Hajin: Encounter with Covid-19

Local administration, civil society, healthcare professionals, students – all fought against the pandemic
File Pic
File Pic

As the worldis grappling with the deadly Covid-19 Pandemic, so is Jammu and Kashmir; newpositive cases with each passing day. In Kashmir region besides those who testedpositive, many more are under quarantine.

The HajinTehsil in the North Kashmir's Bandipora district is the hot-spot so far inKashmir. In March, four people from Hajin town with travel history testedpositive creating an alarming situation. Exaggeration by the media, terming the area "Wuhan" of Kashmir added tomiseries and frustration of the people of Hajin. Amid chaos the civiladministration and civil society did a tremendous job to contain the furtheroutbreak of the pandemic in the area.

In thesetough times an all-around collective work was the need of an hour to beat thepandemic. More so, to help the destitute and the needy people was a newchallenge.

It is truethat the healthcare professionals and other medical staff all over the worldare playing a vital role in beating the deadly pandemic, doctors and paramedicsin the Hajin Tehsil have no different story.

Withinsufficient facilities available, their role to fight against an invisibleenemy is commendable. They work tirelessly at the risk of their lives and theirfamilies.

The civiladministration and the police round the clock are also doing an outstanding jobto beat the virus. While the role of police in ensuring the social distancingin the area is appreciable, it is due to their tireless work and dedicationthat people remained indoors.

TheMunicipal community Hajin served not only the area within its jurisdiction butalso non- municipal areas of the Tehsil.

The role ofcivil society is equally praiseworthy. The Traders' Federation and the reliefcommittees of the area took a lead to serve the needy during the completelockdown. They are doing their job in the best way possible without anypublicity.  The Trader's Federation and therelief committees are very much supportive with the concerned departments likepolice and civil administration to stop the further spread of COVID- 19.

A young manwho is running a Khidmat Center in the middle of the Hajin town reached out topeople with small micro ATM machine and delivered cash at their door steps whenno one was allowed to come out of his home.

The role ofthe students' association of Hajin and the Sonawari Friends Committee Naidkhaicannot be ignored.   Both are working asthe volunteers to feed the needy and poor families of the Hajin Tehsil.

Thestudents' association working under the supervision of few teachers of theHajin is doing an outstanding job to serve the daily needs of the poorfamilies.

Theassociation reached out to more than 450 families to support them.  In addition, in the Naidkhai area, a groupnamed Sonawari volunteers headed by a social activist is serving the societyamid the Pandemic crisis. It is said  onehundered and seventy families have been served by the group and each familypacket it served costs nearly rupees seven hundred without any support from thegovernment or any NGO.

In the lowerbelt of Hajin Tehsil including  Madwan,Prang Maqdamyari, Banyari, the civil society organizations like Khairati Idaraare playing a significant role in fulfilling the daily expenditure and otheressential items of the needy families. The organization has served many widowswith medicine, kitchen items and other daily requirements. Moreover, thegovernment employees from various areas have also created small units to servethe needy people of the Hajin Tehsil.

The teachersand the religious scholars are also playing a significant role in awakening ofthe masses about the Pandemic. Many teachers and scholars are frequentlyuploading their videos on social media to make people aware in Kashmirilanguage about the do's and don'ts of the pandemic.

In addition,the President of the Awakaaf Committee repeatedly shared his advisory videos onFace-book and requested masses of the area to offer their prayers at homeduring the wholly month of Ramdhan. The committee is also committed todistribute money among the needy.

It is notthe first time that the people of Hajin Tehsil are showing their strongsocietal bond against an adversity. The people helped each other during thedevastating floods of 2014.

Let's thank,for their role, all those frontline workers including doctors, paramedics,journalists, humanitarian organizations and the individuals associated withother relief work across the globe and on local levels.

Author is Post-Graduate in International Relations (Peace and Conflict Studies) IUST, Awantipora

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