Srinagar: While expressing serious concern over the plight of J&K students stranded in different parts of the country and outside India due to COVID19 lockdown, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Saturday urged the administration to make special arrangements to bring them back to their homes, the way other states are doing.
Living under constant fear and distress, thousands of students from J&K are stranded in various parts of the country and outside India with their families worried about their health and well-being. They are seeking help as they are unable to return back home due to the travel restrictions imposed by the government to contain the spread of the cornavirus.
J&K students stuck in various parts of India want to return back to their homes and are persistently appealing the government to evacuate them. In many cases they are facing financial distress after their education institutions were shut down after the announcement of COVID19 lockdown. Several state governments have either brought back students of their states or are planning to do so.
Last week the Uttar Pradesh government sent 250 buses to pick up about 9,000 stranded students and drop them to their native districts from Kota in Rajasthan. Simiar initiatives are being taken by other states as well. J&K authorities should also think on similar pattern to bring back the stranded people across the country, especially north India. Similarly from Bangladesh to Kyrghyzstan and from UK to Ukraine, many are fast running out of money while others fear they may die. Government of India must take up the issue with the respective governments and Indian embassies to mitigate the sufferings of these students. Also, the Center must arrange special flights to facilitate return of stranded J&K residents to their homeland, the way flights have been arranged to shift citizens of other countries who were stuck in various parts of the India.
Also thousands of labourers, shawl/handicraft vendors are struck in different parts of the country. These workers are facing scarcity of food and shelter. They have exhausted their earnings and are facing immense difficulties. The miseries of these stranded people amid coronavirus pandemic and lockdown have worsened.
As these stranded labourers could not return home on time, the agriculture and horticulture work has badly been hit in J&K due to non-availability of the labour. As this is a peak season for agriculture and horticulture activities in Kashmir, the return of stranded labourers will not only mitigate the suffering of their families, but also prove beneficial for agriculture and horticulture.
Even Kashmiris stranded in Jammu which is part of the same state are not being brought back by the administration which is unfortunate. Without undermining the efforts to combat COVID-19, a serious view should be taken to facilitate the return of all these stranded persons. After their return, they can be kept under mandatory quarantine, if required.