CHANDIGARH: J&K Students Association, a body of Kashmiri students here, on Sunday, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah requesting them to restore the Internet Services in Kashmir Valley.
Founder and spokesperson of Association Nasir Khuehami said, " We requested the government to lift ban on Internet Services in the Valley, as people in the State have suffered a lot due to the ongoing ban on internet facilities." He said that the student community, especially those undergoing professional training, who were assimilating the latest information in varied fields of education with the help of the internet, are the worst hit.
He added that research scholars are unable to access research literature, download papers, or communicate with researchers outside the state due to the unprecedented internet ban from past five months. He also said that many research scholars were forced to travel outside the Valley and even to places like Drass and Ladakh, covering long distances on road, just to access their emails and send out important emails, apply for conferences online and email papers to research journals in India and other countries.
Khuehami emphasised that students and Research Scholars have to travel to Ladakh, which is 400 kilometres away, just to check their emails. “A fish without water and a researcher without the internet are the same things. The unavailability of the Internet has hampered and halted the research work for Valley-based scholars. The absence of the Internet is not only hampering the research work but supplementary activities as conferences as well," he said.
He added that the right to internet is a part of right to life and right to education. Abnormal conditions have been induced in Kashmir through restrictions on the internet. The education sector has been the worst victim of the prevailing uncertainty, and with internet services snapped, the students have no source to study at home and clear their concepts. When everything is dependent on internet, Kashmiris have been deprived of the facility. Students are missing golden opportunities to apply for higher studies and jobs as everything these days is online, he added.
Students, who are preparing for different exams – scheduled shortly – and other competitive exams are facing inconvenience as the internet has become a major source for the preparation, as well as registrations of the application forms. The government has put the careers of these students at stake, by suspending internet services. Due to the continuous breakdown of internet services, Students are not able to learn new topics and chapters which adversely affect their education and ultimately they fail to compete with students of the other regions of the country he added.
He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to take immediate steps to restore Internet Services in Kashmir valley on humanitarian grounds so that students won't face any inconvenience and would be able to fill application forms, prepare for competitive exams and research scholars would be able to access research literature and communicate with researchers outside the state.