By| RAYEES AHMAD KUMAR
One more year is taking leave from us. The 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 it’s further spread. China’s plans were much exemplary so for as to contain the viral spread is concerned. With each passing day, it later spread in every part of the globe. A few days back it was reported even in Antarctica continent of the planet.
Lakhs of people lost their lives worldwide and in millions of people became the victims of this deadly virus. To contain its further spread and save humanity from its damage, health and administrative institutions of almost all nations issued a set of SOPs and other provisions. World wide 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, the 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. To compensate for the loss of education of children, the online mode of teaching was switched over world wide. Many android applications were developed to be used for teaching purpose. In the rest of the parts of the 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 be 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. The tourism sector suffered a huge loss. Kashmir being world-famous tourist attraction, the ill effects of lockdown and pandemic were felt seriously by varieties because here it is as an industry so for as the population associated with the tourism sector is concerned. Among the SOPs issued by the state health authorities, maintaining social distance, wearing mask and use of sanitisers 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 the first time in human history. OPD in the public hospital too was halted for many months. Surgeries were delayed and only trauma-related ones were performed in government hospitals.
Exams were also conducted online and few universities like IGNOU announced a mass promotion for its learners. National and international arial travel were 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, the 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 the central government and nullifying the special status, it was granted constitutionally, it was the 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 fourteen seats are 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 the pandemic has given us many lessons besides choking the wheels of normal life. We came to know that normal classroom 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.
The author is a columnist and teaches at Govt Secondary School Anderwan Ganderbal