Development should reach all
The Twin Districts Of Rajouri And Poocnh Should Get Their Due
PIR PANCHAL BY MUHAMMAD RAFI KHAN
The Peer Panchal region lies on western side of Jammu and Kashmir comprising Rajouri, Poonch districts. The total area is around 5304 sq kms. The population of the region is more than twelve lakhs. This is the region of the state which has been suffering from the agonies of 1947, 1965, 1971 and is the worst sufferer. When we have an overview of the ground realities we come across shocking facts.
Education is basis of all developments but the educational standards are far below in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch than the rest of the state. Majority of the students don’t complete even their school up to the 10th level due to the financial constraints uncertainty career. The major causes of educational backwardness are rigid caste system, traditional beliefs, orthodoxy, extreme poverty and non availability of educational facilities. They prefer the children to rear cattle in the field or to work as labourers and earn money to fulfill the basic needs of the family, instead of sending them to school. They are not aware of the legal restriction on the child labour. Same is the case with other important sectors like health and medical facilities. In the region majority of the people are suffering due to lack of health facilities. More than 80% of the sub centers are without buildings, all the Medical Sub Centers are without public utilities, even the PHCs are running in similar condition.
In developmental disparity can be observed when the work performance is evaluated in context of roads connectivity. Now the works initiated in 1974 are still could not complete; one among them is a road connecting Rajouri-Poonch Highway with Thannamandi, just 21 Kms. Rajouri-Poonch Mughal road leading to the Valley has somewhat similar history.
In education sector, Jammu has 2,278 government and private run primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools, whereas, in Poonch and Rajouri, the number is only 10,65 and 1,400, respectively.
The government of Jammu and Kashmir tried to mitigate the regional disparity by providing scheduled tribe status in 1991, to a section of the society and also granted reservation for backward areas. The provisions have created intra-regional conflict between ignored and reserved sections; it has created another problem which is a threat to the unity of the region as well as the state. Thus pick and choose approach for a particular section for the developmental process has not proved successful.
Socio-cultural and economic backwardness caused by regional disparity can be solved by the diversified and demographically relevant approaches of the State and Central Governments as well as the united efforts of the political leaders and civil society of the region.
Thus, the foremost duty of the local educated youth and political leaders is to enlighten the illiterate and poor people about the progressive ways of life and utilization of their talent for the betterment of the region. The whole region should be brought on the map of national as well as international tourism on the pattern of valley of Kashmir, as these areas are also famous for their scenic beauty with rich socio cultural heritage.
Regional equality can be maintained if a development council is provided for the region of Rajouri-Poonch. It would be most effective approach for the development of the whole region. Its aim is to register prompt monitoring of the development works. This opportunity for the region will change the perceptions of discrimination among the people with respect to employment. This would be the most effective and democratic step for the eradication of all types of regional imbalances.
Author is President Hamdard Foundation Thanna Mandi
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Mar 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Mar 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 22 Mar 2012 00:00:00 IST
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