BY RAYEES AHMAD KUMAR
One more year is taking a leave from us. Year 2020 will be remembered for many reasons in human history. There is a well known saying “Coming events cast their shadows before”
With the outbreak of corona pandemic in China in December 2019 and hence the name COVID 19, other parts of the globe started discussing the havoc it created and the measures China adopted to tackle its further spread. China’s plans were much exemplary so far as to contain the viral spread is concerned. With each passing day it later spread in every part of globe. Few days back it was reported even in Antarctica continent of the planet.
Lakhs of people lost the lives worldwide and in millions people became the victims of this deadly virus. To contain its further spread and save the humanity from its damage, health and administrative institutions of almost all nations issued a set of SOPs and other provisions. Worldwide lockdown was announced, as a result it’s damage and spread was minimised. But at the same time it further put humanity in distress. People lost their jobs, economy of almost all states got crumbled, education of children suffered most and when people were forced to be indoors they became the victims of psychological and mental trauma.
In order to compensate the loss of education of children, online mode of teaching was switched over worldwide. Many android applications were developed to be used for teaching purpose. In rest of the parts of globe, it proved an alternative during testing times but in Kashmir due to lack of high speed internet many issues were associated with it. Instead of a blessing it proved a curse because authorities made it mandatory for the officials to own an android phone for teaching and training purpose but when the videos of NISHTHA through DIKSHA were viewed, hardly anybody could view the full video and were most often skipped.
Business, transport and other sectors too suffered due to this pandemic. Public, private ceremonies and functions were held through virtual mode. Religious gatherings were also restricted for a long time and only recently were these restored. Tourism sector suffered a huge loss. Kashmir being world famous tourist attraction, the ill effects of lockdown and pandemic were felt seriously by vallities because here it is like an industry so for as the population associated with tourism sector is concerned.
Among the SOPs issued by the state health authorities, maintaining social distance, wearing mask and use of sanitizers was encouraged from rural to urban areas equally. Sometimes even authorities issued strict orders to implement the SOPs. Authorities even fined the persons not wearing masks and violating SOPs at public places. Passenger capacity was reduced to half and the fare was doubled in commercial vehicles, a step perhaps taken first time in human history. OPD in public hospital too was halted for many months. Surgeries were delayed and only trauma related one’s were performed in government hospitals. Exams were also conducted online and few universities like IGNOU announced mass promotion for its learners. National and international Arial travel was also restricted.
In Jammu and Kashmir an important event which happened in its history was the holding of DDC (District Development Council) elections. In its political history, first time the third tier of Panchayat Raj institutions was made functional by conducting these free and fair elections. After the abrogation of article 370 and 35A by central government and nullifying the special status it was granted constitutionally, it was first time that other mainstream parties also took part in the election process. BJP emerged the single largest party with the winning of 75 seats. Regional parties forged an alliance called PAGD( People’s Alliance For Gupkar Declaration) which won 107 seats out of 280 seats. In each district there are fourteen seats making a total of 280 seats in entire J & K. For this reason, also, in JK 2020 will be remembered for all times to come.
This year of pandemic has given us many lessons besides choking the wheels of normal life. We came to know that normal class room teaching has no alternative. Without sending students in schools, their all-round development can’t be expected at home. Discipline, obedience, honesty and many other qualities are developed only at school.
Author is a columnist and teaches at Govt Secondary School Anderwan Ganderbal