Shifting Gears: Drug Abuse, Domestic Violence New Concern


SRINAGAR — A one-day seminar of Ulema, scholars, Imams, civil society activists and NGOs was held at Mirwaiz Manzil here to address the “alarming concern in society about the growing menace of drug addiction in the Valley and also issues related to women in society.”

 The meeting was presided by Mutahida Ulema council head Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, according to a statement.

“The seminar focused on understanding the reasons and extent of the problem especially with regard to drug abuse in order to find ways and means of addressing it and domestic violence and inheritance discrimination faced by women,” the statement said.

“In his inaugural speech, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that the prevalence of rampant drug abuse being reported across and valley among both boys and girls and its easy availability needs to be addressed by one and all to save our future generations and our society. He said that it is for this reason that the seminar has been called so as to collectively deal with this major problem facing us,” the statement said.

Mirwaiz said that it was very disturbing that despite being a Muslim society and following the great religion of Islam that gives women all dignity and guarantees their rights reports of rampant domestic violence forcing some to take the extreme steps of committing suicide and other discriminations and abuse against women are happening.

Mirwaiz stressed that it was the responsibility of the Ulema, Imams and Khateebs to create awareness among people in this regard both among men and women about the rights guaranteed to the women by the great religion of Islam and respect for women. Mirwaiz said he was hopeful that Kashmir’s Ulema, Imams, NGOs and Civil Society activists would work together to deal with both the issues to their best.

Speaking on the occasion, Karwan-e-Islami patron Ghulam Rasool Hami said that the organization led by him has been raising voice against the growing drug and liquor menace for a long time. government, Hami said that it was a matter of great concern that huge quantity of drugs and liquor was easily available in the market while as drugs like Heroin was just a phone call away from the addict and the government was aware of it .He said relying on the government to root out the menace of drug abuse won’t suffice and that it is high time to unite on our own and to fight it out openly so that the young lot is saved.

Doctors from drug de-addiction center SMHS gave a detailed presentation, quoting official figures in the year 2018-2019, at the SMHS drug –de-addiction center, 6476 cases were registered while as 755 patients were admitted in the hospital. Official figures had revealed that over 46000 patients were alone treated at the SMHS hospital for being addicted one or the other drug in 2018 and in the ensuing year, more than 12000 in the Out Door Patients Department (OPD).

While as 88 percent of the drug addicts treated at SMHS hospital were found as males, what was more shocking that 12 percent were females that include school and college going girls and also the women with some domestic disputes.

Regarding women’s issues Mantasha Bint -e-Rashid of Kashmir Women’s Collective initiative (KWCI)  gave a detailed presentation highlighting various challenges women face on daily basis both at domestic and social level, including domestic violence , desertions divorce refusal to give parental inheritance among others.

She suggested a series of measures to address the issues while seeking active support of the clergy in Kashmir. Later suggestions given by all members were discussed and a decision to form two panels which included Ulemas, Khateebs civil Society activists and NGOs, was made that would work on both the issues.

Mirwaiz advocated the inclusion of a member from Kashmir Women’s Collective Initiative in the panel constituted to address the issues related to women.


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