Another rejection by the government, that had promised good days and the end of discrimination, has agitated the locals of Jammu region lately. The region is being subjected to frequent rallies, protests and strikes by the people whose sentiments are hurt one more time by the ruling ministry. To fight for this cause, AIIMS Coordination Committee has been persistently fighting against the BJP and the Union Home Ministry for not granting a separate AIIMS for the region.
“The party is engaging the public in wordplay and false promises.”
After BJP came into power, the people were filled with hopes that the discrimination that Jammu has been facing for years will finally come to an end but clearly, all the pre and post poll promises seem to be fooling the people who trusted the hopeful vows made by the BJP ministers. AIIMS, being one of the major issues for Jammu has created unrest in the region and the associated members are ready to unleash the anger and despair until the end. The AIIMS coordination committee has now extended the shutdown for another 72 hours, to express the agitation towards the government that has been betraying the people with no remorse.
The shutdown is being crucially carried out in almost all parts of Jammu. Offices, shops, public transport everything is closed in support for the cause. The government has constantly abandoned all its promises and now the people are not ready to tolerate any more of the discrimination. The shutdown has crippled the normal life in the region but this seems to be the ultimate option to shake the government from their long slumber.
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The health sector of the region is already in shambles and despite the fact that the region caters to a huge demand of Medical Care, it doesn’t have even one hospital equipped with vital facilities and provisions. Kashmir on the other hand, has multiple large hospitals and the provision of special doctors and departments to meet the growing need of patients.
With the population of this region being more, the only hospital in Jammu-Government medical College and Hospital, has a gigantic number of visitors- even from the remote corners of Poonch, Rajouri, Bhaderwah, Doda and Basohli. Most of the visitors are financially poor and with no proper facility available in Jammu’s sole hospital catering to the needs of thousands, they are left to suffer. A large population from the hilly and backward area is solely dependent on the minute share of medical care facilities available in Jammu and hence the region is in dire need of an institute like AIIMS. Those people can barely afford the treatments offered in the highly expensive hospitals in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Delhi and setting up of AIIMS is therefore a crucial demand which is not only limited to ‘Jammu vs Kashmir’.
AIIMS will also ensure that talented doctors will be at immediate disposal for the huge population of Jammu and the peripheral areas. This will help develop an eco system of good medical and health care as better skills and knowledge is an immediate need. Besides, setting up of AIIMS in Jammu will also satisfy the people of this region that the reign of permanent discrimination which has run permanently since partitions, comes to an end. Also, the two fragments of the state need to be on the same perch for the sake of development and empowerment and the discrimination finally needs to reach an end.
All these reasons should not be ignored or undermined and the perpetual struggle of the ACC and associated organizations should be considered by the government. The committee ensures that no inconvenience is being enforced upon the travelling yatris and tourists amid the ongoing protests. Since the protest is the last resort for the people of Jammu to wake up the government, the committee assures that the intent is not to cripple the normal life in the region. Abhinav Sharma, who is among the key members of the AIIMS coordination committee expressed, “We never stopped Yatris travelling from one location to the other. We have further mollified the problem of Yatris by providing four free-of-cost 50-seater buses to and from the railway station. If more than 10 Yatris together want to go to Katra, our buses will take them to Katra free of cost as well.”