Students, others returning to Kashmir amid rise in COVID-19 cases

TNN Bureau. Updated: 4/20/2021 5:33:58 PM Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar, Apr 20: Students, pursuing education in professional and other colleges outside J&K, have started to return to the valley in view of unabated rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, which recorded 2,59,170 new cases of the novel Coronavirus during the last 24 hours.

However, surprisingly the non-local work-force, including from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh (UP) and West Bengal, have stayed put in Kashmir despite various curbs being imposed by different state government, particularly J&K, in view of rise in the number of positive cases.

Meanwhile, J&K Students Association has established a helpline and online platform to monitor and address the issues of Kashmiri students studying in different parts of country.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has extended Corona night curfew to all Municipal and Urban local body limits of all 20 districts of the Union Territory, where only 50 per cent of shops in Market complexes / Bazaars / Malls shall be open on an alternate basis through a rotation system to curtail the spread of the virus.

“All the students studying in our college left for their home after many positive cases were reported in our educational institute and adjoining areas,” Turfa Bashir, an Engineering student, pursuing studies at a UP college, told TNN.

She said that she returned to Kashmir on Sunday with a group of over 20 other students from her college. “The flight which we took to Kashmir from Delhi was full of students, pursuing education in different colleges and universities of the country,” she added.

Another student Athar Shah said that he returned to the valley with a group of 15 youth, who were pursuing studies in a college in Pune. “We have a bitter experience with last year’s lockdown when all the modes of commute were shut overnight. We didn’t want to take a change this time, so we decided to return home and be with our families,” he added.

He said the airports at Mumbai and Delhi were full of students and other people, who were returning to their families in Kashmir, fearing another lockdown. Students pursuing MBBS from Bangladesh and other countries were also returning to the valley in view of COVID-19 cases, Last year, special flights had to be operated to get the students from other countries, particularly Bangladesh, back.

A spokesperson of J&K Students Association said that the association has set up a bridge to give proper heed to the problems of students during to second wave of deadly Coronavirus. Association said that it has setup volunteers to extend helping hand to the people in need.

He said the association has requested the students of Kashmir studying in different States and UTs, to connect with the volunteers at available numbers, where the students can report grievances, issues. “We saw parents are making frantic calls to their children, advising them to return to Kashmir Valley at an earliest. The Association added that Students are requested to get in touch with volunteers,” he added.

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