Thu. Dec 12th, 2019

Volunteery efforts in inaccessible areas

Danish Hameed

I always wanted to work for the betterment of my society. My dream is to make Jammu and Kashmir free from poverty and illiteracy. I want to make a difference, a day when no one sleeps empty stomach and everyone has a cloth to wear. I think if a person is earning and he is not contributing a penny towards society then that income is a total waste. I want to be an inspiration for my society, but I am very thankful to NGO “Kunan, The Helping place” which offered me space in your beautiful Organisation. One day I decided to work towards my dream and decide to share my ideas about Kashmir and Kashmiris through social media. After few days, I analysed that I was doing no good to improve their situation and living standards. The same people on the same roadside, even the situation for them was still the same. They had some food, they had some clothes to wear but still they beg. It made me think a litter deeper and I finally I came to a conclusion that we can’t eradicate poverty by charity but by education. Unless they are prompted to learn, to earn, to live, to pursue the talent they possess, I can’t succeed in achieving my dream . And this is the reason I want to join Teach For Jammu and Kashmir. I want to be associated with Teach For Kashmir not for these 2 years but for the entire life. I want to conduct sessions, classes, activities, workshops and each and every possible thing to eradicate illiteracy and to make them aware of the power of knowledge. I believe children can be molded in any direction and if you can give them the best direction then even sky is the limit. The people at “Kunan, The Helping place” are seriously helpful to the society. As grass root organization the people associated with “Kunan, The Helping Space” can assist many needy in areas government cannot reach with foods and funds. They also fund dearth of education and skill acquisition facilities at different levels. How to become a volunteer
1. First know your interest and inclination.
2. Search on Google and find something which interests you. Apply
I volunteer with “Kunan, The Helping Place” as this organization is a volunteering group of like minded people spread across Jammu and Kashmir and some of the areas outside Jammu and Kashmir. The main motto is to spread happiness and smile. Education, Medical Camp, Nature’s Study tour to ZOO, clothes distribution, food distribution, etc…… are conducted on regular basis.Teaching classes a regular task.Let us talk about Banihal mountains. Banihal has always been known as the gateway of Jammu and Srinagar which was made famous by the 2.5km long Jawahar tunnel and now the Banihal-Qazigund rail tunnel [India’s longest and the third longest in Asia]. Another four lined tunnel is under-construction, now in final stages. Banihal is located at an average elevation of 1666m (5466ft) and situated at a distance of about 30km from district headquarter and 37 km from Qazigund town of Anantnag district. According to “Rajtarangni” (meaning the ‘waves of king’)-a chronicle penned by Kashmiri historian Kalhana that recorded political history and heritage of Kashmir and its kingdoms and the kings till the 12th century, Banihal was known as ‘Vishalta’ in the 11th century and was a very narrow mountainous valley which was used as an escape route by revolting princes, rebels, chieftains and conspirators from Kashmir. Banihal in Kashmiri language mean ‘blizzard’ and the area has perhaps derived its name from the treacherous weather of Banihal pass which is situated at an elevation of 2832m (9291ft) on Pir-Panchal mountain range and connects Banihal with Qazigund on other side of the mountain. The Pir- Panchal mountain range separates Kashmir valley from the Himalayas and plains of the south. The pass is accessible only in summer and remains closed for rest of the year due to heavy snowfall. In 11th century, a small fort existed below the old Banihal pass called the ‘Bansalla’.The Bansalla fort belonged to the 11th century ruler of Vishalta-Khasa lord Bhagika who was son-in-law of lord Buddhal-Tikka. Banihal is closely surrounded by rock and snow mountains and temperature in winter dips as low as 10 degrees centigrade. In Banihal, the weather is temperate with pleasant summers and harsh winters. The terrain of the area is hilly with nearly 96% of the population rural based; depending mostly on rain fed agriculture. Crops and vegetables: The principle crops are maize, rice, pluses, etc. Also fruits like apple, walnut, apricot, pear and vegetables like pumpkin,t urnip, cucumber, chilly, onion, spinach etc. are grown in different areas of the Banihal vicinity. Banihal has a Railway Station that is situated in Halqa panchayat of Tehsil Banihal. It was commissioned on 26th June 2013 and passenger trains run from Banihal to Baramulla. The station has been built as part of the Kashmir railway mega project intending to link the Kashmir valley and Jammu Tawi and rest of the Indian railway network. The station also features Kashmiri wood architecture with an intended acme of a royal court which is designed to complement the local surrounding to the station.
Places of Interest:The Banihal station is rising up as tourist hub day by day. The vicinity of the station has provided opportunities of adventure and herbal Tourism. The Pir-Panchal range has variety of herbs which are useful for curing numerous ailments.
Nilpal Lamber : This spot is situated at a distance of about 5kms from Railway station Banihal with motor able road. There is a waterfall of about 2m height, sloping gorgeous meadows, spring and flowing rivulet offering an excellent place for picnic. This tourist spot offers opportunity for hiking and snow sledging. From the top one can have a majestic view of entire Banihal area, the four way road tunnel and the famous Banihal pass on the Pir-Panchal range on the opposite side.
Thandi-chhah : This potential Tourist place is about 10 kms from Banihal town connected by a motor able road. This scenic spot has two parallel streams flowing on either side of the vast meadows.
Zabban: The picturesque meadow of Zabban is located about 5kms from the national highway from Nowgam morh.
Neel Top : This scenic spot is located at a distance of about 55kms from District head quarter Rambanabd 25km from Banihal town via Chamalwas village, at an altitude of nearly 1800-2000 m. It is connected by a motor-able road. Another road to Neel Top is from Magerkote.
How to reach Banihal : One has to take trip form Jammu at about 180kms on National highway to Chamalwas, there leads link road about 18kms to reach the Neel top. In this NGO adventure Options Available here
Mountaineering : The popular peak of the area is HANSRAJ PEAK (3998 m). It is situated at Pir-panchal range, about 15kms from Banihal pass on southward direction. This peak is second highest peak of entire district. In summers, this peak is used for mountaineering by locals who are fond of climbing mountains.
Camping : Important spots of the vicinity has attraction of every one who want to spent some of their lovely moments at such spots. Camping and night halt on the top of Pir-panchal range is enjoyable during summer season. Some important spots are: Thalan, Yamul-top, Mal-tragan, Vasa-marg, etc.

( The author is a freelancer. Views are his own,


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