This year began with a harsh note; a heavy snowfall. The usual disruptions came in the wake, as is always expected in Kashmir. Roads closed, electricity mostly gone, the transmission lines damaged, trees bent over and at many places branches breaking from the main trunk. The old and the sick are particularly affected, as the cold wave grips us. In case a sick person has to be taken to hospital, it is a nightmare for the person and the family. Though a kind of normal with Kashmir, but this time it has been more agonising than all the earlier occasions. The reason is that people are already under deep stress for now almost two years. The businesses have come crashing down, the jobs have been lost like anything, the income levels have drastically reduced, and the mental burdens have accumulated to a level that is very dangerous. In such a situation when more disruptions happen, and the atmosphere turns gloomy by its very appearance, people suffer psychologically. In this state of layered burden it is very difficult to maintain poise and calm. So that way it is a time of mental crisis. This is one aspect of the troubles heaped on us by this kind of a heavy snowfall. But beyond this there are more severe challenges. And these are faced by those unfortunate people who live on the margins of our geography. These areas receive much more snowfall than other areas, and are equipped much less to face the harsh effects of this snowfall. If there is a case of some sick person needing hospitalisation in these far flung areas, it is almost a given that the person has to be left to the mercy of God.
These areas are truly without any access in case of a heavy snowfall. Not just that, there are many houses, if they can be called houses, that collapse under the burden of the snow that accumulates. Imagine the affliction these people suffer when, in this harsh, winter they are left homeless. And about the provisions and basic amenities of life in these areas, particularly in this situation, less said the better. The government needs to do some substantial work in these areas so that the people living there are not left to face the fury of weather all on their own. After all they are humans like us, and their needs are similar to ours. They yearn for same safety and comfort as do those who live in cities and towns. Their sick also deserve treatment and their children also need to pursue education and go up the ladder of economic prosperity. At this time when the heavy snowfall brings us face to face wthe challenges brought by an inclement weather, we need to think of those who are in a far more terrible situation than us. And then they face it without anyone listening to them.