Harsh climate, poor amenities–main reasons
BANDIPORA, July 29: The number of rural-to-urban migrants in Gurez valley of Bandipora district is on rise as the locals cite lack of basic amenities in their respective areas as one of the major reasons for vacating their ancestral villages.
Most of the people from Gurez valley of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district are shifting towards the main city of Bandipora and its adjoining townships due to lack of basic education and health care facilities in their own villages.
Talking to Kashmir Despatch one of the local residents of Kilshay village of Tulail Gurez said that around 200 families had already migrated towards other townships of Bandipora and other districts in Kashmir.
The locals informed Kashmir Despatch that around 12 lecturer posts are vacant in Kilshay higher secondary and five in Purana Tulail higher secondary school.
“Half a year has already passed, our exams are in the month of October or November and we still don’t see our lecturers. The result of our higher secondary school is disappointing as compared to other higher secondary schools of the district due to lack of teachers in our school,” Aijaz Gani Lone, a student of 11th class told Kashmir Despatch.
“It is not only the harsh climatic condition in Gurez valley but the poor facilities have become significant drivers of migration from Gurez to cities,” said a local resident Shafat Ahmad while talking to Kashmir Despatch.
Another resident Sharafat Ali Khan said the families who have migrated towards cities or other parts of Bandipora district come to Gurez only for farming purposes. “Unfortunately, most of these migrated families have shun farming and they permanently live in Bandipora town,” he informed Kashmir Despatch.
“We also lack basic health facilities. Even for slightest toothache the patients have to move towards Bandipora which is 85 km away from Dawar Gurez. In winter, doctors advised our expected mothers to remain stationed near CHC Davar or they have to move towards district hospital Bandipora in the month of November or December as our gynecologist post has been vacant for the past several years,” said Reyaz Ahmad Lone, a local from Dawar.
According to an official letter bearing number BMOG/Estt/2022/37-40 dated 16 April 2022, written to the Chief Medical Officer of Bandipora with intimation to director health services Kashmir, the sanctioned strength of medical officers in Gurez is three dental surgeons, five specialists and nine medical officers in Gurez block.
The letter also reveals that the posts of 11 medical officers, three dental surgeons, three specialists 1 physician, 1 gynecologist, 1 pediatrician) were created for a 37000 population in Gurez.
The BMO concerned also stated in the letter that in the absence of medical officers, it is extremely difficult to run health care services in the Gurez valley.
“The lack of basic facilities forces us to migrate towards other districts or other villages of Bandipora district,” a resident of Tulail told Kashmir Despatch. The residents appealed LG administrator and deputy commissioner Bandipora to look into their genuine grievances and try to resolve them as soon as possible.