Militancy no more excuse for not reaching out to people: Sham

29 June 2009
The Daily Excelsior

Srinagar: Asserting that the Government cannot anymore make the presence of militancy in the State an excuse for not reaching out to the people, State Health Milister Sham Lal Sharma today said many Central flagship programmes aimed at the development of the health sector did not reach Kashmir valley owing to 'certain' circumstances prevailing here over the past twenty years. 'Due to certain circumstances here, many flagship policies did not reach here and we cannot make militancy an excuse for not reaching out to people anymore. Government has to reach out now,' he said while speaking at the inaugural function of a workshop, 'Endoscopic Sinonasal and Anterior Skull Base Surgery' held at the Police Control Room Hospital in Batamaloo area of the city. Incidentally, for the first time in the history of Srinagar, a workshop of this kind was held at a police hospital, outside the premises of Government Medical College (GMC)-Srinagar or Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS)-Soura, which was attended by delegates from various Indian states along with medical professionals of Jammu and Kashmir. Sharma once again blamed the earlier Governments and bureaucrats for being unable to draft a 'drug policy' in the State post independence after having made a similar comment on the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26. 'We have had no drug policy for the last 60 years and the leaders and bureaucrats are to be blamed for this,' he said. Lauding the efforts of police and medical professionals working under 'tough' circumstances in the Valley, Sharma said the 'man power (in hospitals) of the State has remained unchanged since 1950 in spite of the growing population.' However, he urged the doctors to exhibit professionalism and not to hold the Government responsible for the deficiencies in the medical sector. Sharma lamented the adverse conditions of the hospitals of the State and said the doctors and the Government have to work collectively for the betterment in the medical sector of the State. Meanwhile, Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda, who also delivered a speech at the workshop, felt that the local and national media was giving 'exaggerated' reports of the incidents taking place in Kashmir valley. He said the police department will shortly start 'Night Medical Assistance' in the city as it was 'the need of the hour.'