Impact of Internet Curbs on Kashmiri Students

Kashmiris are locked down in their homes with internet on 2g speed amid panic of coronavirus.

We are well cognisant of the fact that the high speed internet in J&K has been suspended from last more than nine months now. This has affected life of every citizen, especially the student community.

Nowadays social media plays a cardinal role in every student's life, as it is  elementary and convenient to access information, provide information and communicate. Teachers from different institutions of the world use social media as a tool of teaching. They create pages on Facebook or channels on YouTube for the  students where the information can be accessed and which the students of Kashmir woefully are not able to access.

The students in Kashmir are beset with many problems due to the security situation and which also has led to the delay of exams.

Nowadays we are more dependent on internet whether it is education, business, marketing or studies. The more one is dependent on something the more it becomes part of ones daily life. We the students of Kashmir remain clueless about new updates on different subjects as compared to our peers elsewhere in the world for no fault of ours.

Right to information and right to be educated is among fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Indian constitution yet we are denied this right by the same govt which swears by this constitution and imposes curbs on us in its name.

Now the world is quarantined due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and I am sure the students in their homes elsewhere are able to listen lectures or to seek study material provided by teachers thus they keep pace with their studies. Alas! Kashmiri students are denied this right. We are not able to access study material due to agonisingly low speed internet (less than 70 KB/s). We are paying for 4g internet but in return we are getting 2g internet & sometimes no internet at all. It does not only affect our education but also leads to our mental distress and agony. I know many bright students who in frustration have taken the iniquitous steps like smoking and fallen to drug abuse.

Apart from internet there are other issues too which affect the students life in the Valley like frequent lockdowns, curfews, encounters, power cuts. It is my humble request to the administration kindly restore high speed internet so that we will be able to at least compensate whatever little for what we have lost during past nine months.

Kamran Ashraf

[email protected]
Student of Law
University of Kashmir, Srinagar

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