How is the internet submerging Kashmir's industry and business?

 internet submerging Kashmir's industry and business

"In the last four months, I have lost about one million rupees. I have had to leave Srinagar to Jammu to revive my work."

Sharik Ahmed starts talking like this while talking about his problem on the phone.

He says, "I have to rent a piece of seven thousand rupees in connection with the work. Two thousand rupees per month will have to be paid for the new broadband connection. Other expenses will also have to be spent away from home."

Shariq Ahmed is in Jammu for the last 25 days. He used to run a shop related to tour and travel in Srinagar.

On adding new work to the new city, the expenses will increase, more than it is the concern of his wife and children, who had to leave Shariq in Srinagar.

On August 5, Internet service in India-administered Jammu and Kashmir was discontinued with the removal of Article 370.

With the shutdown of the internet, the business of common people of Kashmir Valley has almost collapsed.


Waiting for internet

Sani Hussain of Srinagar runs a book store. He had to go to Delhi recently to order new books due to internet shutdown.

He says, "Going from Srinagar to Delhi once means spending thirty thousand rupees. It doesn't even make much of a margin in the business of books. I never had to go to Delhi before August 5 to take books. I always did Ordered books through the Internet. "

Hussain used to run a page on Instagram to inform people about his books and used an Amazon account to order books online. But both have stopped due to internet shutdown.

Hussain says, "Whatsapp was not able to be talked about. Clearing the bill, etc. was easily done on WhatsApp. Local shopkeepers also used to send their demand to us through internet message service. But all this will start in days , We wait. "

On August 5, when Article-370 was announced to be neutralized, the internet and telecom services were the first to be affected. Apart from these, curfew was imposed in towns and villages. School-colleges were closed. Also all the small businesses were closed.

However, local markets in Srinagar have returned to normalcy. Post-paid mobile and land line phone services have started.

But the introduction of internet and pre-paid mobile service in the valley is still pending.

Many businesses severely affected
Omar Amin owns a dry fruits shop in Srinagar. They sell many types of dry fruits. Saffron is the specialty of his shop.

He runs a website to take orders for his Kashmiri goods from outside. He has had to hire a man in Delhi to run this website, due to which his business expenses have increased.

Says Omar, "When 370 was to be decided, I first informed my relatives living abroad. I told them that my website was going to be shut down. A large part of my work is based on the Internet. Online order See you there. The website was closed for about one and a half months. Later we kept a team in Delhi which could run the website. Due to the website being closed, we got 70 per cent this season. Damage is. "

Omar says that due to the website being closed for so long, the global ranking of his website has fallen drastically, which will take him a long time to rebuild.

Apart from these trades, the closure of the Internet has also had a major impact on Kashmir's handicrafts business.

These traders say that the largest market for handmade items is on mobile in this era. People ask for, see and like pictures of things on WhatsApp. But due to internet shutdown, we are not able to send anything to anyone.

The artisans working at these merchants are also worried that if the business is so much because of the Internet, then they too will stop getting work.

The situation will worsen

Fayaz Ahmed, who works in a shawl making unit, mentions the need of the internet, "If a customer of ours in London wants to change something in the shawl that is being prepared for him or give him some new idea, then our The only way to communicate is the Internet. We work by looking at the pictures. We create new designs every day. The market is closed without realizing it. "

Artisans like Fayaz Ahmed who used to earn up to ten thousand rupees per month before 5 August. Now they are getting work of up to five thousand rupees only.

These craftsmen say that if the situation is not normal then the situation will worsen in the next few months.

Mohammad Yasin Mir, a handicraft businessman in Srinagar, points out a different problem. He says, "The payment of the people who had asked for the order or from whom we were going to order, has been stuck in place. Recently I got a call from Amritsar, they wanted two electric blankets. But I do not sample them Was able to send and they could not send money from there. The expense of sending any man for this work will be very high. That is why the matter stopped there. It has been a problem for work. "

Loss of thousands of crores

When we asked all these people, are they thinking of making any request to the present government about it?

So everyone's answer was the same. These people say, "This government does not want to listen to us. We used to make requests to elected governments. But the officers who are present at this time do not listen to the local people. They do not know us. We do not know our needs. So we don't want to go to any officer. We are just waiting for a good time. "

Recently, WhatsApp had issued a notification that all inactive WhatsApp accounts have been closed due to internet shutdown in Kashmir Valley for more than 90 days.

The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry says that the economy of India-administered Kashmir has lost about Rs 18,000 crore so far due to internet shutdown from 5 August 2019.