accorded to NGOs is still in its infant stage,
not only in India, but in the whole of South
Asia.7 South Asia continues to suffer from
4 This study will not aim to map the entire
community of NGOs in Kashmir. It, however,
will study their problems and suggest solutions.
Systematic mapping and monitoring of NGOs is
definitely needed, but the author, due to limited
resources, could not embark on that interesting,
yet ambitious project. The author hopes that this
study will be the basis of a more in-depth and
rigorous study undertaken by others.
5 Rita Manchanda, “Confidence Building
Measures and Regional Dialogue: What Role for
NGOs?” in Dipankar Banerjee (ed.), Confidence
Building Measures in South Asia ( Colombo:
Regional Center for Strategic Studies, 1999), p.
6 Jos Havermans, “Private Professionals for
Peace,” People Building Peace, (European
Center for Conflict Prevention, 1999).
For a historical overview of NGO culture in
India and the tradition of voluntarism and general
‘government centrism’8 that makes the
growth of non-State actors difficult. The
situation is no different in Kashmir, which
should not deter us from arguing for a more
active role for NGOs in Kashmir, keeping in
mind the heightened need for nongovernmental
actors at all levels in the
This paper highlights the need for more
NGOs to enter Kashmir and act as agents of
development and welfare, whilst
simultaneously sowing the seeds of peace.
Lessons need to be learnt from the
experiences of NGOs which have been
active and effective in creating
constituencies of peace in other conflict
areas like South Africa, Palestine and, closer
to home, Sri Lanka. Key issues regarding
NGOs in Kashmir, such as their evolution
over the years, their current state, NGO-
Government relations, constraints, and the
scope and role of NGOs as agents of peace
and development in Kashmir, are addressed
in the following sections.
evolution of the voluntary sector in India, and
other Asian Countries, see Shinichi Shigetomi,
(ed.), The State and NGOs: Perspectives from
Asia (Singapore: Institute of South East Asian
Syed M. Ibrahim, “South Asian Security
Studies: Institutional Issues,” in Dipankar
Banerjee (ed.), South Asian Security: Futures
(Colombo: Regional Center for Strategic Studies,
2002), p. 175. The relations between the
Government and NGOs are addressed in further
detail at a later stage.
Evolution of NGO culture in
To trace the evolution of NGO culture in
Kashmir over the past few decades, we
need to briefly look at the kind of society that
has existed and exists in Kashmir today. The
concept of an ‘NGO’ is a relatively new one,
even in the international arena. The infusion
of this concept of NGO into Kashmir is even
more recent. Kashmir has traditionally been
a plural society, which manifests itself in the
concept of Kashmiriyat.9 Kashmir has
traditionally been a very close-knit religious
society. As a result, the need for NGOs in
the social sphere had never been felt. For
example, an orphan in the pre-1989 period
would immediately be adopted by one of his
relatives or neighbors in accordance with
their religious and social practices; hence
the need for orphanages was never felt.10
This phenomenon was so wide-spread that
every family in Kashmir could be called an
NGO, since it had always played this role.
Thus, very few social welfare or voluntary
organizations had existed in Kashmir before
the period of militancy.
The period after 1989 marked a watershed
for NGOs in Kas hmir and their need was
deeply felt for the first time. With violence
increasing, the number of casualties and
victims of violence continued to rise. Over
the next few years, with the Indian army
attacking militants and their supporters,
Kashmiri society began to feel the brunt of
militancy on their lives. Normal life in
Kashmir being disrupted with curfews for
many days at a stretch became a common
occurrence. Life came to a virtual standstill
at the height of the militancy as food and
other supplies were disrupted, curfews were
imposed, offices began to be closed down
and the tourist and other businesses that
Kashmir had thrived upon began to be
adversely affected. With this came the need
for someone to help ease the lives of the
common people. Problems, like an
9 Kashmiriyat is used broadly to represent the
idea of a separate identity for all Kashmiris,
whether they are Hindus, Muslims or Sikhs,
based on their distinct language, culture and
history. It is said to be on the decline in recent
years, which is believed to be the cause of
communal tension in Kashmir.
10 Author’s interviews with NGO activists, and
historians in Kashmir University, July 2003.
increasing number of orphans, psychiatric
disorders, lack of freedom of speech and
expression as well as movement,
unemployment and many others associated
with the wide-spread violence affected the
hitherto peaceful and thriving Kashmiri
As more NGOs and local initiatives started
coming up to meet the needs of the society,
there were other factors at work impeding
their growth. Increased violence was a major
hindrance in the effective functioning and
development of NGOs, as they cannot
function in an environment where the lives of
its activists are constantly at risk. A second
reason relates to the Government strategy to
counter the increased militancy and its
support among the masses. As the
government moved from a defensive policy
in the early 1990’s to a more aggressive
strategy to root out militancy, it let the people
feel the harsh realities of militancy for
themselves and refused to provide succor to
the victims. The aim was to strike at the
roots of militancy and erode the popular
local support to militancy. The Government
refrained from playing a positive role in the
establishment of NGOs as it felt that active
and effective NGOs could have cushioned
the effects of militancy which would have led
the local population to believe that militancy
could be sustained without disrupting their
lives. Without NGOs working to ease their
suffering, the people began to feel the
maleffects of militancy and the Government
strategy to eliminate support for militancy
began to work.
The next big step in the evolution of NGOs
started as the political situation came under
some semblance of control in the mid-90s
after extensive military action and dwindling
support for militancy. The Government
decided to hold elections in 1996 that would
be free and fair, or at least appear to be so.
For that, it needed to have other democratic
institutions in place, including the media and
NGOs, which have increasingly become the
forum for projecting a democratic image to
international and domestic communities. A
study of the evolution of NGOs in Kashmir
reveals a dramatic increase in their number
functioning in the State starting from the
1996-1997 period.11 Most of these NGOs
were sponsored by the Government or one
11 Author’s interviews with officials of the State
Social Welfare Board and Directorate of Social
Welfare, Srinagar, J&K, July 2003.
NGOs in Kashmir
of the many governmental agencies working
in J&K to restore some semblance of peace
and normalcy. These NGOs, which have
come to be called GONGOs or
Governmental NGOs, sprang up in large
numbers over a short span of time and exist
till date, at least on paper.
3 IPCS Research Paper 2
Overview of NGOs in Kashmir
Overview of NGOs in Kashmir
The general trend in the realm of civil society
in recent years in Kashmir has been
encouraging.12 The number of NGOs have
increased manifold, the reasons for which
are many. With the concept of Civil Society
gaining a foothold in India and to a certain
extent in Kashmir, starting an NGO has
“become the fashion.”13 However, many of
the people running these organizations are
“not very sincere about it and are just
interested in making fast money.” Also, such
organizations are often accused of being
used by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats
to “siphon funds to their favorites.”14 This is
not to say that there are no people or
organizations that are making a genuine
effort to establish civil society in this
The spurt in the growth of NGOs has been
spread over different domains. The
intervention of NGOs has been crucial, since
the Government was found to be lacking in
many areas. An overview of the current state
of NGOs shows that the main fields in which
they are active in Kashmir are the following:
orphanages, self-help groups, dialogue
groups, medical care, rural development and
employment generation-oriented groups,
widow care, disappearances, coalitions of
NGOs, ecological and environmental
groups, and awareness groups.15 In terms of
12 Dr. Navnita Chadha Behera, Personal
Interview, 03 July 2003. Dr. Behera is the author
of State, Identity, and Violence: Jammu and
Kashmir (New Delhi: Manohar, 2000) as well as
many research papers and articles on Kashmir.
13 Ms. Ashima Kaul Bhatia, Personal Interview,
07 July 2003. Ms. Bhatia works with WISCOMP
and co -ordinates its Athwaas project. She is also
the author of a report, Transcending Faultlines:
the Quest for a Culture of Peace (New Delhi:
14 Gowher A. Fazili, “Role of Civil Society and
the State of Jammu & Kashmir,” New Hope, vol.
4, no.1, 2003, p. 71. Gowhar Fazili teaches
Political Science at the Government Women’s
College, Srinagar. He is a political activist and is
deeply interested in ecological issues. He is also
the co-author of an important report on the
impact of protracted violence on Kashmiri youth.
This has been determined on the basis of
extensive interactions by the author with the
common people in Kashmir and those involved
with NGOs, along with visits to the offices and
geographical distribution of NGOs, there is a
clear imbalance between Srinagar and other
far-flung areas of the State. Most of the
NGOs are based in or around Srinagar,
even though the areas worst-affected by
militancy are the border areas of Kupwara,
Pooch, Rajouri, Baram ulla etc. While there
are some NGOs working in these areas,
they are very few in number and are facing
great difficulties. Poverty and extreme
backwardness left far flung areas including
the tribal areas of Poonch and Rajouri
neglected even by NGOs and deprived of
access to basic facilities like drinking water,
education, health care, sanitation and
means of livelihood.16
Among the active NGOs working in Kashmir,
orphanages are the most prominent in terms
of their work, reputation and goodwill. One of
the worst affected groups during this
militancy-rife period has been children, who
have been rendered homeless, often as
orphans.17 The number of orphans created
over the past 14 years of militancy is
estimated to be anywhere from 15 to 25
thousand. However, most of the orphanages
house only 100-120 children, and the
number of orphanages actually working
would not number more than ten. It is easy
to see that an unacceptably large number of
children are still not being taken care of.
While the Government too has established a
few orphanages, most of them are in a
pitiable condition, and many opine that it
might even be better for a child to be kept
out of such homes.
Some orphanages like the J&K Yateem 18
Foundation, Yateem Khanah, and J&K
field trips to the sites of operation of many of
these NGOs during a field trip to the State in July
16 Mr. Shabir Kohli, Personal Interview, 27 July
2003. Mr. Kohli is the President of INSAAR, an
NGO working in Poonch district for the welfare
of tribals, mainly Gujjars.
17 Under its Violence Mitigation and
Amelioration Project, Oxfam (India) Trust
recently produced a rather unusual report, The
Impact of Violence on the Student Community in
Kashmir (2003), that documents the opinions of
nearly 200 young Kashmiris on how the violence
has affected their lives in terms of their
education, its psychological impact etc. The
primary research was conducted by a group of
young Kashmiris familiar with the situation in
18 ‘Yateem’ in Urdu for ‘orphan’
Yateem trust have managed to establish a
good reputation for themselves based on
their selfless work, though they might have
their own shortcomings. Yateem Foundation
has, within a period of 3-4 years, managed
to establish itself as a reputed organization
which lays great stress on transparency; this
is one quality found lacking in most other
NGOs. It was the first orphanage to have
established a proper system of handling
donations, stressing on transparency to gain
the trust of more people and attract more
donations. Its public audit system has been
adopted by other NGOs. Yateem
Foundation famously, and to the amazement
of many, collected around Rs. 23 lakhs in
the month of Ramazan for its activities. In
the process, they set an example for other
NGOs who often complain about the paucity
of funds and limited ways of raising funds.
However, people generally give generously
for religious activities, but not much for
social causes. Moreover, there is a general
consensus that orphans are the children of
God and should be helped and taken care of
in the best way possible19.
Dr. Rouf, who works with Yateem
Foundation, represents a generation of
Kashmiris who left the Valley when militancy
was on the upsurge in the early ‘90s and
pursued their studies in different parts of
India. They are exposed to different ideas
and concepts prevailing in different parts of
the country. On returning to their homeland,
as many of them did in the past 2-3 years,
they brought back these ideas and apply
them here. In the words of Dr. Rouf, “the
lessons learnt from the outside world” have
guided him and helped him gain new
perspectives. A graduate from Patna
College, Dr. Rouf acknowledges that he got
the idea of establishing an orphanage from
the concept of ‘anathalaya’ that was
prevalent in the Gupta Dynasty. Similarly,
Gowhar Fazili20 who spent his schooling and
college years in Bangalore and Delhi
returned with many ideas. He formed a
unique group called SPACE (Students’
Platform for Acquiring and Consolidating
Experience), which is literally meant to be a
space for student activity and self-therapy.
Different group activities organized by NGO
groups in Bangalore inspired Fazili to start a
student group in Kashmir to give them a
19 Dr. Rouf, Personal Interview, 17 July 2003.
Dr. Rouf is the Manager of the Yateem
20 Fazili, n.14.
NGOs in Kashmir
space where they could voice their opinions
and listen to others without worrying about
their implications. College life has to mean
more than just classes, according to Fazili,
and since colleges in Kashmir are currently
not strong on extra -curricular activities,
SPACE is a timely initiative to help the
Kashmiri students form their own views and
Environmental groups have been active in
Kashmir in recent years, especially with the
serious ecological problems that the world
famous Dal Lake in Srinagar is facing.
Therefore, Kashmir needed the immediate
attention of environmen tal NGOs. The Save
Dal Campaign was started by an
Englishman named Charles Goschen, who
was appalled at the condition of the lake
during one of his visits to Kashmir. The
Green Kashmir movement, started by
Charles, managed to build an environment-
conscious lobby in the militancy-ravaged
State. However, his untimely death crippled
the movement. Though it lives on, the Green
Kashmir Movement has split and many more
environmental groups, claiming to be
working towards the environmental
protection of the State, have been formed.
One of them, HOPE, came into existence in
April 1999, and has been working in the field
of Solid Waste Management. HOPE also
undertook a Solid Waste Management
Project for the Dal Lake, handed over to
them by the J&K Lakes and Waterways
Development Authority. Workers of HOPE
go to every individual houseboat daily to
collect their waste. HOPE mainly undertakes
projects given to them by the relevant official
authorities, besides organizing public
awareness campaigns. However, the state
of environmental NGOs is best summed up
in the words of Saquib Qadri, Vice Chairman
of Hope, “This is the beginning, much more
needs to be done, which is only possible
when the people at the helm of affairs, both
in governmental and non-governmental
organizations, show concern, commitment
and competence towards the job assigned to
The need for medical care NGOs has also
come to the fore in the violence-ridden
State, but NGO efforts are found lacking in
this field. Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) is
the only international NGO to have started a
21 Saquib A. Qadri, “HOPE: An Environmental
Group,” New Hope, vol. 3, no. 6, 2002, pp. 76
77. Qadri is the Vice-Chairman of HOPE.
5 IPCS Research Paper 2
psychosocial program in Kashmir, after
assessing the mental health situation among
the Kashmiri population.22 MSF is also one
of the very few NGOs that have actually
ventured beyond Srinagar into the
neighboring districts of Pulwama and
Ganderbal block. MSF offers psychosocial
services, education and support in these
districts, besides undertaking activities to
improve psychiatric care facilities in the
Government Psychiatric Hospital, Srinagar.
Doctors at the Psychiatric Hospital
appreciate the work done by MSF in these
areas , “MSF rebuilt the hospital building that
had burnt down,”23 and without their help,
medical services would have completely
halted. MSF, however, needs to exercise
more caution and try harder to blend into the
unique social context existing in Kashmir,
according to people who have observed it at
work. The scope for improvement thus
definitely exists not only in terms of the work
going on, but also in the number of
organizations working in this field.
While human rights have been a very
delicate issue, with possibly the gravest
consequences, nationally and
internationally, not many NGOs are working
to act as pressure groups to make the
Government and armed forces accountable
for their actions. While local groups like the
Association of Parents of Disappeared
Persons (APDP) are working to provide
justice to the families of EID (Enforced or
Involuntary Disappearances) victims,
restrictions are often imposed on their
functioning citing national interests and
security reasons. Human rights have been a
sensitive issue, and the Government has
adopted a high handed approach towards it.
NGOs fighting against human rights
violations by highlighting such issues are
deemed to be working against the State.
International NGOs (INGOs) seem to be
having an even harder time in Kashmir.
MSF, incidentally, is the only INGO that has
not signed a Memorandum of Understanding
22 Arshad Amin. Personal Interview, 17 July
2003. Mr. Amin works with the MSF in Srinagar,
Kashmir. Additional input gathered from a report
on MSF: Naqshab Afra, Naheed Hamdani and
Sue Prosser, “Medecins Sans Frontieres: Doctors
without Borders in Kashmir”, New Hope, vol. 3,
no. 6, 2002, pp. 62-7123 Dr. Arshad Hussain, Personal Interview, 18
July 2003. Dr. Hussain is a psychiatric doctor at
the Government Psychiatric Hospital, Srinagar.
(MoU) with the Government, which
stipulates that any international NGO will
have to seek the permission of the
Government before venturing into sensitive
areas, and will have to be accompanied by
Government officials. Other lNGOs like the
International Committee of the Red Cross,
which have a token presence in Kashmir,
are required to sign the MoU. This translates
into limited access to sensitive areas, and
limited ability to publish their findings.
Human rights organizations like Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch have
produced damning reports of human rights
violations in Kashmir by various Government
agencies and the armed forces. These
reports, many of which were published in the
early and mid-90s when militancy was at its
peak, caused the Government of India much
embarrassment in the international arena.
Consequently, the Government of India
curtailed the INGO activities. They are
allowed to conduct research work in the
State, but are not given permission to
publish any reports based on their findings.
They also have to face restrictions in their
field work, such as being taken on guided
tours, which are likely to be manipulated to
represent something entirely untrue. Thus,
several limitations have been imposed on
the working of International NGOs in
Kashmir on the grounds of “national interest”
and “security reasons”. MSF, as mentioned
above, has not signed a MoU, and thus
enjoys more freedom and flexibility in their
functioning. However, MSF does not venture
into the political domain, and limits itself to
the psychosocial and medical domains.
An interesting phenomenon that has been
developing in different parts of the Valley is
the concept of self-help groups. As in many
other conflict-ridden areas, many
humanitarian organizations provide
unconditional aid in times of crisis in the
form of money as well as essential goods.
This backfires as people tend to become
dependant, expecting others to come and
help them in every moment of crisis. To
overcome this problem, which has
manifested itself in Kashmir, the idea of
building self-help groups has been
developed whereby individuals and small
organizations go to different villages,
especially in traditionally-neglected districts,
and help the village people take advantage
of the different schemes brought out by the
Government and social welfare agencies like
the Women’s Development Corporation or
the State Social Welfare Board. These
people are encouraged, guided and
provided basic resources to set up their own
small businesses, be it poultry or weaving or
starting computer literacy centers, or dealing
collectively with the psychosocial problems
of individuals in the villages. WISCOMP,24
under its Athwaas25 project, is helping the
formation of such self-help groups in
villages. Athwaas is unique in its purpose as
it seeks to empower people who are in a
position to empower others in a similar
predicament, thus creating a “ripple effect”,
or a chain reaction. Villages in Kashmir can
especially benefit from such projects as
many far-flung villages are neglected by
most organizations, and self-help groups
seem to be the best way to empower the
villagers, rather than simply make them
Going by numbers, the largest ‘NGO’ in
Kashmir is probably the Indian Army. The
Indian Army is considered to be an NGO,
broadly speaking, since it undertakes
development projects and implements
education and health care programs in areas
where both the Government and other
voluntary organizations have failed to make
inroads. One of the recent programs of the
Army was the Sadbhavana program in the
border areas of Jammu and Kashmir. In
Kargil, the locals’ implici t support to the
intruders was proof enough to the Army in
1999 that it had lost its support base. The
army then realized that “security and human
development had to be intrinsic parts of
border management.”26 Lt. Gen Arjun Ray,
believed to be one of the officials behind the
project, believes that the role of the Army
has changed, and it is no longer possible to
win the battle with the might of the gun or
money. “It is necessary to win the hearts of
the people to overcome the circumstances.
The armed forces should not only aim to win
24 WISCOMP (Women in Security, Conflict
Management and Peace) is a project of the
Foundation for Universal Responsibility, based
in New Delhi. WISCOMP strives to support
women to form networks and increase their
participation to strengthen their role in multitrack
diplomacy processes in the South Asian
25 Kashmiri for ‘handshake’
26 Dr. Leena Parmar and Major Daljit Singh
Parmar, “Operation Sadbhavana: A Culture of
Peace Process in Kashmir”, (Rajasthan
University, India, 2002),
>, 18 September 2003).
NGOs in Kashmir
the war but to avoid it all together.” The
Sadbhavana Project focuses on bringing
development and dignity to the 109,500
people in the 190 villages close to the 265
km Ladakh-PoK border. All round
development of the border areas to sensitize
the people, it is felt, would greatly reduce
support for the Pakistan-backed militancy.
Another key aim of this project is to check
the spillover of militancy into Ladakh. Hence,
the Army has undertaken a major human
development drive in Ladakh. With cooperation
from the Bangalore IT industry, it
has installed computers in schools.
Volunteers from an NGO, Prakruthi , are
teaching students in Ladakh. The main
thrust areas of the project are primary
education, secondary and tertiary health
care , community development and
empowerment of women.27 While the project
has been a success and has managed to
make Ladakh a militancy free zone, the
Army does realize that charity cannot be the
engine of sustainable growth in these areas.
Without sustainable and equitable growth
over long periods of time, the Army faces the
danger of losing the goodwill that it has
generated over the years. Thus, plans are
now underway to ensure the empowerment
of the people to ensure growth by
themselves through efforts facilitated by the
initial help and guidance provided by the
Army. Hopefully, the “astounding success”28
of Sadbhavana will hopefully be emulated in
other parts of the Valley.
Also worth mentioning are some other
groups which might not fall within any of the
above categories but are doing
commendable work. Among these is
Helpline, an NGO in Bij Behara Tehsil which
provides education to children from poor
families. It trains a group of volunteers, both
boys and girls, to teach children in the
evenings. The aim is to create a similar
ripple effect that local self-help groups aim to
create. Helpline, run by Mr. Javed Ahmed
Tak, himself suffering from disability, is
planning to co-ordinate with other NGOs like
WISCOMP, under its Athwaas project, to
broaden the scope of their activities. Other
groups like the Jammu & Kashmir Markaz
28 Gen. V.G. Pathankar, former Commanding
Officer, 15 Corps, Srinagar in a talk on “The
current situation in Kashmir” at the Institute of
Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi, 6 August
7 IPCS Research Paper 2
Behboodi Khawateen (Center for Women’s
Welfare) provide training in arts and crafts
for women as well as a home for destitute
women. Groups like the Zanana Dastkari
Production Ltd and the Markaz Industrial Cooperative
Society impart training and provide
jobs to poor women in the Valley along with
providing financial assistance to women and
orphans for marriages, medical care and
legal awareness. Hussaini Relief Committee,
which has been working actively to establish
blood banks, has now embarked on
awareness programs and is planning to
branch out further with the help of funding
from national NGOs like the AMAN trust and
International NGOs and national NGOs do
have a minimal presence in the Valley.
Similarly, cases where individuals from other
parts of the country have come to Kashmir
and settled here to work with the needy are
rare, but do exist nonetheless. A couple from
Pune, Bharti and Adik, are a good example
of this rare phenomenon. A trip with an NGO
from Pune to help victims of violence in the
Valley had exposed them to the plight of
orphans in the Valley. Seeing that their
number was on the rise, they decided to stay
back to run an orphan home and help
widows as well. Despite facing resistance
initially from the locals, the Army and the
local clergy, they stuck on. Gradually, people
accepted them and acknowledged the
humanitarian character of their work. Their
story, published in the local media, serves
as an example for others. Such initiatives
are very encouraging for the emergence of a
NGO culture and community as a whole;
hopefully it will spark off a movement to
bring a semblance of normalcy into the lives
of the people.
The situation is definitely improving now;
with many NGOs initiating work in the Valley
by working with and funding local NGOs that
they have taken pains to choose. Thus,
organizations like the AMAN trust and
Oxfam (India), both based in Delhi, have
allied with local NGOs to do the kind of work
they are interested in doing. The importance
of National NGOs is two-fold: not only do
they bring with them the benefit of
experience in this field, but also, equally
importantly, they become a much-needed
source of funding for the local Kashmiri
NGOs. The experience and guidance
provided by the national NGOs will be
crucial since a major problem faced by them
in Kashmir is the lack of direction, and lack
of knowledge in running an NGO effectively.
That this problem can be solved in this way
is corroborated by the fact that many NGOs
in Kashmir that are working effectively and
have established an enviable reputation for
themselves are being run by people who
have worked with NGOs elsewhere, and are
familiar with managing an NGO.
NGOs: Constraints and
NGOs: Constraints and
It is important to identify some of the key
problems that NGOs face in Kashmir. Firstly,
and more importantly, NGO culture has not
permeated Kashmiri society yet. As
mentioned earlier, Kashmir has not had a
history of the presence of NGOs, let alone
voluntary organizations, working for the
larger societal good in areas where the
Government has failed. ‘Each family was an
NGO by itself’.29 This meant that Kashmiri
society had never felt the need to organize
such help groups on a larger scale. The
culture of helping people was limited
however to one’s near and dear ones. One
exception in the context of Kashmir is the
payment of zakat30 that is generally used for
the greater social good. But zakat is usually
in the form of monetary assistance to the
needy. It does not really help the needy
become self-dependant nor does it mean
that the donors are actually directing their
time and efforts into helping the needy. So
the culture of organizing a mass movement
to provide organizational assistance to the
needy is absent. “People are not ready to
make sacrifices anymore,” says an NGO
activist.31 They feel they have suffered
enough and lost enough in the resistance
movement, which itself has never been able
to become mass-based or even indigenous.
“As a result, peo ple are indifferent.”
Unfortunately, the movement to revive civil
society has never been mass-based. It has
simply involved and attracted individuals.
Secondly, the work of the few functional
NGOs falls much below expectations,
though there are exceptions to the rule. By
any account, there are hundreds of NGOs
registered in Srinagar under the Societies
Registration Act, ranging from religious and
media organizations to human rights and
29 Azam Inquilabi, Personal Interview, 14 July
2003. Inquilabi is the ex-chief of the United
Jehad Council in Srinagar.
30 Zakat is the contribution/donation that is
expected from every Muslim and is usually put at
2.5% of one’s unspent Income.
31 Khurram Pervez, an NGO activist, is a student
at the Media Education and Research Center
(MERC), Kashmir University, besides working
for the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations
and Association of Parents of Disappeared
Persons in Srinagar.
NGOs in Kashmir
community-based organizations, all serving
a specific purpose. A key point to take note
of in the context of Kashmir is that there are
several voluntary and charity organizations
that are not registered as NGOs, but are
doing the same kind of work and addressing
the needs of the same kind of people as
NGOs in other areas. Thus, any
comprehensive list of NGOs working in
Kashmir will have to include such
organizations as representative of the actual
situation in Kashmir. Often, the little work
that has been done on NGOs in Kashmir
has ignored this important fact, thus making
the situation seem gloomier than it actually
NGOs in a conflict zone like Kashmir do face
unique problems, which obstruct their
functioning in various ways. Problems for
NGOs start from the time of registration
itself. Trust has been the single biggest
casualty in the past 14 years. Any new
organization or group is looked upon with
suspicion and often accused of being a
hawala front for militants. Hence, it becomes
essential for any voluntary organization to
work under legal auspices to prevent being
unendingly harassed. Over the past few
years, a number of dedicated social workers
or retired government servants have formed
organizations to work for the welfare of the
people. However, they soon realize that it is
very difficult to get a society registered in
Kashmir. Thus, discouraged from the start,
many of them often drop out completely.32
Accreditation or registration of NGOs is done
under the Societies Registration Act (SRA),
1860, The Public Trust Act, 1882, and the
Charitable and Religious Trust Ac t, 1920 or
the Co-operative Societies Act.33 The SRA
stipulates that any association with more
than seven members should register. The
32 In an interview with a Professor of History in
Kashmir University, I was told that though he
and his son were both interested in doing social
work and forming an NGO to preserve the
cultural heritage of Kashmir, they had decided
against it after realizing the cumbersome process
that registration entails. Coming from an erudite
scholar, one can imagine how lay people would
be deterred from such cumbersome paperwork
and the verification process.
33 Hiroshi Sato, “India-NGOs: Intermediary
Agents or Institutional Reformers?” in Shinichi
Shigetomi (ed.), The State and NGOs:
Perspectives from Asia, (Singapore: Institute of
South East Asian Studies, 2002), p. 64.
9 IPCS Research Paper 2
arbitrary and political nature of accreditation
manifests itself in the friction between NGOs
and the government and efforts on the part
of the latter to scuttle the activities of the
NGOs.34 In Kashmir, the problem is worse
than in the rest of the country. Though
registration under the SRA usually takes one
or two months, in Kashmir it takes much
longer. Before submitting their application for
registration to the Registrar, applicants have
to obtain a “non-involvement certificate” from
their respective District Magistrates.
Undoubtedly, it is necessary to ascertain the
identity of each and every member of a new
organization. The problem arises when this
process takes a few years. Though the
process is being expedited in recent years, it
is still a very cumbersome process. This
long delay occurs when officials of different
agencies like the Police and the CID
(sometimes, other agencies also get
involved) take an extraordinarily long time to
verify the credentials of the members. This,
in turn, is used as a tool by these
government agencies to harass NGOs trying
to work in sensitive areas and delay their
registration processes to prevent them from
Kashmiri NGOs also face major funding
problems. The sensitivity and gravity of the
conflict in Kashmir is a double-edged sword
as far as NGO funding is concerned.
Ironically, a lot of money flows into these
NGOs because of the fact that Kashmir is in
conflict. The wide-spread Kashmiri Diaspora
and members of the Muslim worldwide
community channel their money to NGOs;
whether they suspect it might be used for
illegal purposes is another matter. Several
foreign donors, including donors from
European countries, especially the
Scandinavian countries, give money to
Kashmiri NGOs because of the conflict in
The gravity of the conflict and the suffering
and trauma associated with it is the reason
why NGOs need to exist and do exist in
34 A detailed examination and listing of problems
being faced by NGOs regarding registration can
be found in Voluntary Action Network India
(VANI), Report of the Task forces to Review and
Simplify Acts, Rules, Procedures Affecting
Voluntary Organizations (New Delhi, 1994) and
VANI, Laws, Rules and Regulations for the
Voluntary Sector, Report of the South Asian
Conference 6-10 March 1996, (New Delhi,
Kashmir. While the conflict attracts all sorts
of funding sources, the fact that Kashmir is
such a sensitive issue in the international
arena requires India to tread with
caution and take necessary preventive steps
in the interests of national security. Thus,
strict control and monitoring has to be
undertaken for every organization since
there is a high incidence of such
organizations serving as hawala fronts for
militant organizations. The government
wants to prevent this, which makes the lives
of NGOs difficult in different ways. These
include frequent visits of security personnel,
refusal to let members travel, or interact with
people and organizations abroad, frequent
questioning about financial accounts, etc.
Foreign funding by legal means is also
limited and closely monitored by the
government. Any NGO that wants to acquire
foreign funding has to obtain an FCRA35
number. NGOs in Kashmir find it practically
impossible to obtain permission to receive
foreign funding because the Government
wants to keep foreign involvement to the
minimum in Kashmir, the idea being that the
presence of international NGOs or funding
from foreign sources would permit foreigners
to get involved in Kashmiri society, and
would drag them into the politics of the
Kashmir conflict. Since the Indian
Government’s political stance is against
foreign intervention in the Kashmir conflict,
only two NGOs in Kashmir to date have
been allotted an FCRA number. Both these
NGOs are Ladakh-based ecological groups.
The government does not mind foreign
donors chipping in to help the ecological
cause in Ladakh, which is a militancy-free
zone. Thus, with foreign sources of funding
being virtually closed, and it being very
difficult to raise funds locally, except for
religious purposes, NGOs in Kashmir face a
huge problem in terms of funding.36 It is
highly likely that this leads some NGOs to
turn into hawala fronts for militant
organizations. On the one hand, the gravity
of the conflict attracts sources of funding, but
35 Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, 1976,
regulates the flow of foreign funds to
organizations and people in India.
36 For a detailed analysis of the problems faced
by NGOs/VOs in terms of funding in general and
foreign funding in particular, see “Voluntary
Agency trends in India and Financial Aspects of
the Voluntary Sector” in Dimensions of
Voluntary Sector in India, CAF’s Validated
Database 2000 , (New Delhi: Charities Aid
Foundation India, 2000).
NGOs in Kashmir
on the other hand, the sensitivity and
seriousness of the issue forces the Indian
Government to keep strong controls over on
the sources of funding for NGOs and their
Though national NGOs could be a good
source of funding and experience for local
NGOs in Kashmir, by and large, NGOs from
the other parts of the country do not seem to
empathize with the plight of the Kashmiris.
According to Yoginder Sikand, “the absence
of any major initiatives from Indian NGOs in
Kashmir reflects the way many Indians see
the Kashmir question—as a real estate
dispute, coveting the land but conveniently
dispensing with its people.”37 NGOs abound
in Andhra Pradesh and Haryana, but
Kashmir seems to be lagging behind in this
regard and national NGOs seem to be
conspicuous by their absence. Kashmir has
selling value, a brand name in international
activism. People and NGOs can and do
make money out of Kashmir and the
Kashmiris realize this, which breeds
discontent and mistrust among them
regarding activism as a whole, whether it
comes from national or international NGOs.
Says an NGO activist, “Are there not enough
problems in the areas they come from, that
they have come to work with us? Is there not
enough misery in places like Bihar? Why do
these NGOs like to come to Kashmir then?”
Obviously, according to him, they will be
suspect in the eyes of the people. “We can
understand Europeans coming to help us,
but Indians, no.” His statement, besides
shedding light on the reasons why people
would be generally suspicious of any
national NGO, can also be seen as part of
the larger antagonism and mistrust
associated with anything Indian in the
Valley. Obviously, the Kashmiris will not look
kindly upon people making a fortune out of
their plight. To break this pattern of mistrust,
a few NGOs have to work sincerely and
affect the lives of the people in a way that
reflects positively on their sincerity. The
Government can have a crucial impact in
changing the nature and the perception of
the work of NGOs. The dynamics of the
relationship between NGOs and the
Government is examined in the following
NGOs and the Government
A Symbiotic Relationship?
To examine the state of relations between
NGOs in Kashmir and the Government, it is
essential that we understand the history of
voluntary organizations in India, the nature
of social movements, and the contexts in
which they have evolved and flourished.
Also crucial to examine is the current
government policy in India towards NGOs,
and its impact on Government-NGO
relations in Kashmir.
India has definitely had a long culture of
volunteerism, which has been well-
documented through the 19th and 20th
centuries.38 Even after Independence, there
has been a long history of co-operation and
good relations between the two, especially
with the emergence of a large number of
what came to be known as Gandhian
organizations. The Central State Welfare
Board was set up in 1953 to promote and
fund voluntary organizations. The next main
spurt in voluntary movements came in 1977,
led by Jayaprakash Narayan against the
Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi. Later,
under Mrs. Gandhi again, the VOs lost their
privileged position and the bureaucracy
assumed the responsibility for implementing
various developmental programs. However,
in recent years, there have again been
efforts by the Government to provide support
to these organizations.
In 1994, the Government of India came up
with an Action Plan to bring about a
Collaborative Relationship between
Voluntary Organizations and Government. In
38 Ibid., pp. 8-9
According to documents available that detail the
social movements in India through the 19th and
20th century, these movements generally emerged
in small areas and remained confined to local
issues. The pre-independence era witnessed two
types of social movements: socio-religious
movements aimed at reform in the intellectual
and cultural life of India, and peasant and other
upsurges like the sepoy mutiny of 1857 which is
believed to be the “culmination of peasant
movements all over India.” The post-
independence era has also not been devoid of
social movements, such as the Chipko
movement, the Dravidian movement in Tamil
Nadu, Bandhua Mukti morcha, the Silent Valley
struggle, Narmada Bachao Andolan etc.
11 IPCS Research Paper 2
the recently held All India Conference on the
“Role of the Voluntary Sector in National
Development” on 20 April 2002, K. C. Pant,
Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission,
With increasing popular demand for
better quality and delivery of public
services, governments everywhere
are responding by taking steps to
involve the civil society. They
recognize that the voluntary sector
enjoys certain functional
advantages, being community
based, more accountable and
capable of providing services at a
lesser cost. More significantly,
voluntary organizations have the
flexibility to develop innovative
projects based on local needs and
resources in contrast to the
standardization that normally
characterizes governmental actions.
That is why I feel that there is space
for voluntary action even where local
self-governing institutions like PRIs 39
are strong as the VOs could work for
making the system more
participative, transparent and
accountable by creating awareness
among the people about their rights,
their duties and about shortcomings
in development. Their roles are, and
should be, mutually supportive and
While NGOs, as the concept exists now, are
by definition independent and distinct from
governmental organizations, it is widely
believed that they cannot be very effective
without the help and co-operation of their
counterparts in India. This is probably due to
the fact that after Independence, the fate of
VOs and more recently, NGOs, have been
dependent on the support they get from the
Government. Their fortunes change with
changes in Government. Though, this may
not necessarily be a bad thing. But there
needs to be recognition of the fact that
NGOs need to be wholly independent,
though co-operation and co-ordination with
the Government is also a must in a
developing country like India, since the State
39 Panchayati Raj Institutions
40 Shri K.C. Pant, Deputy Chairman, Planning
Commission of India at the All India Conference
on the “Role of the Voluntary Sector in National
Development”, 20 April, 2002, Vigyan Bhavan,
lacks the resources to implement its
programs effectively. NGO culture has not
really permeated society all that well; hence,
it is necessary for the two to move hand-inhand
for the betterment of the people.
The official website of the Ministry of Social
Welfare and Empowerment articulates its
official policy and relationship with NGOs in
the sphere of social welfare. The Ministry
also realizes that there are some areas that
need more attention and funds than the
others. There are very few states in India
that have witnessed such massive violence,
destruction of civil society and disruption of
the normal lives of people than Kashmir. In
view of this, it would be safe to expect that
the Government would allocate more funds
to suppl ement its work in Jammu and
Kashmir with that of the NGOs. That the
government recognizes this fact does not
really translate into action, at least in Jammu
& Kashmir. Statistics on the official Ministry
website show a pathetic number of
organizations in J&K that are being funded
by the Government. The number of
organizations and the amount of funding is
much greater in other states like Gujarat and
even Punjab.41 Whether this is due to a lack
of interest in the establishment of a civil
society, or because the government feels
capable of handling the task by itself in J&K,
is known only to the Government officials.
However, compared to the rest of the
country, Kashmir has been neglected and
ignored, despite probably being the most in
need of such NGOs. The Ministry of Social
Welfare and Empowerment provides grants
to only five NGOs in the entire State of
Jammu and Kashmir, which is negligible
compared to grants given to NGOs in other
states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat etc.42
Government-NGO relations in Kashmir are
also adversely affected by the fact that the
government does not share an amiable
relationship with the people. Almost all the
people blame the government for
exacerbation of the conflict. Since these are
the very people that NGOs are trying to help,
a strong NGO-Government relationship
places the people in a moral dilemma. They
feel constrained to seek help from the same
authorities who are the cause of their misery
41 Ministry of Social Welfare and Empowerment
10 July 2003.
without moral inhibitions.43 Thus, GONGOs,
as the Government-backed or sponsored
NGOs are popularly known, find it difficult to
make inroads into Kashmiri society.
GONGOs sprang up in large numbers quite
mysteriously in and around the period of the
1996 elections, possibly to publicly accept
the legitimacy of the newly elected
government. However, it is high time the
GONGOs repositioned themselves (and the
Government will have to play a role here) as
distinct from the Government and work
purely on humanitarian issues without
pursuing a political agenda. The
Government, thus far, has not show n any
signs of letting the GONGOs break free.
However, hopes in this regard have risen in
the light of the “healing touch” policy of the
Mufti government. It remains to be seen
whether the Mufti Government’s power and
political will are able to free the GONGOs of
their political baggage.
The Government definitely needs to take
upon itself the responsibility of promoting
NGOs through various schemes. Interviews
with government officials from different
ministries however show a lack of interest in
promoting NGOs in Kashmir. Officials of the
Ministry of Social Welfare, when confronted
with the dismal figures for Kashmiri NGOs
receiving grants, explained that it was not
the prerogative of the Government of India
to hunt down NGOs to give them grants.
Instead, it was the responsibility of the
respective State Governments to forward
proposals from registered NGOs in the
State. “Sitting here, we cannot know who is
doing what and how credible he is.”44 Thus,
the Central Government has to depend on
the State Government, and the J&K
Government has, according to him, failed on
this account. There is a lack of proposals
forwarded to them from Jammu & Kashmir.
He put forward the example of Andhra
Pradesh as a state which was receiving
43 This moral dilemma was articulated by Mr.
Pervez Imroze, Patron, Association of Parents of
Disappeared Persons, and President, Coalition of
Civil Society, Srinagar, J&K. Also, victims of
violence articulated the same position, though
they did admit that there were circumstances
where, despite these moral convictions, they had
accepted the help of the Government backed
NGOs, or GONGOs since they were in dire need.
44 Author’s interviews over telephone with
Government officials of the Ministry of Social
Welfare and Empowerment, New Delhi, India,
NGOs in Kashmir
several grants for NGOs as the Government
there was actively forwarding proposals from
these NGOs that were credible and it was
thus easier for the Ministry to approve.
However, government officials and State
Welfare Board officials in Srinagar tell a
different story. While the Board forward ed
around 40 proposals in 2000-2001, none of
them were processed, that is neither
accepted nor rejected, and summarily
returned in 2003. While not explicitly stated,
it was implicit that the officials in J&K feel
that the Centre does not trust their
recommendations because they feared the
funds would be channeled to the militants.
Certain proposals forwarded by the State
Board under a program known as NORAD,
officials claim were lost or misplaced by the
concerned authorities in Delhi. Faced with
this kind of attitude from officials at the
Center, the State officials refuse to accept
responsibility for the lack of governmental
support to NGOs in Kashmir.
NGOs complain that the Government does
not allow them to work independently, but
the Government denies any such
interference. While the Directorate of Social
Welfare, J&K, cannot speak for NGOs
whose work might interfere with the interests
of national security, officials in the
Directorate claim that “currently there is a
big thrust to involve NGOs in implementing
many of our schemes. The Government is
willing to give up its responsibility in many
areas to genuine NGOs if they have the
requisite infrastructure.” 45 The Government
apparently sees many advantages accruing
from an improved relationship with NGOs.
As another official says, “we need NGOs to
reduce establishment costs to implement
schemes that we bring out. We would need
to establish infrastructure for every new
scheme that we plan to implement, which
would eventually become a liability for the
Government later on as we wouldn’t have
any use for it afterwards. However, if there
are NGOs out there with established
infrastructure, it would make things much
easier for us, and be much better for NGOs
45 Author’s interview with the Section Officer of
the State Social Welfare Board, Srinagar, J&K,
22 July 2003.
Author interview with officials of the
Directorate of Social Welfare, Srinagar, J&K, 25
13 IPCS Research Paper 2
However, there seem to be two things
stopping the J&K Government from acting
on this policy. Firstly, there are an
insufficient number of genuine NGOs in
Kashmir, and secondly, most of the genuine
ones lack proper infrastructure. “We are
ready to give help to NGOs, but they have to
be there. An NGO is one that has a
commitment, a culture; those kinds of NGOs
are very few in Kashmir”, claim officials. He
admits, “Some religiously-inclined NGOs are
sincere but they do not take help from us. If
the social ones also become as committed,
then relations between the government and
NGOs could go a long way.”
Unfortunately, the Government is merely
indulging in wishful thinking, hoping that in a
violence-ravaged society, genuine NGOs
with the requisite infrastructure would spring
up suddenly out of nowhere. Not only have
bureaucratic hurdles like delays in the
second or third installments of long term
projects led to stoppage of projects, such
delays also inevitably cause liabilities in
terms of personnel as well as infrastructure.
Another problem with governmen t funding of
projects is that such funding is usually
project-based, which presumes that the
NGO would be well-equipped to cover
overhead costs, such as building,
maintenance, auditing etc.,47 as is reflected
by the desire of government officials to use
NGOs to cut establishment costs for
themselves. There is very little emphasis on
long term planning, in terms of equipping
NGOs with the infrastructure that could be
utilized by the Government later, as well as
by the NGO for other projects.
While officials do not hesitate to admit that
red-tapism is causing a lot of problems, they
are quick to offer solutions. According to one
official, “if NGO funds are given directly to
the District Collector, it would result in much
more efficient use of funds,” as there would
be less layers of red tape that these funds
would have to go through. He feels that this
would be much better for everyone as all
sectors [emphasis added] need NGOs
today. Where an NGO needs Rs. 10 to get a
piece of work done, the Government spends
Rs. 50-60, because of establishment costs
as well as layers of bureaucracy. Thus,
“even if NGOs are corrupt, more benefits will
still reach the people.”48
47 CAF, n. .36, pp. 20-21.
Unfortunately, an atmosphere of mistrust
exists between NGOs and respective
Governments. The Government has had bad
experiences with NGOs, as people have
registered NGOs, received grants and fled
with the money with no results to show on
the ground. Consequently, the Ministry has
evolved stringent criteria for sanctioning
grants. Registration as an NGO un der the
Societies Act, a minimum of 3 years’
experience in the field of work, a list of
people in the managing committee of the
organization, a recommendation and
verification of credibility by the respective
State Governments and absence of
organizations in the particular field of work
are some of the criteria that Government
officials list. 49 The Ministry of Social Welfare
website also provides a list of blacklisted
NGOs and the members of their managing
Committees,50 though a study done by VANI
on blacklisted organizations says that “both
the basis and manner of revocation of the
earlier status was improper; organizations
were not aware of the reasons for
blacklisting and did not even get an
opportunity to be heard.”51
On the other hand, the NGOs cannot be
faulted for not being able to meet these
criteria. Local NGOs often started by people
with meager resources find it difficult to meet
the criteria set by the Government. To work
for three years without funding means they
have to find their own money, or raise funds
from external sources like foreign NGOs.
Since they are not allowed to receive
funding from foreign sources, and finding
their own money is difficultly feasible, NGOs
either close down or end up becoming fronts
for illegal activities. The government, on its
part, is justified in laying down stringent
criteria; however, it has to reduce the red
tape. This must reduce delays in the
verification process, which is often the
biggest stumbling block in Government-NGO
relations. As regards human rights and other
sensitive issues, where NGOs and
Government interests often clash, I would
argue that only international pressure and a
change in the political and security situation
on the ground in Kashmir can bring about
positive change. The newly elected Mufti
Government has to play a role in letting
NGOs take an independent stand and
49 Interview, n. 45.
50 Ministry of Social Welfare and Empowerment,
51 CAF, n. 36.
NGOs in Kashmir
become a voice for dissent within Kashmiri
society for his ‘healing touch’ policy to be
effective. At the same time, the Central
Government needs to take steps to relax the
rules governing the work of international
human rights organizations like Amnesty
International, and Human Rights Watch.
These groups have in the past produced
damning reports, but the time is ripe in
Kashmir to allow these groups to resume
work and serve as checks on the
government and its agencies. Letting these
groups resume their work in J&K will add to
the credibility of the new government and
restore people’s trust in it. Stronger and
fairer NGO -Government relations can thus
be instrumental in the restoration of trust;
winning the trust of the people would mean
half the battle is won.
NGOs in Kashmir
Role and Scope
NGOs, or for that matter, any organization
has to take into consideration local factors to
function in any part of the world. Often, not
taking cultural factors into account can prove
to be detrimental to the success of well-
meaning endeavors. Kashmiris have high
self-esteem and hence nurture a culture not
to take to the begging bowl even in harsh
circumstances. A Kashmiri prefers not to
seek help from outside his own circle of
friends and relatives, which explains why
NGOs have difficulties in their efforts to
create an impact. There have been very few
beggars on the streets of Kashmir in the
past, as Kashmiri society has generally been
self-sustaining, and reasonably prosperous.
However, in recent times, beggars have
begun to appear on the road. Kashmiri
society, reeling under the devastating effects
of the conflict, has been deprived of its
economic sustenance and finds its
traditional supp ort systems, like the family,
being made ineffective. This implies that
NGOs can start moving in to make an
impact as their need is being increasingly
It cannot be denied that NGOs, both
domestic and international, have established
a presence in India, and are active in several
fields. According to the latest estimates,
there are roughly 25,000 NGO groups which
are active in their respective fields in
different parts of the country, though the
number of registered NGOs would be many
times that numbe r. Kashmir, however, has
not seen a proportional rise in the number of
active NGOs.53 Kashmir desperately needs
injection of funds, people and organizations
52 Kashmir’s economy has traditionally depended
on tourism. Other potential income sources
include generation of electricity, forest resources,
carpets and the rug industry. However, due to the
conflict, tourism has been adversely affected, and
Kashmir’s economy is in shambles.
53 A Directory of Social Work Organizations in
Kashmir has been prepared by Yoginder Sikand,
where he lists the names of the organizations
active in the Valley at the time he conducted the
mapping process. Also, the International Center
for Peace Initiatives, New Delhi maintains a
database of organizations working in the Valley.
Both these databases demonstrate the absence of
a large number of active NGOs in Kashmir.
15 IPCS Research Paper 2
to infuse new vigor and relevance into the
fledgling civil society. National and
international NGOs, the international
community, the State and Central
Government, the people of India and the
people of Kashmir themselves have a big
role in reviving the civil society in Kashmir
via the NGOs.
At a seminar held in Kashmir on the theme
‘What is Civil Society and how can we turn it
into an effective mechanism to further
democracy in Kashmir’, it was emphasized
that one of the primary functions of civil
society, of which NGOs are a crucial part,
“was to ensure its ability to be a voice of
dissent.54” People in Kashmir have often
expressed their lack of trust in the
government, and it is widely believed that
“when governments come to power, they
tend to occupy too much space, illegitimately
encroaching upon the individual and
community rights. Because of the absence
of any controls they tend to become corrupt
and inefficient.” 55 NGOs and civil society,
thus, assume a crucial role to keep checks
on the government. Kashmiri civil society
activists acknowledge that though civil
society in Kashmir is “trying to create space
for dialogue and dissent”; it has not yet been
able to become “a viable force against the
abuse of power.”56 Acknowledging the
problem is half the solution, and efforts
seem to be underway to form organizations
that would be able to stand up to the
government and act as pressure groups to
prevent any excesses.
Amnesty International can be considered to
be one of these organizations. Even though
the activities of such international human
rights organizations have been limited, these
organizations have begun to criticize the
Government of reneging on its promises. In
a newspaper report published in a major
national daily, Amnesty International flayed
“the reported statement of J&K Chief
Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed of
‘reorienting’ the special operations group
(SOG) saying this amounted to backtracking
on promises to punish police personnel
guilty of committing human rights
violations.”57 The London-based
organization also criticized Mufti for allegedly
54 Fazili, n.14, p. 70.55 Ibid., p. 6956 Ibid., p. 7057 “Mufti backtracking on commitments on SOG:
Amnesty”, Hindustan Times, 8 January 2003
announcing that an amnesty would be
available to those who have reportedly
perpetrated abuses. Such reports by widely-
respected NGO’s are damning to the
reputation and image of the Government
and force the government to deliver on its
promises. Not only have human rights
abuses been ignored and gone unreported
on various occasions as we have seen, but
many organizations and the media have
been pressurized into toeing the line of the
Government. In another instance, the
Human Rights column in the Srinagar-based
English daily Greater Kashmir was severely
criticized by the Government, and the daily
was coerced into stopping the column
altogether. Many such instances have
occurred, which NGOs would do well to
highlight. Thus, NGOs and media have a lot
to gain from extensive co-operation as they
need each other for their effective
NGOs can also be a very effective tool to
ensure that the voices of the minorities and
other communities are heard. Certain
communities traditionally neglected by the
Government, often find their voice through
NGOs or community organizations. Panun
Kashmir and J&K Pandits Conference have
played this role in the past. However, they
often face problems of internal differences
and clashes of power, as Pandit
organizations based in Jammu have been
facing. Panun Kashmir, due to internal
differences split, leading to the mushrooming
of various Pandit organizations claiming to
be working for their welfare. Recently, a
report was carried by the Daily Excelsior on
how all the Kashmiri Pandit organizations
had sunk their differences and “unanimously
urged the State Government to extend its
healing touch policy to the community as
well, which has been the main victim of the
13 year long turmoil.” 58 Unity among such
organizations is the key to their success and
they would do well to guard themselves
against splits to maintain some sort of
leverage and legitimacy with government
Extensive interaction with the people of
Kashmir and NGO activists reveals the
immediate need for NGOs to enter the
psychiatric field in a big way. The conflict in
Kashmir has taken its toll of lives, but
58 “Mufti Government has contradictory policies
on Kashmir: KPs”, The Daily Excelsior, 6
children especially have been forced to grow
up in an environment where there has been
no love, no safety, no security, no schools,
no colleges, no means of having fun, no
mischief, nothing that comes along with a
normal life, more so a normal childhood.59
Thus, to ensure a bright future for the next
generation of Kashmiris, it is very important
for psychiatric services to be provided on a
war footing. While in 1990, there were, on an
average, just six patients approaching the
Psychiatric Diseases Hospital in Srinagar
daily; this number had gone up to 59 in 1994
and at present, on an average, about 200
patients turn up, which predictably enough,
is grossly understaffed. While there has
been a dramatic increase in psychiatric
disorders, mainly the Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder, there are only 7 psychiatrists and
one clinical psychologist for a population of
nearly four million60. Very few NGOs have
entered this field, primarily due to lack of
training to deal with such cases, and
secondly, due to social stigmas attached to
psychiatry. The general sentiment among
Kashmiris seems to be that “if anyone wants
to help us, let them come, heal us
psychologically, and help by establishing
psychiatric treatment centers.”61
Another area of concern is that of the
welfare of widows and orphans. As
mentioned earlier, there are a few
orphanages and widow welfare homes that
are active in Kashmir. However, the number
of orphans and widows that they collectively
take care of is abysmally low. Immediate
attention of NGOs as well as policy makers
is essential to bring back some sense of
normalcy in the lives of women and children,
both of which are probably the worst
affected groups of society in the past 14
years of militancy. While the politics and
violence associated with the resistance
movement in Kashmir continues it is
essential to recognize the importance of
59 O xfam, n.17
60 Arshad Hussain, Personal Interview, 18 July
2003. Dr. Hussain is a Psychiatric Doctor at
Psychiatric Hospital, Srinagar. Additional input
gathered from a report on MSF: Naqshab Afra,
Naheed Hamdani and Sue Prosser, “Medecins
Sans Frontieres Doctors without Borders in
Kashmir”, New Hope, vol. 3, no. 6, 2002, pp. 62
61 Informal chats with various people from all
walks of life in Kashmir, including NGO
activists, doctors, and common citizens, July
NGOs in Kashmir
maintaining the continuity of programs for
the welfare of women, especially widow, and
children so as to keep the foundations of
Kashmiri society intact. NGOs have a crucial
role to play in this ‘damage control’ exercise.
More orphan homes and widows homes and
opportunities for the women and children to
live their lives constructively is the need of
Employment generation-oriented schemes
sponsored either by the government or
initiated by NGOs through local self-help
groups need to be strengthened and taken
to the far-flung areas of the State which
remain neglected. Lack of education,
sanitation, health care, employment
opportunities, safety, and other basic
problems continue to affect the people living
in border areas, which are also the worst
affected by militancy. NGOs need to develop
infrastructure, in terms of manpower and
facilities to better implement the schemes
introduced by the Government. National and
International NGOs need to provide
guidance and financial support to local
NGOs and enhance their capabilities so as
to better fulfill their roles in society.
Similarly, on the environment front, there is
an immediate need for environmental groups
and environmental activists to raise their
voices to save the environmental heritage of
the State of Jammu & Kashmir. The
livelihood of many Kashmiris is dependent
on the health of the ecology and the
environmental balance. India has witnessed
exemplary environmental movements
including the Chipko movement and the
Narmada Bachao Andolan. These should
serve as an inspiration for environmental
activists to initiate movements on a war
footing to save the world-famous Dal and
Wular lakes along with the rich forest
heritage that Kashmir boasts. The work of
advocacy groups, such as those advocating
freedom of speech and expression,
protection of the freedom of the media, and
protection against human rights abuses is
essential for restoring the trust of the people
in the Government.
The collective aim of all the NGOs in
Kashmir should, thus, be to develop and
strengthen the civil society in Kashmir.
17 IPCS Research Paper 2
Many NGOs are unwilling to go into a
society that is deeply mired in violence and
where the last remnants of civil society have
long disappeared. This is an uphill task for
any NGO that begins to think about working
in Kashmir. This might be one of the reasons
for the lack of many NGOs in Kashmir, but it
canno t be the only one. Sri Lanka and
Palestine, both mired in conflict had also
turned violent before Kashmir, but present
examples that negate the violence
argument. This state of society should
attract the attention of even more NGOs.
On the national and i nternational level, there
is no dearth of NGOs working in different
fields. In view of the improving governance
position in Kashmir, the socio-political
situation is conducive for more NGOs to
enter Kashmiri society. It is high time some
of the more established NGOs come forward
with plans and programs to work in Kashmir,
giving special priority to the areas and
objectives outlined above. However,
Kashmir has a unique culture, altogether
different customs, traditions, and a distinct
faith. It is, therefore recommended that
national and international NGOs tie up with
local NGOs to work more effectively for the
welfare of the people of Kashmir.62 While
local NGOs might not be able to provide
infrastructure support, they can definitely
provide invaluable guidance and deeper
understanding of the local needs. At the
same time, the local NGOs would benefit
from the broader learning experience they
could gain by working with national and
In recent years, national and international
NGOs have started working towards peace
and reconciliation. However, they also need
to give top priority to working towards relief
and rehabilitation of the traumatized victims
of the last 14 years of militancy and
violence. Once a culture of peace and
normal life prevails in Kashmiri society, the
work of NGOs can be effective. Financial
transparency and working independently of
political agendas is essential. Most
importantly, the people of Kashmir have to
take the lead in the revival of civil society by
working towards the larger good of society,
and not depend on outsiders to come and
62 Author’s interviews with NGO activists, and
articles and speeches in Kashmir by local
activists on the future of civil society, July 2003.
help them. Thus, local initiative, commitment
and resolve combined with the
organizational and institutional guidance of
national and international organizations is
the way ahead for what is currently a dismal
situation as far as NGOs and civil society in
Kashmir is concerned.
Molestation of Kashmiri Women and Peace Process in South Asia
The State of Jammu and Kashmir is located in the heart of Asia. It is situated between 32.17 degree and 36.58-degree north latitude and 37.26 degree and 80.30-degree east longitude. The State is bounded by Pakistan in west, by China in northeast, by Afghanistan in northwest and shares borders with India in the south. The area of State of Jammu & Kashmir spreads over 85,806 square miles (222,236 square kilometers) Total population of the state stands at 13379917. The State of Jammu and Kashmir comprises 26 districts---14 districts of occupied Kashmir, 7 of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 5 of Northern Areas. Kashmir is a land of fableced beauty and elemal romance, blessed by nature with breath-taking. scenery and a glorious climate, the Kashmir valley, a fertile well-watered spot, surrounded by high mountains has been described with justification a heaven on earth, a produce rich oasis an area not noted for its abundance,Kashmir a land of lakes, clear streams, green turf,herbels magnificent trees and mighty mountains. Kashmir has a rich heritage of poets, writers, philosophers, intellectuals and craftsmen, but it has basically established itself as an agricultural economy. Kashmir is a place of saints, Sufis and its lot of historical Mosques, Tombs, Temples and Churches as well. Its place of great woman saint Lella Arifa and princess of Kashmiri poetry Habba Khatoon. Kashmiris form a distinct cultural & ethnic in the administrative unit of the Himalayan highest mountain range. Kashmir has been a highest learning centre of Persian and sansikrit.It is also been embracing point of advent of Islam bringing its fold finest traditions of Persian Civiliasation,tolerance,brotherhood and sacrifice.Ladakh has been the highest and living centre of Santayana Buddhism from hundred of years. Kashmir had 8 highest mountain range, the nanga Parbat is 270,00 feet and Nun ku & Nubr is 240,00 at most of mountains 180,00 feet and over.I bulous valleys and 4 margs in it. As the subcontinent was partitioned in 1947. The India occupied Jammu & Kashmir against its peoples will. Historically Kashmir was Independent state but under British ruled Kashmir had autonomy. The Britain sold this land to Hindu Maharaja Ghulab Singh for 7.5 millions Nanak shahi currencies in 1845. After that Kashmiri treated as chattels. He made their life miserable and crushed any resistance from them with a heavy hand. After him, his successor followed suiet.The Kashmir’s started resisting collectively in earlier 19th century. How ever, the Dogra ruler’s barbarity remained relentless. In 1947, his soldiers killed hundred of thousands of Muslims. India also send its troops and occupied the State of Jammu & Kashmir forcibly.Kashmiris revolted and got some areas of the state liberated, Which is calked Azad (Independent)Jammu & Kashmir.The United Nations Security Council and United Nations Commission for India & Pakistan (UNICP) in their resolutions called for holding a plebiscite in the state to determine the wishes of Kashmiris,whether they want to join India or Pakistan. India accepted these resolutions but, on one pretext is the other, did not implement the same. This further frustrated Kashmiris, fuelling the fire of their resentment. In the letter to United Nations on 31st December 1947, Indian Government promisedThat;“The people of Jammu & Kashmir would be free to decide their future by the recognized democratic method of plebiscite.”Since then, the peoples of Kashmir are struggling for their political and birth rights. Indian forces of occupation have committed massive human rights violation in Kashmir.Presently, the situation in Kashmir, according to international organizations & global media has not changed yet very much. It’s still alarming and sparking flames in South Asia, that more then seven hundred thousand Indian army deployed in a small 40 -80 square miles area is the heaviest concentration in human history, and its all without any moral, political and legal code. The 92 thousand Kashmiris are killed by Indian army in 17th Years.This epic struggle of the Kashmiri people for realization of their internationally acclaimed and inalienable rights to self-determination. It’s very much recognized in United Nations Security Council resolutions from 1947.When we are talking about Kashmir, its really very grieved and dangerous situation their. The widespread violations of international humanitarian law, Human & Civil rights and Geneva Convention in Kashmir. In United Nations resolution on April 211948 said that.“Both India & Pakistan desire that the question of the accession of Jammu & Kashmir to India and Pakistan should be decided through the democratic way of a free impartial plebiscite.”I just want to give you some very essential detail of Human rights violations committed by Indian armed forces in occupied KashmirSince from January 1989 to April 30, 2007.Total killing. 9I8 65 Custodial Killing 6,899Women gang raped & Molested 9,708Civilian arrested 113798Structures arsoned /Destroyed 105353Children orphaned 106,930Women widowed 22,530The International NGO’s Amnesty International, Human rights watch, Asia watch, Red Cross, Medicine sans frontier and all others are not allowed to visit Kashmir, beside that Asia Watch said in a report “Kashmir is under siege” Torture is widespread, particularly in the temporary detention centers, methods of torture include electric shock, prolonged beatings and sexual molestation of innocent women.Kashmir is a disputed territory. Presently, the cease¬fire line between the forces of India and Pakistan has divided Kashmir into two parts. One part is under Indian occupation: this comprises 63% of the whole territory and includes the Vale; it has a population 7.5 million. The other part, with approximately 3 million people, includes Azad Kashmir and the Northern region of Gilgit and Baltistan and is administered by Pakistan. About 1.5 million Kashmiris are refugees in Pakistan, some 400,000 live in Britain, and about 250,000 are scattered around the world. The present arbitrary bifurcation of Kashmir has resulted in the division of thousands of Kashmiri families.India is a big democratic and so call secular country; we are not against India, We just struggling for our own birth right to self-determination. The first Prime Minister of India Mr.Jawahar Lal Nehru promised 20 times in front of International community and United Nations for plebiscite in Kashmir, he said in 1957 that “We have given our pledge to the people of Kashmir and subsequently to the United Nations. We stood by it and we stand by it today. Let the people of Kashmir decide.”Kashmiri have no life safety and human honor their. Women are degraded and humiliated, almost 10 thousands women are raped, not only adult aged women even that eight years innocent girl is victimized. Every body know very well all Women have been a driving force in any nation and history bears testimony to the fact that they have played a vital role in shaping a nation’s future. I think it is also every women inner voice too; women have been accredited with the honor of making or breaking a country. Since the Indian government crackdown against Kashmiris in the disputed territory of Kashmir began in earnest in January 1990, security forces and Indian army have used rape as a weapon: to punish, intimidate, coerce, humiliate and degrade. Rape by Indian security forces most often occurs during crackdowns, cordon-and-search operations during which men are held for identification in parks or schoolyards while security forces search their homes. In these situations, the security forces frequently engage in collective punishment against the civilian population by assaulting residents and burning their homes. Rape is used as a means of targeting women whom the security forces accuse raping them, the security forces are attempting to punish and humiliate the entire community. Rape has also occurred frequently during reprisal attacks on civilians. In many of these attacks, the selection of victims is seemingly arbitrary and the women, like other civilians assaulted or killed, are targeted simply because they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The significance of rape as a gender-specific form of abuse in Kashmir must be understood in the context of the subordinate status of women generally in South Asia, as in much of the rest of the world. Women who are the victims of rape are often stigmatized, and their testimony and integrity impugned. Social attitudes which cast the woman, and not her attacker, as the guilty party pervade the judiciary, making rape cases difficult to prosecute and leaving women unwilling to press charges. This topic will consider the international legal response to rape and other forms of sexual abuse committed against women during the course of an armed conflict, its incidence, impact and consequences. Although both children and women can be and are raped, causing severe injury for both, in terms of numbers rape is essentially a crime committed against women. Further, women suffer from particular after-effects in rape that are not shared by men.Different examples by international media can be given for the exposing victimized Kashmiri women situation, like inBadasgam Village - during the intervening night of 17/18th May, 1990, bus #1317 carrying 27 persons holding valid permission from BSF, of a marriage party, was stopped near Badasgam village, district Islamabad crossing about 23.30 hours by BSF patrolling party. The BSF personnel opened indiscriminate firing upon the bus. M. Abdullah S/O Gani Malik R/O Lisser died instantaneously. Bridegroom and eight other persons accompanying him received injuries. Bride and her chamber-maid was gang raped by the BSF personnel. The bride was taken away by them leaving behind chamber-maid and subsequently released after 48 hours. The bus was removed to district Police lines; it had seventy-eight bullet-hole marks. A case was duly registered in the concerned Police station and an inquiry was conducted by the then DIG Kashmir and a medical report also obtained duly proved the lady was raped. However despite the assurances given by the Government from time to time for taking necessary action against the culprits, Government authorities have failed to bring the culprits on record. The normal trend of the Government during these years is to hide the atrocities committed by the Indian armed and paramilitary forces in order to dodge the Amnesty International and the world Human Rights Organization.Various NGOs and human rights organizations are working for feminism and other civil & social rights, but in my opinion no satisfied work regarding Kashmiri women‘s safety and modesty. Women and Children are the victim of the worst human rights violations in this area of armed conflicts and ethnic war. It is crystal clear that sexual violence, which was used to subjugate and destroy a people as a form of ethnic cleansing, was an abhorrent and heinous war crime. These persistent and gross abuses, flagrant denials of the human rights of women and their right to life itself, demanded an urgent response from international human rights bodies. Different reports shows us clear picture of this sensitive situation in Kashmir. NGO Counter Currents has reported that painful circumstances 31 March 2007,However, records suggest that during the last seventeen years state government did initiate judicial inquiry in two cases of rape from Kashmir province, reports of which have been submitted to the government but action is yet to be taken. All the five committees of department of crime and railways which were entrusted with the job of finding truth about five allegations of rape have submitted their report since long but action is yet to be taken over them. According to data maintained by a media portal of United Kingdom (UK) on reported cases of rape and molestation in which security forces were allegedly involved, nearly 500 women Sewer raped in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir between 1990-1994. Media portal maintains that it has compiled the reports from what was reported by state media. The portal maintains that non-governmental organizations (NGO) hardly took interest in documenting the plight of these silent sufferers of Jammu and Kashmir. According to the newspaper reports, take the case of alleged gang-rape and molestation of seven ladies at Hyhama, Batapora in District Kupwara. As per a report, on June 17, 1994, troops of Rashtriya Rifles accompanied by two officers Major Ramesh and Raj Kumar entered into village Hyhama and allegedly raped and molested seven women. Reports maintain that next day; people took to streets to protest against the incident. Even the insane were not spared. According to reports, security forces allegedly raped an old lady who was mentally ill in a house at Barbar Shah in Srinagar on January 5, 1991. Perturbed over the incident, locals lodged an FIR with concerned police station. Medical reports confirmed that she had been raped. She died in 1998 with her FIR awaiting action from the state government. Media reports maintain that at Wanagam Kokernag in Anantnag, women who were collecting fire wood in nearby forest were allegedly molested by the forces during crackdown on May 9, 1994. In another case, reports said that at Manigah in Kupwara, three ladies were raped during crackdown in a house on May 14, 1994. An FIR stands registered in the concerned Police station concerned. Apart from this, Locals also protested and demonstrated against this incident.There are many other such cases which have been reported by state media. But with victims reluctant to come forward; Documentation of these cases could never take place. Failure in documentation of these cases has worsened the situation. According to a 1994 United Nations publication from 1990 to 1996, 882 women were reportedly gang-raped by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir. But Social Stigma associated with word Rape has made work of human rights and women NGOs cumbersome. They say that women are reluctant to come forward. They maintain that the sordid story of Konan-Poshpura in Kupwara has been repeated over and again. According to reports, in the year 1991, on the night of February 22-23 troops of 5th Rajputana rifles allegedly raped 30 women in Kunan-Poshpura in Kupwara aged between 18 to 85 years.16 years have passed since the incident took place; no marriage has taken place in Kunan Poshpura. Reports indicate that a few have been psychologically affected. Awaiting justice, these unfortunate mothers and daughters get a mention every where no support. And in the recent times, in November 2004 the alleged rape of a mother-daughter duo by security forces in Badar payein, Handwara sparked protests across Kashmir. The incident was preceded by another one in Mattan Anantnag where a woman was allegedly gang raped by troops of Indian Rashtriya Rifles. Various female Social workers say that state media and human rights groups have not reported the incidents of rape and molestation with greater interest, hence expecting the same from international groups becomes a little harsh. Deeply Painful circumstances in Kashmir, women have no right to go court, it is absolutely damage their legal rights. Extra Judicial killings, rapes, custodial killings, kidnappings, burning of houses by Indian security forces within IHK remain a common practice. The whole IHK has risen against the Indian Army and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act AFSPA and POTA that enables the Indian Army to arrest and kill anyone, anytime, anywhere, in a bid to suppress the ongoing Kashmir liberation movement, the Indian authorities have laid a network of torture cells to practice human rights violations. In these torture cells, the worst repressive means such as electric shocks, ironing of sensitive parts of body, are practiced against the innocent Kashmiris without caring for the age and health conditions. Besides, the female folk are also taken to these centers where they are reportedly gang-raped for protesting against the Indian brutalities or filing complaints against terrorizing of their near and dear ones. This poverty struck women have nothing to feed their children. A number of insecurities hunt them in the absence of their husband. Their husbands went missing and they could not even wail over their missing husbands.1000half-widows, whose husbands have disappeared but not been proven dead. Their children were killed in front of their eyes and yet they are doing rounds of the government offices to prove that their children were killed in cold blood. The dreaded attack by soldiers and an assault on their honor and body remains in the minds of every woman in Kashmir; at all times.The young widows and teenaged orphan girls are facing more problems due to their youth as they are always at danger of getting molested or raped. It is matter of concern that most of the married women face the problem of miscarriages, which is one of the fastest growing problem in the rural and border areas of Kashmir. Reasons could be many but with health department virtually unaware of this new problem, speculating anything might be problematical. No body enjoys the safety of honor as human being, this is not related with Muslims, and all other religious minorities are facing these credible things. Last week on Sikh woman is burnt with her innocent child by Indian army. Indian security forces have also repeatedly raided hospitals and other medical facilities, even pediatric and obstetric hospitals. Injured patients have been arrested from hospitals, in some cases after being disconnected from life-sustaining treatments. The security forces have also discharged their weapons within hospital grounds and inside hospitals, and have entered operating theatres and destroyed or damaged medical supplies, transports and equipment. Doctors and other medical staff frequently have been threatened, beaten and detained. Several have been shot dead while on duty; others have been tortured. Many of those seeking medical care are released detainees who have been subjected to torture. In fact, virtually everyone taken into custody by the security forces in Kashmir is tortured. Torture is practiced to coerce detainees to reveal information about suspected militants or to confess to militant activity. It is also used to punish detainees who are believed to support or sympathize with the militants and to create a climate of political repression. The practice of torture is facilitated by the fact that detainees are generally held in temporary detention centers, controlled by the various security forces, without access to the courts, relatives or medical care. Methods of torture include severe beatings, electric shock, and suspension by the feet or hands, stretching the legs apart, burning with heated objects and sexual molestation. One common form of torture involves crushing the leg muscles with a heavy wooden roller. This practice results in the release of toxins from the damaged muscles that may cause acute renal (kidney) failure. This report documents a number of such cases which required dialysis. Since 1990, doctors in Kashmir have documented 37 cases of torture-related acute renal failure; in three cases the victims died. Daily Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin Janwala said on March 26th 2006 that,” In the last 16 years the women of Kashmir have had to bear male vengeance in silence and they have been unable to find spare to transcend that. While I don’t have exact statistics, estimates given by various organizations place widowed between 30 000 to 40 000 and Orphans between 50 000 to 80 000.the raped women are doubly victimized and have to live the rest of their carrying to stamp of stigma in silence.” In Kashmir 70 per cent increase in graveyards area in past 10 years of militancy. Youth have been about 80 per cent of the victims in the age of 15 to 30 years. Even girls have been killed the number of rapes is alarming even though no data of rapes is available as most of these were not reported threats and extortions have been strong and numerous allegations of human rights abuses against security forces. The Human rights Watch reported that “Events in occupied Kashmir remained among the most serious Human rights situation in Asia.” The European Parliament 4 members delegation headed by Ms.Anita Pollack of Socialist Party said in her report that.” The European Parliament is deeply concerned about Human rights situation in Occupied Kashmir.” New UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon last month said that.” Kashmir is a long standing issue, while should be resolved through peaceful means. The UN military observer group in India and Pakistan monitors the situation in Kashmir and keep the UN informed of the development.” The peace process is begin from three years between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, Its dozens of talks going on since from 60 years, In three wars in 1947,1965 and in 1971 , thousand of innocent peoples from both sides have been killed, In international boarder every day firing incidents committed by Indian army continuesly.Four agreements the Tashkent declaration on 10 Jan 1966,The Simla Agreement in 1972,The Islamabad Agreement in 23 Jan 1997,The Lahore Declaration on 21 Feb. 1999 and the Agra Summit on 6 of January 2004 had have been decided but just on papers and luxury discussions not in practical. The United Nations had 6 resolutions passed time to time but justice, implementation of these resolutions been still delayed. From day of first Indian leadership, premiers Presidents and all parties heads even the Father of India Mr. Mahatma Gandhi also Said on 29th July 1947 that,” The People of Kashmir should be asked whether they want to join Pakistan and India. Let then do as they want. The ruler is nothing. People are every thing.” The people of Kashmir demanded an end to the military occupation of their land. Because they demand what they have been pledged by both India and Pakistan and guaranteed by the United Nations Security Council with the unequivocal endorsement of the United States,demilitrisation of Kashmir and a free plebiscite vote organized impartially. Peoples of Kashmir still are boutures by Indian army and day by day the situation increasing, The creak downs and bloodshed going on every day and every where in Kashmir.This is a right time for United Nations, European Union and Organization of Islamic Conference and other powers to start the negotiation and mediation with Kashmiri leadership and influential organizations from both sides of Kashmir. Because both Countries Pakistan and India have got nuclear capacity because of Kashmir. If Kashmiris not getting their birth right in near future, it can be nuclear war in South Asia and 100 millions peoples can die in that war. Political pundits predict cloud of nuclear war is seeing on sky of South Asia clearly. In these difficult circumstances, this dress code edict is simply misplaced, if not a deliberately planted red herring. More pain for the Kashmiri women, thousands of whom have already lost their husbands, sons and loved ones to the bullets and atrocities of the marauding Indian soldiers and many of whom have also fallen victim to their sexual harassment and molestation. The European parliament has adopted MEP Ms.Emma Nicholson report titled” Kashmir; Present situation and future prospects” on 25 of May 2007, by an overwhelming 522 votes in favor to 19 votes against. The report recognized Kashmiris right to self-determination, deploring massive human rights abuses in Jammu & Kashmir, encouraging the Peace process between India and Pakistan and emphasizing inclusion of Kashmiris in the Peace process. The Amnesty International released a latest Global report 2007 said in that there is many violence, torture, custodial deaths enforced disappearances and extra-judicial executions continued in Jammu & Kashmir in the year 2006.The topic of Kashmir is very long and most sympathetic; if we talk on this many days will take for this, now I am going to close this discussion. I would like to say about this panic topic, Rape in war is not merely a matter of chance, of women victims being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nor is it a question of sex. It is rather a question of power and control which is `structured by male soldiers' notions of their masculine privilege, by the strength of the military's lines of command and by class and ethnic inequalities among women. Integrity and progress of Kashmir is not central question but most important figure freedom is greatest blessing of the world. After a long struggle of sacrificing, they don’t adopting another way. I like to say at the end, Kashmir is raising flame, which is increasing speedily. If United Nations, European Union and other world wide NGO’s are not succeeded to find out acceptable solution without the participation of kashmiris ,so this flame is alarming world peace, will cause disaster of this part of South Asia, may be it will demolish at all. World powers and Global Institutions to understand absolute this burning issue. Every Institution gives message of peace and tolerance, but its need of time go-ahead, recognize the humanity, every Kashmiri is waiting you with anxiously, to somebody come and help for attaining the taste of freedom. God may give us a strength and spirit to uplift justice and peace, and upgrade our voice against cruel and injustice in Kashmir and else where, I am a women so I understand feelings and emotions, inner voice of every Kashmiri woman.Miss Farhat Jabeen M.PhilStudent of PhDAssociated with Institute of Peace and Development (INSPAD)Farhat.firstname.lastname@example.org