Srinagar, Sep 20: Outside the high walls of famed Harwan garden stands a makeshift apiary nestled under a towering mulberry tree.
The air around it rings with the growing buzz, as Mohammad Shaban Kumar, an 80-year-old beekeeper, carefully lifts the lid off the wooden beehive box, giving a live demonstration of his emotional relationship with bees.
With his face covered in a net to shield against stings, Shaban uses his ever-ready yellow screw driver to extract honey from a sticky frame of hexagon-shaped honeycomb.
“I treat them like my children, and in return, they reciprocate my love for them. Normally, the bees used in apiculture sting only in self-defense. If you handle them with care, they don’t attack you.” says Shaban with a smile, allaying the fears of getting stung.
His beekeeping journey dates back to Maharaja’s rule.
“I started bee keeping right in 1957,” the old beekeeper, who never felt like giving up on his passion despite witnessing the brutal stages of conflict, says.
“I have seen the hardest of times. The guns roared and there were days when I earned literally nothing, but I never thought of switching my profession,” he says.
The old man says he sacrificed four lucrative government jobs to live his dream.
“I have worked in an engineering college, fisheries department, wild-life department, and silk-factory. My passion kept on calling me and one day I decided to turn my dream into reality,” says Shaban, who earns around “Rs 2 lakh” annually.
The old beekeeper finds utmost satisfaction in this profession and has been researching and experimenting with the bees over the years.
“There is lot of Barakah (blessings) in this field of work, but it demands lot of hard hard work and patience,” says Shaban, who lives with his wife and four sons.
He maintains around five to six beehive boxes in his apiary. From cooking to cleaning the wet frames inside the boxes, he does everything by himself.
“I make sure the boxes are cleaned properly by spraying sulphuric acid at regular intervals,” the beekeeper says.
He owns three farms and 250 beehives.
Till date, he has employed no helpers and lives alone. His family lives in a big concrete house some kilometers away from the apiary.
He believes that youngsters should explore this field of work instead of running after the “unattainable” government jobs, as this can prove to be a viable career option.
“Why should we only run after government jobs? Apiculture is a growing field and there is a lot of scope in it. The government should also create more avenues for the apiculturists so that more youth are drawn towards it,” Shaban says.
‘GLOBAL INVESTORS SUMMIT’: JK to hire ‘knowledge partner’ in identifying focus sectors
Srinagar, Nov 17: Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam discussed modalities for the maiden ‘Global Investors Summit’ to be held in Jammu and Kashmir that will set the platform for businesses to make investments in a big way in the State.
On his arrival here on a three day visit on Friday, Chief Secretary chaired a meeting at the winter secretariat which was also attended by the Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Shailendra Kumar and other officers of the state administration to review preparedness for ‘Global Investors Summit’.
Chief Secretary said the State Government will hire a knowledge partner who will help in identifying the potential of focus sectors that will set the tone for the investor summit. “If a box of apples is sold for Rs 1500 in New Delhi, why should it sell for just Rs 300 in the Valley? We are determined to change this,” he said.
“There are unique challenges in Jammu and Kashmir but Governor’s Administration is determined to overcome them. We are in the process of creating an ecosystem to attract investment from national and international businesses that will open up new vistas of employment in the state,” Chief Secretary said.
Chief Secretary said Jammu and Kashmir has the best work force and talented youth available but due to the situational challenges, businesses have stayed away from making investments here.
“J&K doesn’t require factories for labour. We have the best work force across the country. Large scale investment in sectors such as biotech and horticulture can produce great results. It is with this idea that the government is going to organise a business summit,” he said.
Subrahmanyam said the state will not imitate such summits being held in other states of the country as Jammu and Kashmir offers unique opportunities, “If the summit works, a pattern will emerge that will set a benchmark for future investments. The idea behind the investor summit is to generate employment in a big way in J&K,” he said.
“There is a big Kashmiri Diaspora across the world. Our knowledge partner will help us in creating networks with them. Besides, we will tell the prominent business of the country that if they are doing so much for rest of the country, why not for J&K,” Chief Secretary maintained.
Consultants of Ernest and Young made a presentation in which they chalked out a detailed roadmap for organising the investors’ summit in Jammu and Kashmir. Reflecting on their experiences of having worked in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, they said such summits have exponentially increased investments in these states.
The consultants listed out key strategies including policy making, investor outreach, event planning and knowledge collaterals for organising the summit in Jammu and Kashmir.
JK police deputes cops to TNC school for IED disposal training
Jammu, Nov 17: The Jammu and Kashmir Police has deputed its 14 member team to Tamil Nadu Commando school to get training for disposal of IEDs, senior police officer said Saturday.
The four months training will conclude on December 8, he said.
The team of policemen, which have been sent for training, includes 2 head constables, 5 special grade constables and 7 constables, he said.
“Now IEDs are back in J-K. IEDs are the new threat. Last year there were very few IED incidents, but now they have reappeared,” Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director General Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar had said earlier.
This year, there have already been 14 improvised explosive device (IED) incidents in Kashmir, besides seven instances wherein the devices were detected.
On January 6 this year, four policemen on patrol duty were killed in an IED blast by militants in a market in Sopore township, the first major IED attack in Kashmir since 2015.
Killing of Shopian teen deeply disturbing: Omar
Srinagar, Nov 17: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday termed as “deeply disturbing” the killing of an 11th standard student in Shopian district of south Kashmir.
In a tweet, Omar said that the “cold blooded murder” of Nadeem Manzoor of Safnagri Shopian by the “Hizb ul Mujahideen” is “deeply disturbing”.
“There can be no justification for this act & should force those who sympathise with these outfits to question how these murders make Kashmir a better, freer place,” said Omar.
A purported video emerged on social media on Friday showing militants firing a volley of bullets on Nadeem.
In the video, the gunmen could be heard asking Nadeem why he tipped forces about two militants — Idrees Ahmad (ChotaAbrar) of Safnagri and Amir Amin (Abu Shoban) of Awneera — who were killed in a gunfight with forces in Safnagri earlier this month.
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