Srinagar, Mar 23: Expressing serious concern over the widening social and economic divisions, which make infectious diseases deadlier across the world, Jammu Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Monday emphasized on the need for a Community Based Disaster Management (CBDM) to stem the spread of Coronavirus disease in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement issued here, Bukhari appealed his party colleagues and cadres to work together to assess the vulnerability of people in their respective areas and respond accordingly to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 in their immediate neighborhoods.
“In societies where the virus hits, it is deepening the consequences of inequality, pushing many of the burdens onto the underprivileged and marginalized sections of the society and lower economic strata. We should not expect everything from the government and should instead adopt a community-based approach to tackle this pandemic,” Bukhari observed.
He said the community-based disaster management warrants the affluent classes of Jammu and Kashmir to come forward and mitigate the impact of identified hazards of this deadly disease and respond and rehabilitate their neighbors who are in dire need of their help. “Social distancing does not mean that we will take care of our families alone while sitting indoors. In these hard times, we should not forget our social and moral responsibility to look after our poor neighbors whose livelihood has got worst hit by the mandatory restrictions imposed by the government,” the JKAP president remarked.
He said that there is a dire need to reach out to the daily rated workers, daily wagers, ITI skilled labourers, casual labourers, construction workers, vendors, and other sections of the society whose livelihood has been badly affected by the lockdown. “While these sections of the society will remain healthy by the home confinement but they are suffering the loss of income or health care as a result of quarantines and other measures, potentially on a sweeping scale. To begin with, I appeal to my party colleagues and cadres to come forward to help such affected families irrespective of their faith and beliefs,” he observed.
Bukhari demanded that all BPL beneficiaries be given free ration by the government through the Public Distribution System and the government must ensure that this ration is home delivered to these families in order to prevent jumbling at government depots and fair price shops across Jammu and Kashmir.
The JKAP president also urged the central government to restore the high-speed mobile internet services in Jammu and Kashmir so as to enable people to keep themselves updated with the government advisories on prevention of COVID on a real-time basis. “At a time when the whole world is reeling under the COVID pandemic, restoration of 4G and high-speed internet services should not be delayed for any other consideration. The high-speed mobile internet services can help students and the business community especially the youth working in the private sector to remain indoors and prevent the spread of the pandemic,” he remarked further. (KNT)