Displaced Kashmiri Pandits and welfare programs
Officials of J&K government admit that those displaced from Kashmir Valley beginning in 1989, “constitute an important part of the composite culture of the Valley and the community has made a substantial contribution in several walks of life” (Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Feb 22, 20014). Adding that the ‘government is well aware of their problems and is contemplating various welfare programs, referring to the Satellite Township at Jagti.
My research shows that such “Satellite Township” like welfare programs that keep the IDP groups isolated from their host community is a bad idea, as members of this community have been isolated for over two decades from their host communities of Jammmu and Delhi which has stifled their socio-economic growth. Rather the KP community should be encouraged to integrate with their wider community and become an integral part of their host communities. Unless the policies are made to seek their durable return, no other policies are holistic enough to address the dilemma of this community.
Dr. Sudha Rajput
Dr. Sudha G. Rajput is the author of Internal Displacement and Conflict: The Kashmiri Pandits in Comparative Perspective (Routledge). Her 31-year career at the World Bank touched on multiple aspects of international development, working on thirteen countries of the former Soviet Union. Her co-authored book chapters appear in Scientific Explorations of Cause and Consequence across Social Contexts (Praeger) and in State, Society, and Minorities in Southeast Asia (Lexington Books). She writes for the Forced Migration Review. Her doctoral research has investigated issues of conflict-induced displacement in Kashmir, with a focus on societal and policy reform, leading her efforts to the development of a graduate course, Refugees and IDP Issues, drawing students from fields of conflict resolution, international development, humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding. She is a Senior Researcher at the Refugee Law Initiative, a U.K. based think-tank. She is a Consultant/Trainer for USAID, designing and conducting capacity building workshops in Khartoum, Sudan, promoting cross-border co-existence. As a Professional Lecturer, at George Washington University, she teaches at the Elliott School of International Affairs, where she brings multi-disciplinary approaches to her course on Refugee and Migrant Crisis. She is a trainer for the Forage Center for Peacebuilding Education, where during a 4-day humanitarian assistance simulation, she coaches students on systematic understanding of protracted displacements. She teaches at the University of Maryland Global Campus, delivering the MBA program for the military students. Her interests on post-conflict issues include her past travels to: Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Sudan, and Ukraine. Sudha’s blog on internal displacement can be found at www.internaldisplacement.info. Dr. Rajput lives in Washington, D.C. and can be reached at email@example.com