In the recent snowfall we again came face to face with certain realities of our life. The closure of roads, the shortage of essentials in certain areas, the disruption in essential services like electricity, and the chaotic scenes of traffic jams on the roads – all this is perennially associated with climatic disturbances like a heavy snowfall. But what we usually forget in this is the hardships faced by the older members in our families, and those who face any disability. These two sections of our population suffer hugely in any natural or man made disastrous situation. Since a heavy snowfall is a near-disaster situation in Kashmir, these two categories of our population find themselves confronted withe a huge challenge. Take the example of the older ones. On a normal day such people face difficulty in moving from one place to another. But in case of a snowfall it becomes impossible for them to move outside. That brings loads of stress on them. And in case they face some ailment, for which a consultation with a doctor is needed, or some medical investigation is required, things really turn traumatic for them.
It is unfortunate that we have no arrangements at an institutional level to deal with such a problem. Same is the fate of those who face any disability. This section of population is talked about much, but there is least that we do about making their lives easier. At a time when their scope of movement for a normal person is curtailed, imagine a person with disability. What must be he facing in this situation. These people have normal needs, and beyond that they need external help for meeting these needs. But in any disaster like situation, they are left to fend for themselves. This was the time when we should have been with them, and arranged more help and assistance than in normal situations. But, unfortunately, this is the time we leave them all alone. It is time we think, as a society, and in an institutional manner, about these vulnerable sections of our population.