Lockdown, communication blockade take heavy toll on life of Kashmiri women

Srinagar:  Nine-months pregnant Batul Khan trembles with fear when she thinks about her expected delivery date.  With just two weeks left for her delivery, she has been getting bouts of depression wondering how her parents could shift her to hospital during restrictions.

“I wish mobile phones could function so that I could contact my husband in emergency. My husband lives in Dargah-Hazratbal with his mother and it is not possible for him to reach here because vehicular movement is not allowed in the downtown area,” said Batul, who is putting up with her parents at Nawa Bazar.

 

Sensing the family’s predicament, one of Batul’s neighbours has assured her father that he would shift his daughter to hospital in his car no matter how strict the restrictions would be.

 “When I was taken to the hospital for general checkup last week, we were stopped by police at several places. We had to hit another route to reach LD hospital,” she said.

Batul is a classic case of pain and trauma being faced by the people particularly women in Kashmir. For the last over three weeks, life has been hit across the valley given the strict restrictions imposed by government under Section 144 CrPC.

Shazia Wani, a research scholar, has been struggling to concentrate on her studies though she has ample time available.  With no phone or internet facility available, she has become a sitting duck at home.

“I am unable to continue my research work. Neither internet nor phones are working. I have no option left but to sit home. It is very difficult for a girl like me to sit idle. People are slipping into depression,” Shazia said.

Hailing from Fathe Kadal in downtown, Shazia had qualified National Eligibility Teaching (NET) in Library science last year. She was all geared up to apply for PhD this year. For that she needs to prepare a research paper.

 “Neither I have any contact nor can I visit my fellow colleagues. Hundreds of security forces are deployed on streets and no transport is allowed to ply in our area,” Shazia rued.

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