Govt helpline fails to help people

Govt helpline fails to help people

The recently-launched helpline by the J&K government for the besieged 7 million people of the Valley has failed to offer any respite to the desperate callers.

As a result, many have seen the effort as nothing but a “political stunt”. For Suhail Ahmed (name changed), a student from Shopian studying at a college in Bangalore, the government helpline offered through BSNL phones of some civil administration officials in Kashmir, ended up bringing more miseries than respite.

“I was running short of money and had no contact with my family back home due to communication blockade. I called the officials concerned at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Shopian on the helpline,” he told DH.

“They told me that they will help me out. But the help was shocking. They passed on a message to someone in my village that I was in trouble in Bangalore,” Ahmed added.
The news spread like wildfire in the village in violence-hit south Kashmir. Almost all the villagers who learnt about the news at once rushed to Suhail’s residence.

Having no access to telephonic communication from the village, his family started a march on foot towards central Kashmir, from where they managed to contact him through a BSNL postpaid number, the only mobile service operational till July 27.

Suhail said he avoided seeking any money from his family knowing the situation in Kashmir. “I have managed money. You don’t worry please,” the medical student faked to his family.

He questioned if the government can’t help the people “why is it boasting to have started the helpline?”

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