Friday 18 May 2007

Women, Children share maximum heat

Living a deplorable life under the shadows ofinsecurity, helplessness and trauma, the widows andorphans of the state have unending woes and agonies attheir disposal, heed to which can drive even a normalhuman being insane.Since they form the vulnerable group, it makes themthe ultimate sufferers in a conflict situation likeJammu and Kashmir. The group being mostly dependentsuffers the most.If any thing happens in the society, particularlyadverse, it affects them badly. Say for example, ifthe head of the family (usually the earning hand)dies, its immediate impact is, his wife becomes awidow and the children orphans. Their plight startsright from here. Many people come to mourn them,promise them many things, but finally they have tomove ahead with no outside support.The entire burden has to be shared by the women andthe children themselves. Generally, such situationgives birth to two major implications, as has beenobserved by the study, “Impact of conflict situationon women and children (1999-2000)”, carried out byProf. Bashir Ahmad Dabla, Head of the DepartmentSociology, University of Kashmir, Srinagar.The first implication, as per the study, is theincrease in the women labour force leading to asituation where more and more women come out to work.They are exploited and are paid minimum wages comparedto their male counterparts. Other implication is thatthe educational setback faced by the children. They labour, revealed the study.Mostly, after the death of the husband, women shift totheir parental house. Even as per Islamic Shariah theycannot maintain their claim over their husband’sproperty. They have to go to their parental home wherethey are welcomed initially, but later their brother’sfamily usually shows a sort of resentment and theyhave to opt for some rental or separate accommodation.Very few of them stay at their husband’s house and attheir parental home, added the study.The study further depicted the impact of the conflictin different fields of life. Women face the problem ofmaltreatment and harassment, drop out rate ineducational institutes among children increases (ithas gone up to 40 percent) and health of women andchildren has shown deterioration.“As per the study, both mental and physical problemsamong women have increased. Neurological and heartrelated problems that were not so common among womenearlier are prevalent now. Even the crime rate amongthe children can be partly attributed to the conflictsituation. In males, it has affected their attitudeand behaviour”, said Prof. Dabla.The study further added that the affected childrenface many psychological problems and at the same timeabnormal traits in them can also be partly attributedto the conflict situation. Behaviour and attitude ofchildren goes awry and there is an increase inchild-delinquency.Relations within and outside the family get severed.Within the family it results in conflicts and outsidethe family it affects the group or societal relations,the study added. Crime rate among the children hasshown a significant increase, as per the study.“When a child loses his/her family, school, parentsand face economic problems (s) he develops chronic".too get exploited and there is increase in childlabour, revealed the study.Mostly, after the death of the husband, women shift totheir parental house. Even as per Islamic Shariah theycannot maintain their claim over their husband’sproperty. They have to go to their parental home wherethey are welcomed initially, but later their brother’sfamily usually shows a sort of resentment and theyhave to opt for some rental or separate accommodation.Very few of them stay at their husband’s house and attheir parental home, added the study.The study further depicted the impact of the conflictin different fields of life. Women face the problem ofmaltreatment and harassment, drop out rate ineducational institutes among children increases (ithas gone up to 40 percent) and health of women andchildren has shown deterioration.“As per the study, both mental and physical problemsamong women have increased. Neurological and heartrelated problems that were not so common among womenearlier are prevalent now. Even the crime rate amongthe children can be partly attributed to the conflictsituation. In males, it has affected their attitudeand behaviour”, said Prof. Dabla.The study further added that the affected childrenface many psychological problems and at the same timeabnormal traits in them can also be partly attributedto the conflict situation. Behaviour and attitude ofchildren goes awry and there is an increase inchild-delinquency.Relations within and outside the family get severed.Within the family it results in conflicts and outsidethe family it affects the group or societal relations,the study added. Crime rate among the children hasshown a significant increase, as per the study.“When a child loses his/her family, school, parentsand face economic problems (s) he develops chronic thefts and pick-pocketing cases in the valley, but nowthe number has increased. Crime among children can bepartly attributed to conflict, which is an additionalfactor, other factors can be modernization andurbanization”, pointed Prof. Dabla.Conflict has serious impact on the society as a whole.“Attitude towards life changes, culture of intolerancecreeps-in, divisions in society are created, closerelations within the family get suspended. Moreover,conflicts result in no assessment, no accountabilityand no control”, warned Prof. Dabla.In conflict situation, differences are there and theycan be easily located. Firstly, normalcy goes out,attitude and behaviour of people gets disturbed,values take a severe beating. Conflict situationcorrelates with increase in violation and crime, useof drugs, violation of values and norms.The study further revealed that the affected womenmostly belong to educationally weaker section of thesociety and their social world is small, so many ofthem do not resort to drugs etc. The cultural andreligion values that bind them is another main factorwhich keeps them away from such immoral acts, addedthe study.However, suicide rate among women has increased. Theproportion of females is more than males and it ismore intense in the rural areas, revealed the study,“Suicides in Kashmir (2000-01)”. All through out theworld the suicide rate among the males is more and itis more intense in the urban areas but in the Kashmirvalley, reverse is true.“As per the study, the rate of suicides in females ismore than males and it was found more prevalent in therural areas. This too can be partly attributed to theconflict situation”, commented Dr. Dabla.Apparently, failure in the examination, unemploymentor family problem were the reasons quoted for the diseases. Before twenty years or so, there were lessthefts and pick-pocketing cases in the valley, but nowthe number has increased. Crime among children can bepartly attributed to conflict, which is an additionalfactor, other factors can be modernization andurbanization”, pointed Prof. Dabla.Conflict has serious impact on the society as a whole.“Attitude towards life changes, culture of intolerancecreeps-in, divisions in society are created, closerelations within the family get suspended. Moreover,conflicts result in no assessment, no accountabilityand no control”, warned Prof. Dabla.In conflict situation, differences are there and theycan be easily located. Firstly, normalcy goes out,attitude and behaviour of people gets disturbed,values take a severe beating. Conflict situationcorrelates with increase in violation and crime, useof drugs, violation of values and norms.The study further revealed that the affected womenmostly belong to educationally weaker section of thesociety and their social world is small, so many ofthem do not resort to drugs etc. The cultural andreligion values that bind them is another main factorwhich keeps them away from such immoral acts, addedthe study.However, suicide rate among women has increased. Theproportion of females is more than males and it ismore intense in the rural areas, revealed the study,“Suicides in Kashmir (2000-01)”. All through out theworld the suicide rate among the males is more and itis more intense in the urban areas but in the Kashmirvalley, reverse is true.“As per the study, the rate of suicides in females ismore than males and it was found more prevalent in therural areas. This too can be partly attributed to theconflict situation”, commented Dr. Dabla.Apparently, failure in the examination, unemploymentor family problem were the reasons quoted for the kind of undesirable situation created by the conflictsituation, added the professor.Impact of changing development, urbanization,education, modernization are the causes that lead tothe emergence of suicides and the conflict situationadds to that maintained the study. The professor,however, warned that if the same situation continuesfor the next fifty years it might create manyundesirable problems. Entire society will be affected,be it education, culture, politics, religion or anyother dimension of life.“There will be no economic or education development,quality of life will never be enhanced,underdevelopment will prevail and every singleindividual will have to pay the price and there willbe dearth of good jobs”, pointed Dr. Dabla.Another study, “Women and children under armedconflict in Kashmir”, conducted by renownededucationist and former head of education department,University of Kashmir Prof A G Madhosh has revealedthat after the death of their fathers, children mostlyfaced economic hardships, psychological set back,denial of love and affection and apathy from relativesand friends.The research says, “Children who continued with theirfathers relatives were usually harassed. They had tostop going to school and 51 percent of them gotengaged in domestic work”.Regarding the psychological condition of the orphans,the study showed that a sense of isolation wascreeping among the youngsters. Absence of education,no regular house, health deterioration, negativecharacter growth, negative social attitude, denial ofproperty rights and absence of positive attitudetowards life were the other problems identified by theorphans, as per the study.It was further observed by the research that orphansusually under took employment hazardous to their suicides committed, but the underlying factor is akind of undesirable situation created by the conflictsituation, added the professor.Impact of changing development, urbanization,education, modernization are the causes that lead tothe emergence of suicides and the conflict situationadds to that maintained the study. The professor,however, warned that if the same situation continuesfor the next fifty years it might create manyundesirable problems. Entire society will be affected,be it education, culture, politics, religion or anyother dimension of life.“There will be no economic or education development,quality of life will never be enhanced,underdevelopment will prevail and every singleindividual will have to pay the price and there willbe dearth of good jobs”, pointed Dr. Dabla.Another study, “Women and children under armedconflict in Kashmir”, conducted by renownededucationist and former head of education department,University of Kashmir Prof A G Madhosh has revealedthat after the death of their fathers, children mostlyfaced economic hardships, psychological set back,denial of love and affection and apathy from relativesand friends.The research says, “Children who continued with theirfathers relatives were usually harassed. They had tostop going to school and 51 percent of them gotengaged in domestic work”.Regarding the psychological condition of the orphans,the study showed that a sense of isolation wascreeping among the youngsters. Absence of education,no regular house, health deterioration, negativecharacter growth, negative social attitude, denial ofproperty rights and absence of positive attitudetowards life were the other problems identified by theorphans, as per the study.It was further observed by the research that orphansusually under took employment hazardous to their hours. “Jobs like carpet weaving, farming, carpentry,bus conductor, automobile filling service, domesticservice, casual daily wage engagements as helpers toshopkeepers, house builders and masons were taken upin order to earn a livelihood”, established theresearch.According to this study, 90 percent of the childrenwere either found in primary school or preparing toseek admission in private or governmental educationalinstitutions before they lost their fathers. Now, 65percent of children within the age group 11-18 yearshad to enter into a regular child labour market.Focusing towards the increase in the child labour atan alarming proportion during the last 16 years or so,surveys have found nearly 75,000 children below theage of 14 years have joined work force in order tosustain their families that entirely depend on them.According to UNICEF there are over 1,00,000 orphans inKashmir and just 20 orphanages take care of roughly1000-2000 children (JK Practitioner, journal ofcurrent medical science and practice).As against 1,762 patients registered during 1990 atGovernment Psychiatric Diseases Hospital, the numberof patients who visited the hospital in 2000 went upto a staggering figure of 38,696. In 2002, however,the figure rose to nearly 48,000. The figures havealready crossed 48,000 up to September 2003, revealeda report of Jammu & Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society(J&KCCS). The report further added that before theeruption of conflict in Kashmir in 1989 there washardly any case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD).According to Dr. G.A.Wani, a psychiatrist, “Ten yearsago, we did not get more than 30 such patients a day.Today we examine nearly 200 such cases”. According tothe studies most Kashmiris today suffer from PTSD and health and were being forced to work for the longhours. “Jobs like carpet weaving, farming, carpentry,bus conductor, automobile filling service, domesticservice, casual daily wage engagements as helpers toshopkeepers, house builders and masons were taken upin order to earn a livelihood”, established theresearch.According to this study, 90 percent of the childrenwere either found in primary school or preparing toseek admission in private or governmental educationalinstitutions before they lost their fathers. Now, 65percent of children within the age group 11-18 yearshad to enter into a regular child labour market.Focusing towards the increase in the child labour atan alarming proportion during the last 16 years or so,surveys have found nearly 75,000 children below theage of 14 years have joined work force in order tosustain their families that entirely depend on them.According to UNICEF there are over 1,00,000 orphans inKashmir and just 20 orphanages take care of roughly1000-2000 children (JK Practitioner, journal ofcurrent medical science and practice).As against 1,762 patients registered during 1990 atGovernment Psychiatric Diseases Hospital, the numberof patients who visited the hospital in 2000 went upto a staggering figure of 38,696. In 2002, however,the figure rose to nearly 48,000. The figures havealready crossed 48,000 up to September 2003, revealeda report of Jammu & Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society(J&KCCS). The report further added that before theeruption of conflict in Kashmir in 1989 there washardly any case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD).According to Dr. G.A.Wani, a psychiatrist, “Ten yearsago, we did not get more than 30 such patients a day.Today we examine nearly 200 such cases”. According tothe studies most Kashmiris today suffer from PTSD andUndoubtedly, women have suffered a lot during morethan 16 years of conflict and they are being subjectedto humiliation and trauma of various trauma. They havemostly been “silent, but worst sufferers.”According to the doctors at Government PsychiatricDiseases Hospital, women constitute 62 percent of thepatients visiting the hospital, stated J&K CCS report.The report further added that there are hundreds ofwomen who have no idea of medical counseling and hencecontinue to suffer. “Suicide rates particularly amongthe women and youth have also gone up. This, theexperts say, is sufficient to ring the alarm bell”,added the J&KCCS report.According to Medicines Sans Frontiers, MSF (Doctorswithout borders), a private international medical andhumanitarian organization, counseling can help tounderstand their problem and treatment throughcounseling is psychological and therefore a process,which may continue for a certain time period.This intervention, as per MSF, would take days, weeksor months depending upon certain factors like durationof the problem, person who is afflicted, severity,intensity and complexity of the problem, number andtype of symptoms. The organization offers freecounseling to the patients (clients). Most of thepatients (clients), believed the organization, feelbetter after they receive counseling.“Doctors without borders” believe that areas of armedconflict and mass violence generally give rise tostressful situations that can be difficult to copewith. “Violence has touched each family living inKashmir one way or another. This leads to detrimentaleffects on the well-being of the people of Kashmir”,MSF maintains.Physical, cognitive, emotional and behaviouralreactions occur under all stressful situations.Relationships get strained, accidents become common are in need of treatment.Undoubtedly, women have suffered a lot during morethan 16 years of conflict and they are being subjectedto humiliation and trauma of various trauma. They havemostly been “silent, but worst sufferers.”According to the doctors at Government PsychiatricDiseases Hospital, women constitute 62 percent of thepatients visiting the hospital, stated J&K CCS report.The report further added that there are hundreds ofwomen who have no idea of medical counseling and hencecontinue to suffer. “Suicide rates particularly amongthe women and youth have also gone up. This, theexperts say, is sufficient to ring the alarm bell”,added the J&KCCS report.According to Medicines Sans Frontiers, MSF (Doctorswithout borders), a private international medical andhumanitarian organization, counseling can help tounderstand their problem and treatment throughcounseling is psychological and therefore a process,which may continue for a certain time period.This intervention, as per MSF, would take days, weeksor months depending upon certain factors like durationof the problem, person who is afflicted, severity,intensity and complexity of the problem, number andtype of symptoms. The organization offers freecounseling to the patients (clients). Most of thepatients (clients), believed the organization, feelbetter after they receive counseling.“Doctors without borders” believe that areas of armedconflict and mass violence generally give rise tostressful situations that can be difficult to copewith. “Violence has touched each family living inKashmir one way or another. This leads to detrimentaleffects on the well-being of the people of Kashmir”,MSF maintains.Physical, cognitive, emotional and behaviouralreactions occur under all stressful situations.Relationships get strained, accidents become common abuse are likely to be followed.Single parent upbringing too has been reported to putthe children under immense physical as well aspsychological pressure apart from constant familyconstraints. Not able to cope up with the suddendisturbances, these children undergo emotionalimbalance resulting in fear psychosis, anxiety,depression, suicides and short temperament, reveal thestudies conducted. In case where the single parentremarries, many children are either not able to adjustin the atmosphere or are ill-treated and ignored....................................................",


BY AFSANA RASHID
SRINAGAR

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