On the directions of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Minister for Rural Development Panchayat Raj, Law and Justice, Abdul Haq Khan today met Kashmiri students studying in various colleges of Mumbai to get the firsthand account of the issues being faced by the students outside their state.
While interacting with the students, Minister asked the students to be the ambassadors of the J&K state and help in breaking the negative stereotype about Kashmir build by a section of media. He said during interactions with students in various states he came to know that the students are the primary sufferers of the negative image being portrayed of J&K by blowing minor issues out of proportion and that students need to act ambassadors of peace in the respective states they are studying.
He said studying outside their state can be a blessing in disguise as students get to know more people and diverse cultures and help in removing negative stereotypes thereby bridging the gaps and bringing the people together. He said once the people talk to each other all the negative notions against each other gets demolished and real picture come to fore. He said that is the only way that the people of Kashmir can counter the narrative being constructed by a section of media.
Abdul Haq appealed media to be part of the solution instead of fuelling trouble by facilitating in bridging gap thereby connecting people of the country and helping in addressing the alienation of Kashmiri youth.
During the interaction the students discussed threadbare various hardships being faced by the students outside the state viz a viz hiring a rented accommodation and other related issues.
During discussion students raised a demand of setting up of a special helpline in the State through which the students can contact the government in case of any untoward incident.
Responding to the suggestions given by the students, Minister assured that all the measures/steps will be taken in safeguarding the interest of the students who are studying outside the State.
He asked the students to be in touch with the Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell through social networking sites or can call directly to the cell in case they need any help from the government. He said the Chief Ministers Grievances cell is functional 24X7 and being monitoring continuously. He also asked students to directly contact him or on his twitter handle for any assistance.
Minister also suggested the students to be in touch with each other while staying in different cities that will help them in case of hardship. He suggested students to create whats app groups where students studying in a particular city can connect together that will help them in communicating with each other and if a student faces any problem, other can come to his help and can communicate in a swiftly. He assured full support from the government to the students.
Terming the safety and security of the students studying outside the state as the prime responsibility of the government, Minister said the government under the leadership of Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti is committed to provide all the support to the students who are acting as the brand ambassadors of the State.