By Hirra Azmat
Srinagar, May 09: “Which game should we play today? Let us play the tiger-tiger game. Wait! Where are you going? I will get my gun first.”
Shakir, a 9-year-old boy, and his friend and classmate Farhan are often seen playing this game nowadays.
Both of them have collected broken bats and sticks that they call “guns”.
They romp around the courtyard of the house shouting the word “encounter”, frequently.
In this ‘game’, Shakir plays Sameer Ahmad Bhat alias Sameer Tiger, the militant who was killed in south Kashmir recently. Farhan acts as his associate, Aquib Ahmad Bhat, who too was killed in the same encounter.
“My kid is getting totally affected by this unending cycle of encounters and killings. He tries to emulate everything he sees on TV or newspapers,” Shakir’s father said in an anxious tone.
“Every morning, Shakir asks me the same question: ‘Humein aaj school jaana hai ki nahi? (Are we to go school today or no?)’”
In another disturbing case, the mother of 13-year-old Raed got alarmed when her son asked what actually did the word ‘surrender’ mean.
This conversation took place in the backdrop of recent killing of University Professor Mohammad Rafi Bhat along with two Hizbul Mujahhin commanders in Shopian.
Before his death, the police had asked the professor’s family to persuade him to surrender.
“My son read the news about this professor. What followed was a barrage of queries: ‘Why do people surrender? Does surrender save life? Did this guy surrender too?’” she said with a distraught face.
Children happen to be the most susceptible to the impact of conflicts. According to a recent report by JKCCS, a human rights body, about 318 children have lost their lives since 2003 in Kashmir, most of them shot dead.
However, the psychological trauma suffered by the children is now beginning to show up.
One contributing factor has been the frequent closure of schools and colleges after 2016 due to prolonged curfews, shutdowns, or protests.
This year has been no different, as the schools have repeatedly been closed to avoid the protests by students.
From March 1 till April 15, for example, schools in north and central Kashmir including private institutions opened for “just 20 days”, official sources had told the Kashmir Monitor earlier.
The number of working days at the schools in south Kashmir was even lesser with the institutions there being able to conduct classes for “just 13 days” in the last month and a half, the sources had said.
Naturally, children are thus forced to stay home all day, and vulnerable to unhealthy behaviors.
Dr Muzaffar, Consultant Psychologist at Centre for Mental Health Services, Help Foundation, said, “Education always becomes the first casualty in a conflict zone.”
“The continued curfews and strikes create uncertainty in the children who are not able to maintain their academic calendar. As a result, they drift towards hopelessness,” he said.
“The sudden change in the routine can result in irritation, aggression and frustration among kids.”
Dr Arif Magribi Khan, a doctor in community psychiatry, echoed similar views, saying the closure of schools results in “behavioral changes” among kids.
“Kids can show bouts of anger and agitations where as teenagers can fall to cigarette smoking which is a gateway to drugs,”
Khan regretted, “The continuous disruption in the school activity severely affects their concentration levels and makes it difficult for them to get back to normal schedule.”
The psychologists urged the parents to “increase their levels of interactions with the kids” and “assign them with tasks that make their days fruitful”.
Joint Hurriyat hails Pak SC’s ruling on Kashmir, GB
Srinagar, Jan 20: Joint Hurriyat Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik Sunday held a meeting at the octogenarian leader Geelani’s residence.
At the meeting, the leadership, as per a statement, expressed satisfaction over the verdict announced by the seven judge-bench of Pakistan Supreme Court that upheld the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir and directed the Pakistan government to provide more citizenship, legal and social rights to the people of Gilgit and Baltistan (GB) besides stating that the lingering dispute of J&K be resolved by means of plebiscite.
“Pakistan Supreme Court in its fresh verdict has laid stress on the fact that till the issue of Kashmir stands unresolved, Pakistan and India must ensure that the people of this region enjoy maximum rights for areas within each country’s control,” the statement read.
At the meeting, the leadership expressed serious concern over the “perpetual incarceration” of many political prisoners languishing in Indian jails and the ill plight and inhuman treatment meted out to Kashmiri political prisoners lodged in various jails including Tihar Jail ,Kathua, Udhampur, Kotbalwal, Samba, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jodhpur and other prisons stating that world organizations should take strong note of the condition of Kashmiri prisoners lodged in these prisons and how legal processes and procedures are misused to detain them and prolong their detentions.
JK Bank quarterly results: Market experts predict 65% long-term upside potential
Srinagar, Jan 20: J&K Bank results for the third quarter have come up with numbers having enough indicators to tell the market pundits that the bank is bound to see a positive growth in the coming days, starting the current quarter.
The bank has exceeded expectations according to the market experts who say the numbers are quite assuring and the script is being strongly recommended for buying with upside potential of 65% in the long term.
As per recommendations by major broking houses like Prabhudas Leeladhar, ICICI Direct, Anand Rathi and Elara Securities, the bank looks strong in long term perspective. At the current price the stock is a great investment opportunity to those interested in the stock market.
Commenting upon the expected move of J&K Bank, Rakesh Kumar, Analyst at Elara Securities said in a written statement: “Jammu & Kashmir Bank’s operating performance was above market estimates as margin improved by 22bp QoQ (basis points Quarter-on-Quarter) due to higher credit yield.”
Kumar, as per the statement, said that lower-than-expected provisions and higher operating profit beat “led to significantly higher net profit of Rs 1.07bn versus our estimates of Rs 0.17bn.”
He added on the balance sheet front, credit grew by 12 per cent YoY while deposits witnessed growth of 18 per cent YoY.
“Within deposits, the rest of India’s (RoI) term deposits grew at an average 48% over the past two quarters, and we believe that such a continued phenomenon will result in increased cost of funds over the long term,” Kumar said.
He said that JKBK has exposure worth Rs 13.5 bn to stress-laden IL&FS Group, of this, the bank has reclassified exposure as sub-standard in Q3FY19, and this resulted in higher slippages at Rs 10.3bn (past two quarters average at Rs 5.1bn), and, as a consequence, both GNPA and NNPA saw a sharp uptick. However, despite higher credit cost, coverage ratio at 66 per cent was close to its past four-quarters average at 68 per cent.
In sync with Elara Securities views, Simi Bhaumik, Technical Equity Analyst (Offficially registered with SEBI) told Zee Business online: “Technically the J&K Bank strip looks strong in long-term perspective. In short-term, the stock has moved from Rs 39 levels to Rs 41 levels. If it breaks the Rs 41-42 levels, it can move for its another resistance at Rs 48. After breaking this level and sustaining above that, one can expect the Rs 65 target.”
Khyber Gulmarg wins best destination hotel award 2018, again
Srinagar, Jan 20: The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg’s first luxury resort, has once again been awarded by Outlook Traveller, India’s prestigious travel magazine.
At the recently held Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotels Awards 2018, the resort was conferred with the Best Destination Hotel Award.
The 3rd edition of the Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotel Awards was held in Haridwar recently where the best boutique properties around the country were awarded for their contribution to the hospitality industry.
The chief guest for the night was Satpal Maharaj, the Minister of Tourism, Government of Uttarakhand.
“We are truly overwhelmed with the response from both guests and traveller writers and of course the eminent jury. This honour is testimony to the hard work by the team at The Khyber ensuring a superlative, international class guest experience and a memorable time in Gulmarg enjoying the natural beauty and activities available all year round,” said Umar Tramboo, MD, Pinnacle Resorts Pvt. Ltd, promoter of The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg.
In a short span, since it opened six years ago, The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa has been hugely appreciated for its impeccable service, warm hospitality, and facilities at par with international standards.
The Khyber has consistently received recognition from several hospitality and travel awards including Condé Nast Traveller India, the Last Word in Travel, as Favourite Boutique Hotel –India, for six consecutive years.
In addition to luxurious guest rooms, The Khyber has a Wellness Block, which houses the world-class international spa, The Khyber Spa by L’OCCITANE along with a state of the art gym with the latest equipment, separate steam and sauna chambers for men and women. It also offers an impressive heated indoor pool offering dramatic views of the mountain ranges.
About the Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotel Awards
Outlook Traveller Boutique Hotel Awards 2018 are meant to celebrate an industry that is well in its prime and will remain so long as people seek new experiences and retain their wanderlust.
These are much coveted travel awards, which are given to brands that have left an everlasting impression on their guests through their hospitality and services.
The esteemed jury members along with EY, the process advisors for the event, made the celebrations on the banks of the holy Ganga a great success.
The jury for the 2018 edition was: Aman Nath, chairman, Neemrana Hotels; Dilip Puri, founder & CEO, Indian School of Hospitality; fashion designer Anupamaa Dayal; Anurag Mallick & Priya Ganapathy of Red Scarab Media; and Charukesi Ramadurai, travel writer and blogger.