In 360º: No Job, No School, Kashmiri Family Struggles In Unrest

In 360º: No Job, No School, Kashmiri Family Struggles In Unrest

India

Post Burhan Wani’s death, many Kashmiris are forced to live hand to mouth. The Quint brings you the story of one such family in Dal Lake whose livelihood depends on the shikara business. The family share their hardships in a candid conversation. The family of 8 thrives on tourism. But this year, violence and unrest in Kashmir shattered the tourism industry.

The Kulu family had been expecting to earn Rs 70 to 80 thousand a month had tourists visited Dal Lake this year. But now there’s a question mark over their very survival. According to the family, Dal Lake has not been much affected by the unrest.

People of Dal lake are peace loving. There aren’t any stone-pelters here, nor extra security personnel has been deployed at the lake. But we don’t step out in the city fearing police might nab us. I have been told by my friends, innocents are picked up by the police and then bribes are demanded. While the real stone-pelters are left free to roam.
Sahil Kulu, Shikara wala in Dal Lake, Kashmir

For the past 3 months, the Kulu family members have not stepped out of Dal Lake. TV soap operas have become their only activity.

Education is the Worst Hit

Handwara in Kashmir had been at the centre of a major unrest since 12 April 2016.(Photo: AP)
Handwara in Kashmir had been at the centre of a major unrest since 12 April 2016.(Photo: AP)

Sahil’s sister, Ishrat, is a student of Class 9. Since her school has been closed since Burhan Wani’s death, she is now worried about her exams which are scheduled to be held in November.

I have not attended my school for the past 3 months. Forget that, I can’t even step out of my house. I can’t give my exams in November because our syllabus is incomplete. 
Ishrat Kulu

Ishrat is not the only one to suffer, all schools in the Kashmir valley are closed except the Military school.

Shops closed on the streets of Srinagar. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>/Poonam Agarwal)
Shops closed on the streets of Srinagar. (Photo: The Quint/Poonam Agarwal)

Fearing that his younger brother, who is just 15 years old, might get brainwashed by the separatists or become a target of police atrocity, Sahil sent him to Goa. Over there his brother is studying as well working in a restaurant for his livelihood.

Like Sahil’s brother, many youths have left Kashmir, some for education and some in search of income. Families like Kulu family are the biggest sufferers due to this ongoing unrest. All they want is peace.

Video Editor: Kunal Mehra

Camera person: Poonam Agarwal

India