Jammu’s territorial borders suffer from diverse physical, ethnic and cultural contradictions. While the state has a major role in securing war frontier, the populations along territorial peripheries, too, can play an important role in securing our interests. The people living in these areas are the most important ingredient towards a secure and safe border area.
On a recent visit to Mangu Chak a village next to the Indo-Pakistan border and talking to the people about the adversities they face. Here are a number of very critical issues the natives of the place face:
Water scarcity is ordinary in the village. No proper water system and no water tanks in the schools. “School is just a name. There is no facility of drinking water in the school for the children. They go out to neighbors’ house to ask for water and keep loitering. There is no check by the teachers. The teachers are busy on their phones.” Said, Santosh Devi, parent.
Schools are the nurturing seeds of a child’s life and here they are just spoiling the whole order of how they are supposed to work. The higher authorities has kept no check on the working bodies who run the schools. Reportedly, the funds are assigned for the maintenance of the schools are chomped by the teachers making it worse.
The poor quality of education in the government schools compels the poor farmers to send them to private schools.“We are poor farmers our children are not taught anything in the government school and we send them to private school which is just out of our pocket to afford but we have no option left. What is the fun of having a government school right next door if it is just for the name?” Said, Asha Devi.
No employment opportunities for the residents is also a major problem for them as they have to leave their houses to work.
The government must entail reconceptualising the concept of border guarding to effective border management, where local people became the centre of gravity of all actions. The border guarding forces have to evolve ways and means to mainstream the local population in the management of the border areas.
Almost all the men of the village are drug addicted which has made life hard for the women clan. Young boys are also addicted.
The threat of firing and shelling is always on the head of the border people. Their animals get injured making them hard to survive.
Border areas have always been deprived of the happy normal lives which the city people live. The adversities they face have made it hard for them to survive.