Dr Farooq calls for collective, empathetic response towards underprivileged

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Srinagar

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Party President and Member of Parliament from Srinagar Dr Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said the prevailing lockdown has stung underprivileged the most, saying the affluent class of the society should come forward to help those at need.

Party President said the situation following the outbreak of global pandemic has pushed the unprivileged to hunger, “we are unquestionably facing a big health emergency, the measures taken to curb the spread are inescapable.  However, it is not the well-offs who are facing the brunt, it is the poor, who unfortunately have been thrown to wolves. Ours is a society of deep inequalities, for the poorest of poor, the daily wagers, the hawkers, the cabbies, artisans and other socially downtrodden sections of society, it is no less than a nightmare.  A good chunk of our society lives by hand to mouth. They don’t have the necessary income to amass ration in their homes. They make to eat. The panicky buying and hoarding has also aggravated the situation exponentially.  There are people who are skipping meals to bank the ration for their children. How will such families be able to spend on sanitation with their tight fisted hands?”

It is no less than a financial emergency, he said while referring to the prevailing situation, “the poor have been left to fend for themselves. Not just that the contractual working in government, including scores of lecturers and other daily wagers working in the public sector, have also been left high and dry. It is not an issue of a single person; it is the scores of families which are facing an existential crisis.  The local administration, and the government haven been caught off guard by the lockdown. What is the much-touted disaster management department up to, aren’t we caught in an eye of a storm? Why isn’t the supply chain being adequately managed by the administration? Why are essential including mutton, chicken, grains, vegetables off the shelves in stores and shops?  People living in Shahar e Khas areas of Srinagar are facing scarcity of various basic commodities; they don’t have the land and livestock to bank on. The plight of people living in the suburbs of Srinagar and other rural areas is no less depressing. The situation is as worrying in other parts of J&K.”

Party president while expressing concern over the plight of people said, “It is upto the affluent classes, the community, Mohalla, and Masjid committees to ensure underprivileged and those who live by hand to mouth are taken care of.  I am sure this too will pass, but we as a society will have to give it a collective and empathetic response. The government too should ramp-up its efforts to ensure direct money transfers to those who live by hand to mouth. In addition to pending wages of all daily wagers should be released immediately.  The supply chain should also be ensured adequately. If it requires the government should ensure home to a delivery of good, and essentials through its ground staff.”

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