This winter left many a lesson for all of us living in this valley – government as well as society. At both the levels there is a need to remember these take aways, and factor them in, while we make policies and live our lives as individuals, families, and overall as a society. An inclement weather for an extended period didn’t just close down the Jammu-Srinagar Highway, but made the movement of people difficult in the interiors of the valley as well.
So the first lesson for all of us is that our road clearance is not as quick, and as efficient as it must be. In this scenario, the healthcare problems arise for the areas that remain out of bounds for a day or more. Second lesson is to ensure that the critical care, and emergency health procedures must be carried out in these areas at a local level. Would that be possible, is for the concerned departments to work out. In case all of it is not possible, then at least do we have emergency carrier services in place. We have a year now at our disposal.
The choice is that we forget the matter in all the sunny months and when it strikes us again – a heavy snowfall, an extended rainfall – we wake up to it then. If the past record is any guide on this the later is more likely. The only thing that can change it, is a consistent reminder from the relevant sections, like media, political parties, and independent civil society formations. What is also required is a regular administrative drill on all these matters.
Another major lesson that we learnt is the problems we face in terms of shortage of essential. What administration can do in this regard is to enhance the storage capacity of the valley, as we had a news-report that right now we are lagging behind in this regard. Another, as a society we must give up this trend of insane hoarding. A family that requires 10 units of a thing for the entire winter, stocks many folds over. This leads to avoidable crisis.
Another lesson for us as a society is to look back and think of those local practices of dried eatables, and make this practice little modern, little more hygienic, and turn it into a good economic activity. Of course, we cannot control weather, but we can change our attitude towards the crisis, and prepare in advance.