The cool mornings, shorter days, and longer nights announce the arrival of winters in the Kashmir valley. As it looks gloomy with an overcast sky outside, it appears somber inside with no electricity and sinking economy. It also looks sad and depressing when the thoughts of a long winter ahead occupy our minds. No matter what we think or do, winter is here and there is a long way to go before we can greet the spring. The question is that with a falling economy, an uncertain politics, and an ever looming danger of new turns and twists in our collective situation, would this winter be darker than before. We already know that winter comes with a bagful of hardships for us, ranging from frozen water pipes to dead power lines, but this time the condition of people in terms of economy might make it more difficult than ever before. We all know that winter is not just a change in the season, but a radical shift in the living pattern. Winter entails more expenses for an average household.
The escalation in the household expenditure is fulsome. You need warm clothes, you need warm beddings, you need to heat up the interiors, you need more energy to cook and keep it warm, you need more electricity, you need to take care of the health as is faces danger of diseases. You need to take care of your elders, and also of the children. All this requires more money, and with the kind of economic downturn that we have faced for the past more than a year, one can envisage the hardships that people will have to face. The question that pops up is that would people, in such circumstances, fall prey to mental health hazards. In Kashmir the number of people facing depression has already risen for the last one year. The reasons for this are known to all, and COVID 19 came as a shock over and above. In such a situation who is going to take care of the poor, and the middle class families whose economies are under sever strain for past more than a year.