The High Cost of Celebrating Ramadan in Kashmir: Financial Strain Amid Rising Commodity Prices
Mohammad Yaseen Malik
In the valley of Kashmir, the holy Ramadan is a month of profound spiritual importance. It is a month of reflection, devotion, and community, where Muslims engage in fasting, prayer, and charitable acts. However, for many families in the region, this sacred period has become a source of financial strain and struggle due to the astronomical prices of essential commodities.
Unlike other parts of India where prices tend to drop during festivals as a relief for the people, Kashmir stands out as the only place where the prices of essential commodities surge during special occasions, especially during Ramadan and Eid. The lack of government intervention, coupled with the greed of unscrupulous traders, has resulted in a situation where prices of basic goods such as rice, lentils, and sugar, skyrocket to an exorbitant level, making it challenging for the ordinary Kashmiris to make ends meet.
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The soaring prices of essential commodities in Kashmir during the holy month of Ramadan are a stark reminder of the systemic problems that the region has faced for decades. Kashmir has been in a state of political turmoil for several decades now, which has had a profound impact on the region’s economy. The political unrest has led to an increase in unemployment rates, lower economic growth, and higher poverty levels.
The financial struggles that the Kashmiris face during Ramadan and Eid reflect the failure of successive governments to address the underlying issues that have plagued the region. The lack of investment in infrastructure and the failure to create job opportunities has forced many young Kashmiris to leave the region in search of employment, further exacerbating the economic situation in the region.
While the government has introduced several schemes to support the poor and vulnerable, it has done little to address the systemic issues that are at the root of the problem. Inadequate access to credit and financial services, coupled with the high cost of living, has made it challenging for many families to make ends meet, especially during Ramadan.
The exorbitant prices of essential commodities during Ramadan and Eid are also a result of the greed of unscrupulous traders who take advantage of the situation to make a quick profit. The government’s failure to regulate the markets effectively has allowed these traders to manipulate the prices of essential goods and exploit the vulnerable.
It is high time for the government should take decisive action to deal with the structural concerns that have led to the financial struggles faced by the Kashmiris during Ramadan and Eid. One method to accomplish this is to invest in infrastructure, create job opportunities, and promote entrepreneurship. By doing so, the government can empower the local population and reduce their dependence on external markets.
Another way to address the issue is by regulating the markets effectively. The government needs to set up a mechanism to monitor the prices of essential goods and Take decisive action against those who manipulate prices. Additionally, the government needs to provide access to credit and financial services to small and medium-sized businesses to ensure that they are not at the mercy of unscrupulous traders.
Furthermore, it is imperative for the government to provide adequate support to the poor and vulnerable during Ramadan and Eid. This can be achieved by introducing targeted schemes that provide financial assistance to those who need it the most. Such schemes can be designed to provide food grains, basic amenities, and other essential goods at subsidized rates.
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In conclusion, the soaring prices of essential commodities during Ramadan and Eid in Kashmir are a reflection of the systemic issues that have plagued the region for decades. The lack of investment in infrastructure, the failure to create job opportunities, and the greed of unscrupulous traders have all contributed to the financial struggles faced by ordinary Kashmiris during this holy month. It is time for the administration to act decisively to address these issues and provide adequate support to the poor and vulnerable. Only then can Kashmir fulfil its true potential and become a prosperous region that can provide its residents with a greater level of living. The JK government must act swiftly and decisively to regulate the markets, create jobs, and provide financial support to those who require it most. It is only by addressing the underlying issues that the Kashmiris can celebrate Ramadan and Eid with the spirit of devotion and community that these holy occasions are intended to foster.
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