Jammu Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Tuesday reiterated his demand for providing free ration, medicines and other essential commodities to the BPL families and other economically weaker working classes especially living in border districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement issued here, Bukhari said that the a vast majority of population living in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir comprises of below poverty line and marginalized sections and need special attention of the government in the prevailing situation.
The JKAP president said that for residents of these borderlands most of whom work as porters with Indian army; the livelihood has been hit hard by the COVID pandemic. “The J&K government must address woes of their families and reach out to them in this hour of crisis at least with free ration, medicines and other essential commodities to prevent them from this deadly disease in keeping with the social isolation norms into consideration,” Bukhari demanded.
Giving instances of few villages of border district Kupwara, Bukhari said that he has been receiving distress calls that families of porters and a vast section of BPL population is facing immense difficulties and are at the verge of facing starvation. “I have been informed by JKAP cadres that inhabitants of villages like Manzpathara, Manchatra, Khanbal, Budnambal and Zunreshi in district Kupwara are craving for basic necessities like ration and fuel. How can government expect them to maintain social distancing when they have nothing to eat and keep themselves confined to their homes?” Bukhari asked.
The JKAP president urged the Lieutenant Governor G.S Murmu to order all border district administration in Jammu and Kashmir to reach out to such underprivileged sections and provide them free ration and other items necessary for their sustenance. “The district administrations should act as per their databases available with them and in addition they should deploy their field officers to contact such families which are in dire need of official support to safely pass this period of Pandemic,” Bukhari appealed.
He also appealed the rank and file of JKAP to offer their volunteer services and try to reach out to such families that are in need of their help in this crucial time. “My appeal to JKAP colleagues, cadres/workers is to work as volunteers and support and help such families in their vicinities in this hour of natural disaster. It is a moral and social duty upon all of us to assess vulnerability of people in our respective areas and respond accordingly to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 in our immediate neighborhood,” he observed.
Bukhari said that for battling with the COVID-19 pandemic people in general and JKAP workers in particular should not expect everything from the government and should instead adopt a community based approach to combat the spread of this disease.
He asked the JKAP workers in Jammu and Kashmir to reach out to the families of daily rated workers, daily wagers, ITI skilled labourers, casual labourers, construction workers, vendors, and other vulnerable sections of the society whose livelihood has been badly affected by the lockdown.
“While these sections of the society shall remain healthy by the home confinement but they are suffering loss of income or health care as a result of self isolation and other necessary measures being mandatory in light of the government health advisories. In light of this situation, I fervently appeal my party colleagues and cadres to come forward to help such affected families irrespective of their faith and political beliefs,” he observed.