Like our Facebook Page

Early Times Newspaper Jammu, Leading Newspaper Jammu
Breaking News :   Jammu, Samba, Reasi, Udhampur, Poonch, Rajouri, Kathua (except Lakhanpur Containment Zone), Bandipora and Ganderbal declared Orange Zones | Encounter underway between security forces, terrorists in Shopian | Chief Secy to chair crucial meet in Jammu tomorrow | GAD’s unrealistic direction to attend duties regularly | Jammu leaders click pictures to fight pandemic, forget poor health infrastructure | JK Govt grievance cell handle ‘dormant’ since Aug 2019 | After ET report social media flooded,To expose BJP’s anti-Jammu’s stand | JK reports 143 new positive cases, 1126 recovered so far | Will DSE Jammu act against teachers selected under RBA, ALC, sitting in Jammu for years? | Amarnath Yatra 2020 to begin on July 21 till August 3 | Rajouri admin fails to enforce lockdown in Nallah Panchayat despite Corona Virus case | Traditional Indian knowledge systems: A National Treasure!! | Organic pesticides for sustainable agriculture | Indo-China Faceoff: Spread of misinformation and disinformation | GDC Kathua organizes Declamation Contest, Poster Making competition | RTI Movement demands probe in sale of ration on ‘exorbitant’ rates under BPL quota | SUF demands justice for 1984 riots victims | Ayush Department Organises camp for security personnel | GGM Science College organizes national level online quiz competition | JMC convenes Building Operation Controlling Authority meeting | 23 fresh positive cases, 496 active positive, 14 recovered in north Kashmir | Munish Gupta asks government to step in & solve problems of residents | Netizens appreciate move, new trend to fight this deadly pandemic | Years on, MC fails to identify land for SWM Plant | Several employees’ deputations meet MD JPDCL | Bawe Wali Mata Temple gears up for reopening from June 8, awaits administration’s approval | J&K High Court gets 250 Kanal additional land at Srinagar | Rain wreaks havoc in Jammu amid Corona crisis, Birwan bridge damaged | Poor man brutally assaulted over land dispute | Pregnant women vulnerable to COVID-19, over 180 tested positive in J&K | Month on, Education Department’s clerical staff yet to join new postings | Court rejects bail of Chairman Co-operative Society in Rs 250 Cr scam | First ever no confidence motion moved against any Sarpanch in Kishtwar | Power shut down | J&K Forest Development Corporation replaces J&K State Forest Corporation | Bhaderwah-Basohli-Pathankot highway likely to reopen for traffic by June 15 | AC approves creation of Metropolitan Transport Authorities to revamp urban transport | JKCCA to hold online international art exhibition | HRA Katra flays govt for applying anti-people policies | BJP announces Gandhi Nagar, Satwari Mandal Teams | TBS in collaboration with RBI organizes Webinar ‘eBAAT’ | JYS demands mass promotion to all students of Jammu region | Opening of schools amid COVID-19 putting children’s lives at stake: Aditi | Cong leader Jugal flays new recruitment rules for Class-IV posts | Pakistan violates ceasefire along IB | CBI produces charge-sheet against JE Garrison Engineer (U) in trap case | DB directs authorities to ensure no starvation of animals | CBI produces charge-sheet against JE Garrison Engineer (U) in trap case | DB directs authorities to ensure no starvation of animals | Militants await to infiltrate across LoC | Passport office Srinagar to resume services from Mon with adherence to SOPs by applicants | Three youths saved from joining terror ranks in Pulwama, motivators arrested | Director RDD inspects development works in Block Akhnoor, Bhalwal Brahmana | CUJ Media-Cell organizes Webinar on Journalism in J&K and Challenges of Covid-19 | All J&K Shri Sadguru Kabir Sabha celebrates Kabir Jayanti | Bhagat Mahasabha celebrates Prakash Utsav of Sant Kabir | Harsh Dev torches effigy of govt in protest against SRO-202, new recruitment rules | DDC Kathua inspects border bunkers, met firing affected families | 25 persons relieved from administrative quarantine centers in Kishtwar | Back Issues  
news details
COVID-19: ‘And they sold their most valuable asset only to survive’
3/31/2020 11:53:27 PM


SRINAGAR, Mar 31: Their all eyes were on March as they were all hopeful that tourists will arrive in large numbers and they would earn to feed their families especially children, but Covid-19 pandemic destroyed all their hopes forcing them to sell their most valuable asset—the boats, popularly known as Shikaras.
Meet Javaid Ahmed, a 45-year-old Shikara owner, who lives in Dal Lake interiors. With tears in his eyes, he explains as to why he sold his Shikara. “Since Article 370 was rolled back in August last year, there was a complete lockdown and tourism season was destroyed fully with Centre calling tourists back. Somehow, we managed to survive in absence of tourists as they are oxygen for us,” he said. “The last year’s lock down continued till November and then arrived winter. Still there were no tourists despite the fact GoI withdrew the advisory and asked tourists to visit Kashmir.”
Javaid said that the eyes of almost 5000 Shikara owners, who are registered with the J&K government, were all set on March with a hope that tourism will pick up and they would be able to live a happy life again. But Covid-19 pandemic knocked at Kashmir’s doors and broke their hopes apart into pieces.
“We are again under lockdown and there is no question of expecting tourists this season too. As it is a question of life and death. We are struggling to survive as deadly pandemic has gripped Kashmir very tightly forcing us to take series of precautions,” said Javaid, who has three daughters and a lone son, all of whom are studying in a government school.
Javaid said that since Pandemic has already claimed a life of many people and scores of people have reported to be positive, it was hard for him to survive as he had exhausted all his options to feed his family, but to no avail. “I switched over my job for a week and started selling vegetables, but that didn’t suffice,” he said. “Finally, left with no option, I decided to sell my boat against a loss. I sold my valuable asset for just Rs 70,000 which otherwise costs Rs 1, 30,000. I had to feed my family, my children, wife and old parents. I am spending this money buying essentials and medicines for my parents and life is very tough in Kashmir.”
President of Kashmir’s Shikara Owners Association, Wali Muhammad said that not just Javaid, but there are dozens of many other boatmen who have sold their boats to feed their families as they were on the verge of starvation. “First it was government imposed lock down, now it’s a natural lockdown and in both cases, sword was hanging on our heads and it finally hit us all cutting our livelihood into pieces,” said Wali amid sobs.
He said that despite tall claims by the government in November last year that they would help us “nothing happened on ground.” “Many of us have switched our jobs and some were selling vegetables, some are going for as day-long work of Rs 500 but Covid-19 is our new enemy and all of us are confined to homes,” Wali said, adding that there seems to be no hope of revival of tourism as today it’s a question of survival. “We pray to Allah to wash off our sins and end this Pandemic,” he said.
  Share This News with Your Friends on Social Network  
  Comment on this Story  
Early Times Android App
BSE Sensex
NSE Nifty
Home About Us Top Stories Local News National News Sports News Opinion Editorial ET Cetra Advertise with Us ET E-paper
J&K Govt. Official website
Jammu Kashmir Tourism
Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board
Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board
Shri Shiv Khori Shrine Board
Train Enquiry
Jammu Kashmir Bank
State Bank of India
Passport Department
Income Tax Department
IT Education
Web Site Design Services
Jammu University
Jammu University Results
Kashmir University
IGNOU Jammu Center