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NGOs shift focus to rehabilitation in Kashmir

Shujaat Bukhari

Seventy-five per cent of the financial resources earmarked for PoK and the remaining for Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have chalked out long-term rehabilitation programmes in the quake-ravaged areas of Kashmir, after playing a significant role in providing relief to the survivors.

Action Aid International, which has been involved in relief work since October 9, will extend its rehabilitation project for nine months.

The duration of the project in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir will be one year.

Its co-coordinator for Jammu and Kashmir, Arjimand Hussain Talib, said 75 per cent of the financial allocation had been earmarked for PoK and the remaining for this part of Kashmir.

Action Aid has focussed on provision of temporary shelters, primary health care and food and non-food material to the affected in north Kashmir.

Temporary shelters

"So far 1,700 temporary shelters have been raised in Karnah, Kupwara, Uri, Rafiabad and Kandi Baramulla areas," he said. Food and other material had reached 5,341 families and 3,420 people were treated at 21 medical aid camps.

The NGO covered 61 villages in Kupwara and Baramulla districts. It played a major role in providing shelters to an entire village, which shifted to Drangyari in Tangdhar.

"We did the primary work of relief in these villages. In the second phase, the focus will be on 30 most vulnerable villages", said Mr. Talib.

The NGO was identifying the most challenging tasks in these areas. Action Aid would build an additional 1,500 temporary shelters and take up livelihood measures for more than 250 families. "Most of these families have lost their bread-winners."

Health camps

In 30 villages, setting up advanced health camps including those for psychological rehabilitation was on the agenda.

Mr. Talib said a comprehensive assessment of over 20,000 households was done in both districts in collaboration with Kashmir University and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

COVA's 3-year plan

The Hyderabad-based Confederation of Voluntary Association (COVA), in collaboration with the Voluntary Associations Network (VAN), Kashmir, is working on a three-year rehabilitation plan.

COVA's idea of "community communities" in Tangdhar was directed at joint efforts among the sufferers by constituting a group of 10 who agreed to reconstruct houses in clusters. COVA distributed 500 tool kits and construction materials to 2,500 families. It is also distributing 2,500 bukharies (heating stoves).

"We are also planning to give 500 plastic sheets which will cover these shelters,"said Mazhar Hussain, Director, COVA.

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