Mumbai KPs extend help to those living in Camps:
(News report- Hindustan Times, Jammu, 18 June)
"These innocent exiled children are the victims of history and we all have to compensate them for it. The best way to help them is to assist them in their education", said M.L.Mattoo, President, Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai, in city to provide assistance to needy migrant students.
In an effort to provide some succour to needy Kashmiri migrants studying in different camp schools in Jammu, the Mumbai-based Kashmiri Pandits' Association today donated schoolbags, uniforms and books in Govt. Camp (Mixed) Higher Secondary School, Muthi Phase II, Govt. Camp (Mixed) Higher Secondary School, Purkhoo, and Govt. Camp High School, Mishriwala.
While talking to Hindustan Times, Mattoo said, "We have come all the way from Mumbai to meet our people living in different camps here. Donation of school uniforms, notebooks and school bags is part of our endeavour to encourage academics in our exiled community. We are also providing schol;arships to deserving migrant students on the recommendation of the principals of the respective camp schools."
Mattoo said this year they have extended their services to Pandits living in the Valley. "In the Valley, we have adopted five children, some of whom are physically challenged and one of them is suffering from cancer. Expressing his gratitude, Ramesh
Khar, one of the parents who received the assistance, said, "Little acts like these remind us that we are not alone".
Centralised Pool for Monetary help to those in distress:
In continuation to the initiative taken by a few people in Delhi and Mumbai, and in furtherence of the message circulated through Editorial in last issue of Milchar, the President, KPA took up the issue with the President, AIKS. A letter in this regard, handed over by Shri M.L.Mattoo personally to Shri Kaw Sahib during the AIKS AGM reads as follows:
"The question of monetary help to those in distress has been attracting the attention of our Association for a long time. We have further articulated it in the Editorial 'Help for the Needy' in the March-April issue of Milchar. I hope you must have seen (copy enclosed).
Each association is doing something in this direction but often in bits of pieces and seldom meeting the need adequately. It is our opinion that this matter be taken up in extreme seriousness and that too with inter-association cooperation. Item 6 of the Agenda for the above laid down by you after taking over as the President AIKS concerns this issue only. It is about time we give scope to this item of the Agenda.
In brief, it is our idea that this activity should be coordinated by the apex body (AIKS). The units should take responsibility of raising the resources. The disbursement of the individual assistance be through the Association, where the receipient is situated.
We believe that Kashmiri Pandit community spread around the globe can be able to raise resources for this task provided the direction is clear and transparent, and the appeal is made to individual donors.
I wish this be taken up at the next meeting of AIKS being held in Jammu on 19th June 2004, where an action plan with detailed responsibilities is worked out."
Help to Camps and the needy from KPA, Mumbai:
A letter to the General Secretary, AIKS, New Delhi, from the President, KPA, Mumbai, which also went as a Press Note released during the AIKS Conference at Jammu, highlighted the help rendered by the Association to the Camps and the needy. The Press Note read as under:
We wish to inform that Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai has taken up the following project in hand:
1) We have adopted 5 needy persons from our Kashmir Valley, out of the 20 people for the current financial year. In this connection our BOT has sanctioned Rs. 30,000 and the DDs of Rs. 6000.00 have been remitted to each individual as listed below:
Shri Pran Nath Sus, Habba Kadal.
Smt. Raj Dulari Parimoo, Shala Kadal.
Shri Chaman Lal Khar, Zanapora, Shopian.
Shri Sanjay Kumar Kaul, Hawand, Chowalgam.
Ms. Aneeta Bhat, Migrant Camp, Budgam
2) In addition to the above, our BOT has sent cash medical aid of Rs. 5000.00 each to a patient in Dehradun and New Delhi.
3) We have also received representations for supply of school uniforms, shoes, stationary etc. free of cost to economically weaker students of Muthi, Mishriwala, Purkhoo camps at Jammu. Our BOT expressed its eagerness to accede to this proposal and accordingly the same will be distributed at Jammu on 16 June 2004.
4) Having learnt that Mishriwala Camp School is in need of pure water supply, we are also arranging a standard Aqua Guard to be installed at the right earnest. We would feel highly pleased if you can make it convenient along with the other members of the conference to remain present at the time of distribution that would of course boost the morale of the children.
All India Kashmiri Samaj:
Press release: Three days conference of All India Kashmiri Samaj, the Apex body of 46 Indian and overseas Kashmiri Pandit organisations concluded in Jammu on 20.6.2004. The Chief Guest in the opening session of last day was Mr.
M.K.Rasgotra, Former Foreign Secretary, Govt. of India and Former High Commisioner to UK, and the second session was inaugurated by Lt. Gen.
(Retd) S.K.Sinha, the Honourable Governor of Jammu & Kashmir.
In a close interaction with Political Parties on the opening day, a consensus was reached at for carrying forward the 'People to People dialogue' between Kashmiri Pandits and majority Muslim community of the state initiated by All India Kashmiri Samaj since a few years. CPI(M) state General Secretary Shri Mohd. Yousuf Tarigami invited All India Kashmiri Samaj, its affiliates and other Kashmiri Pandit leaders to Srinagar, for its next meeting in coming months. It was unanimously decided that next meeting on future of Kashmiri Pandits would soon be held at Srinagar under the banner of All India Kashmiri Samaj. Pandits thanked Jammuites for their cooperation and support extended to them during 14 years of exile. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Jammu State Morcha (JSM), Jammu Mukti Morcha (JMM) and other leaders assured the Pandits of their full support till their all grievances are redressed. Mr. M.Y.Tarigami gladly consented to be in the AIKS's team of 'Friends of Kashmir' and promised to support the community whenever and wherever approached.
AIKS President, Mr. M.K.Kaw said in very clear terms that AIKS believes in no division of Jammu & Kashmir state. Regarding return he said that Pandits shall return in wholesome to their homes and not in piecemeal. This return, Mr. Kaw said is possible only if conditions for return are conducive which AIKS believes may take long time. Leaders agreed with Mr. Kaw that till Pandits return to their homes, state and central governments must ensure and see that displaced community, especially those living in camps live decent and respectable lives. Unemployed educated youth must be provided jobs for which purpose a minimum 10 % reservation coupled with age relaxation should be announced by respective governments for displaced persons and those living in Valley. Small business entrepreneurs and traders must be provided soft loans without collateral security and farmers and agricultural land owners must be compensated monetarily for the produce of their lands. Two and three room hutments must be constructed on war footing for all displaced persons living in camps. Mr. Kaw said these are bare minimals which State and Central governments must put in place in case they have to win back the confidence of Kashmiri Pandits. Mr. H.N.Jattu, Sr. Vice President, AIKS clarified that whole state of Jammu & Kashmir belonged to Pandits and in case of a situation of trifurcation or division of State, Pandits will be forced to demand a separate state for their living.
In its General Body Meeting on the second day, AIKS resolved for Pandits to be an economic power and in line with the same resolved to consolidate all community funds and also to set up a cooperative bank of its community brethren which project will open employment for the needy and deserving community members. Important documents like 'National Policy on Kashmir', 'Kashmiri Pandits Religious Endowment and Shrines Bill', 'Social Reforms Document', 'Revised AIKS constitution' were adopted. Affiliates present read their respective activity reports.
On the third day, which was dedicated to 'The Future of Kashmiri Pandits', Mr M.K.Rasgotra addressed a huge gathering of intellectuals, professional, traders, camp dwellers and camp commanders at Hotel Savoy, Jammu to their complete delight. He said, as bare minimum, the central government must declare the Kashmiri Pandit migrants as Internally Displaced Persons. He asked the community to remain united under one umbrella organisation of All India Kashmiri Samaj and the leadership of Mr. M.K.Kaw. He assured his help and support in all shapes and forms to the community. Community leaders who addressed the gathering included Shri M.K.Kaw, IAS, Former Education Secretary, Govt. of India and President AIKS, Shri Amar Nath Vaishnavi, President AIKPC, Shri C.L.Gadoo, Former President, KSD, Shri R.K.Mattoo, Vice President Southern Region of AIKS and President Bangalore Unit, Shri M.L.Mattoo, Vice President Western Region of AIKS and President Mumbai Unit, Shri B.L.Tiku, President Kolkata Unit and Vice President Eastern region of AIKS, Wing Commander B.L.Sadhu, President Chandigarh Unit and Vice President Northern Region, Shri T,N,Khosa, President KP Sabha, Jammu, ShriK.K.Khosa, Vice President J&K Region of AIKS, Lt. General (Rtd) B.N.Dhar, Shiban Dudha (Political Advisor AIKS), Shri A.K,Dewani, President Hindu Education Society, Shri R.L.Raina, Camp Commander, Purkhoo Camp and member Apex Committee of Migrants Coordination Committee, Shri Basant Ji, a migrant camp-dweller, Mishriwala Camp.
Enclosed Political resolutions were unanimously passed in the meeting. The concluding session was addressed by Lt. Gen.
(Rtd) S.K.Sinha, Honourable Governor of Jammu & Kashmir state. The Governor released special number of
'NAAD' the official organ of AIKS and said "Pandits are an enterprising community" and they have contributed greatly to the nation building. He said he was happy that the community is under the leadership of Mr.
M.K.Kaw, a civil servant who has many contributions and attributes to his credit. The Governor promised and assured the Pandits of his support and cooperation. The three day conference ended with a cultural programme organised by
Harmukh, an NGO.
Resolutions Passed in AIKS Conference:
This Conference notes with a sense of great anguish and concern that the Manmohan Singh led Congress government has not bothered to mention any thing about the displaced Kashmiri Pandits living in exile since last 15 years. It is a pattern which has been witnessed in the regimes of Vajpayee led NDA government and the previous
Gujral, Deve Gowda and Narsimha Rao led governments. It is highly unfortunate that the present government has failed to mention about the plight of Kashmiri Pandit community in the Common Minimum Programme as well as in the President's address to the Joint Session of Parliament.
This Conference condemns the non-initiation of steps to appoint a commission of inquiry to look into the reasons of mass exodus of Pandit community. The Conference calls for an immediate setting of a truth and reconciliation commision to analyse the events that led to the exodus of KPs.
This Conference expects the majority community to wake up from the deep and long slumber and take bold initiative to restore the glory of Kashmiriyat by inviting the Pandit community to live with honour and dignity and without any fear and also create a conducive political atmosphere for the same in valley. The KP community under the leadership of its Apex Body All India Kashmiri Samaj (AIKS) has an open mind to hold talks with the Kashmir leadership.
It has been resolved that no division of Kashmir is acceptable to the people of J&K. This will be vehemently opposed tooth and nail. This Conference appeals to the whole political spectrum of the State to be vigilant against the evil designs of those forces who want to divide the State on lines of religion, caste, colour and creed.
This Conference resolves that Pandits have an unequivocal and unfettered right on whole of Kashmir and they shall sacrifice every bit of theirs to return honourably with full constitutional guarantees to their homes on their own terms and conditions. If however, Govt. of India cedes any part of Kashmir to Pakistan due to trifurcation or division of Jammu & Kashmir State, Kashmiri Pandits will be forced to give a clarion call for a separate state for them to live.
This Conference hails the dialogue process initiated by the Centre with all shades of opinion to thrash out the problems facing the Kashmiri community. However, with a sense of great pain and anguish, it is recorded that the Pandit leadership is yet to be involved in any process or step. This august house urges the government to involve Pandits and other parties in the dialogue process at the earliest.
The Conference also puts on record the magnificient role of Jammuites for the Kashmiri Pandit community in the hour of distress and misfortune. We trust that they shall continue with the gesture in coming future as well.
This conference urges the Central and State governments to give proper representation to the Kashmiri Pandit community in the Parliament and State Legislature.
This Conference urges the Government to adopt the bill drafted by AIKS and its affiliates for proper management and upkeep of places of worship belonging to the community and also remove all the encroachments which have been made on them.
This Conference calls for a comprehensive employment package for the community. On the one hand reservation of jobs (at least 10%) in the State Governmen and special recruitment drive in the Central Government, on the other hand softer loans for setting up income generating units.
This Conference calls for an immediate end to the day to day harassment and disgrace faced by Teh Bazari owners in Delhi. It urges the authorities, especially MCD and NDMC to set up separate shopping complexes with all modern facilities for all Teh Bazari owners. This Conference notes with deep concern the high headedness of Delhi Administration and urges the authorities to provide water and electricity connections till complexes are set up.
This Conference urges the Government to declare the Kashmiri Pandit community in exile as Refugees or at least Internally Displaced Persons.
KPA Mumbai Press Release on the occasion:
1. Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai decided to help the innocent displaced children by assisting them in their education. With this in view, they recently sent their president Shri M.L.Mattoo personally to distribute school bags, uniforms and books to 150 economically weaker students of the following schools:
a) Govt. Mixed Higher Secondary School, Muthi Phase II.
b) Govt. Higher secondary School, Purkhoo.
c) Govt. Camp Hight School, Jhiri/Mishriwala.
2) Smt. Susheela Dhar Charitable Trust, Mumbai has created Education Award Scheme in consultation and with approval of KPA, Mumbai for meritorious students of 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th standards at Govt. Higher Secondary Camp School of Muthi, Purkhoo, Mishriwala and Nagrota, Jammu. The amount being Rs. 1000.00 each for 24 students. This Trust has also donated a Water Cooler to Muthi Camp School.
3) KPA, Mumbai donated a Eureka Forbes, High Flow Aquaguard to one of the above mentioned schools.
4) Our activities go beyond this. We have been arranging some accommodation for the displaced students, appearing for Ist year Technical Courses, for their counselling in Mumbai.
5) This Association provides Medical Aid and temporary accommodation to displaced persons from J&K for treatment of Cancer and Kidney and heart ailments.
6) KPA Mumbai has adopted 5 KP destitute persons in Kashmir Valley by extending some monetary help.
Elections of Kashir Sabha, Ambala:
According to a Press Release issued by the above Sabha, the following were unanimously elected as Office bearers and Executive Committee Members, in the elections held on 9th May 2004 at Ambala
President: Shri A.K.Watal
Vice Presidents: Shri A.K.Peer, Shri Raman Razdan
Gen Secretary: Shri Rajinder Kaw
Joint Secretaries: Shri V.M.Pandit, Shri Sanjay Kaul
Publicity Secretary: Shri B.B.Das
Treasurer: Shri B.N.Tikoo
Executive Committee: S/Shri K.L.Raina, Shadi Lal Kaul, S.L.Bhat (KIlam), Surrinder
Pandita, Subash Jalali, Ramesh Tickoo, Ramesh Kotru, Virender Bhat, Ramesh
Pandita, Suresh Kaul, Raman Braru.
Advisory Committee: S/Shri J.L.Kaul, N.N.Kaul, G.L.Braru, Prof. R.K.Bhan, Prof.
D.J.Raina, Dr. G.L.Kaul, O.N.Kaul. Auditor: Shri B.L.Watal.
Social Activist - Pradyumna Kaul leaves us
On 13th June 2004, Pradyumna ji left his mortal frame at Delhi, while on his way back from a Chardham
yatra. It was a great shock to the Kashmiri Pandit community of Mumbai. Shri
Kaul, widely known for his activities in defence of social concerns at higher level, also took interest in the problems of the displaced KP community. At any demonstration, protest march etc. taken out by us, we would find his prominent presence.
The social awareness was inherited by Pradyumna ji from his father Late Daya Krishenji
Kaul, who had been most actively involved in the functioning of KPA in Mumbai. His has been the largest contribution in collecting funds for Kashyap Bhawan we have today.
The extracts from Indian Express of June 15, 2004, given below show how Pradyumna Kaul's activities have been larger than life.
Activist Kaul who opposed Dabhol power project is dead:
Pradyumna Kaul, petitioner against Enron's Dabhol power project at the Bombay High Court, passed away on Monday morning. Kaul, 50, was on vacation in Badrinath, from where he had returned to Delhi on Sunday morning, friends told The Indian Express. He suffered a heart attack on Monday morning while still in Delhi. Kaul is survived by his brother, his sister-in-law and nephew.
A close associate of Medha Patkar in the Narmada Bachao Andolan, Kaul was a National Committee member of the Samajwadi Jan Parishad.
An expert on the capital markets and the power sector, Kaul was virtually a loner in tracking the Maharashtra Electricity Regulation Commission, as also the State Government's attempts to revive the Dabhol project.
Untill recently, Kaul was at the Justice S.P.Kurdukar Commission, appointed by the Congress-NCP government to look into objections to the Dabhol project.
An IIT alumnus, Kaul's sharp analytical skills were an asset to activists of all hues. But he was hardly on the periphery. From breaking down the complex financial and technical intricacies of the Dabhol project, to briefing lawyers, to assisting an 80-year old expert S.R.Paranjpe, who also intervened in the petitions against the power multinational, Kaul was there, everywhere.
His competence matched his commitment. He never shied from being a petitioner himself, if the cause demanded it. Even after Enron fell in the US under the weight of its own scandals, Kaul worked ceaselessly for the evolution of power sector reforms in Maharashtra.
His office at the Yusuf Building in Fort used to be the hub for journalists and activists, all through the anti-Enron agitation in Maharashtra.
In fact, at the Kurdukar Commission, while Paranjpe opened the 'leading of evidence', Kaul was to take over and continue the case against the Dabhol Power Corporation. The Supreme Court has now stayed the proceedings.
Kaul was also part of the Nav Nirman Andolan in Gujarat in 1975, which turned into the anti-Emergency movement later.]