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J&K floods: Discontent Kashmiris aiding each other in time of crisis

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credit: www.thehindu.om
credit: www.ndtv.com
credit: www.ndtv.com

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

Baramulla (Jammu and Kashmir): Nearly a year after the deadly J&K floods that claimed almost 300 lives, the Kashmiris feel that the government was not doing enough and in some strange ways, they believe that the deluge united them like never before.

There are scores of people living in makeshift houses in Baramulla district, around 40 km from Srinagar and to make things worse, they don’t have any source of income.

Lamenting on the destruction of his weaving unit, Ali Mohammed Butt, a carpet weaver by profession from Duslipora village, says he needs Rs.50, 000 to Rs.60, 000 to restore it.

Adding salt to the wound, not only the weaving unit but his home was also destroyed in the floods. Butt and his family, during the day time, live in a half wooden structure built with government aid. At night, they shift into a community hall as their “home” is not safe for women.

Recently, he was ordered to evict the community hall.

“I was depressed after getting the notice as I was worried about the safety of my daughter and wife. But the villagers came into my rescue. The notice was withdrawn,” Butt was quoted as saying.

Gulam Nabi, another carpet weaver, said after the J&K floods he had to work as a labourer in Srinagar as his carpet loom too was destroyed.

Two months ago, Nabi resumed his carpet weaving after members of a village-level committee formed by NGO ActionAid India came to his rescue.

“The flood has further distressed people in Kashmir who were already suffering from psychosocial issues,” said Nasreen, a psychologist with the J and K Yateem Trust. “It was a challenge to boost their morale again.”

The Trust is a local partner of ActionAid, a global NGO working in India since 1972.

Few Kashmiris can forget the horror of September 6, 2014 night when the floods swept through the valley and Jammu region, claiming nearly 300 lives and  hundreds of houses were destroyed. With water rising upto over 15 feet in places, thousands became homeless and lost virtually everything.

Tabia Muzaffar of ActionAid India said: “Livelihood was badly hit by the floods. We are providing counselling and helping the victims to restart their business so that they can earn their livelihood.”

She said her NGO’s focus was on districts like Baramulla, Anantnag, Pulwama and Kulgam.

Muzaffar said ActionAid India was focusing on providing psychosocial counselling and helping in the restoration of livelihoods and linkages of families with government entitlements.

It appeared to be a popular sentiment that the government was not doing enough for people. Maqbul Rather, the sarpanch of Harinara village, said that villagers did not get much help from the authorities during and after the J&K floods and it were people who helped each other.

“In my village, 80 percent of families are into carpet weaving. After the floods they are working as daily labourers. Road and bridges are yet to be repaired. Some people got government assistance to construct their homes but the amount is not enough,” Rather said.

Another sarpanch from Yakhmanpura village, Gulam Ahmed Dar, shared the same feelings, “We need more help. Nothing was done to normalise our lives.”

A loss-memo of Rs.44,000 crore ($6.5 billion) was sent to the central government by the Jammu and Kashmir government for immediate assistance in October 2014. Activists say the memo is gathering dust in New Delhi.

With inputs from IANS

 

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“A Nuclear War Between India and Pakistan Can Lead To Worst Global Food Crisis”, Say Researchers

While the impacts of global warming on agricultural productivity have been studied extensively, the implications of sudden cooling for global crop growth are little understood

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Nuclear War
Nuclear weapons must be eliminated because if they exist, they can be used with tragic consequences for the world. Pixabay

 A war between India and Pakistan using less than one per cent of nuclear weapons available in the world could lead to the worst global food crisis in modern history, say researchers.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said that sudden global cooling from a limited nuclear war along with less precipitation and sunlight could disrupt food production and trade worldwide for about a decade — more than the impact from anthropogenic climate change by late (21st) century.

While the impacts of global warming on agricultural productivity have been studied extensively, the implications of sudden cooling for global crop growth are little understood, according to the researchers. “Our results add to the reasons that nuclear weapons must be eliminated because if they exist, they can be used with tragic consequences for the world,” said study co-author Alan Robock, Professor at Rutgers University in the US.

Robock co-authored a recent study in the journal Science Advances estimating more than 100 million people could die immediately if India and Pakistan wage a nuclear war, followed by global mass starvation.

For the new study, the research team used a scenario of five million tons of black smoke (soot) from massive fires injected into the upper atmosphere that could result from using only 100 nuclear weapons.

That would cool the Earth by 1.8 degrees Celsius (3.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and lead to eight per cent lower precipitation and less sunlight for at least five years.

The researchers included those climate changes in computer simulations by six different crop models for four major crops that account for 90 per cent of global cereal production in terms of calories.

They found that corn calorie production would fall by 13 per cent, wheat by 11 per cent, rice by three per cent and soybeans by 17 per cent over five years. Total first-year losses of 12 per cent would be four times larger than any food shortage in history, such as those caused by historic droughts and volcanic eruptions, the study said.

Nuclear, Atom, Bomb, Atomic, Science, War, Radioactive
A war between India and Pakistan using less than one per cent of nuclear weapons available in the world could lead to the worst global food crisis in modern history, say researchers. Pixabay

Analyses of food trade networks show that domestic reserves and global trade can largely buffer the loss of food production in the first year. But multiyear losses would reduce domestic food availability, especially in food-insecure countries.

By year five, corn and wheat availability would decrease by 13 per cent globally and by more than 20 per cent in 71 countries with a total of 1.3 billion people. Corn production in the US and Canada — representing more than 40 per cent of global production — would drop by 17.5 per cent.

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According to the researchers, 16 million tons of smoke could arise from a nuclear war between India and Pakistan since they now have more and bigger weapons and their potential targets are larger. (IANS)