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Kamal expresses concern over increased cases of suicide in Kashmir

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Tuesday expressed deep sorrow over the increased cases of suicide in Kashmir, saying the unfortunate trend is emblematic of distress found in the people of Kashmir due to the complex problems which have pestered Kashmir since 2019.

According to JKNC spokesperson, Party Additional General Secretary Dr. Sheikh Mustafa Kamal expressed concern over the increase in the suicide related cases in Kashmir.

He said that it is distressing to hear about people taking such drastic steps. “The unfortunate trend is an ultimate sign of the distress, the people of Kashmir are undergoing.”

“Every now and then an attempt to suicide is foiled; many such attempts have resulted in loss of precious lives. Various spots in valley, especially the bridges and river sides have become hot spot of such drastic incidents. The spike in the psychiatric morbidity has created a deep sense of unease in the society,” he said.

In most of the cases, Dr. Kamal said that the reason behind such drastic steps undertaken by people especially the youth is the financial distress, reduced income, unemployment, job losses and other compound issues which have aggravated in wake of the prevalent uncertainty and political void. “The inadequate mental health care facilities, counseling centers, and failure of the religious and community leaders to rise up to the occasion has made such distressed people more vulnerable to psychological morbidity.”

“Failure of the incumbent administration to deliver on its promise to provide jobs to youth in both private and public sector has further compounded the scenario. The sluggish requirement process that has marred the PSC, JKSSB and other recruitment agencies is also one of the factors that has traumatized the educated and skilled youth of ours,” he said.

With Kashmir beseeching for good governance, development and post COVID-19 recovery and sustenance plan, Kamal said that the incumbent administration is clueless about the issues concerning the people. “I hope the recurring incidents will act a wakeup call to the incumbent administration to act against the unfortunate trend. It is expected that the administration will increase the vigil near such suicide hot spots and undertake a proper safety audit of all bridges in Srinagar. Fencing of the either sides of the Srinagar bridges can help thwart such attempts by people to end life. In addition to it deployment of NDRF and Navy personnel near such bridges can help save many lives,” he said.

He said the issue needs to be addressed by making some changes at policy level as well. “The requirement process which has been marred by inordinate delays should be increased. Govt should also consider doling out monthly allowances to unemployed youth. A sustenance package for people involved in handicraft, tourism, travel, transport, labor and other unorganized sectors will go a long way in assuaging the distressed people. Society as a whole has to come forth to ensure that such distressed people are taken care of,” he said.

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