Before he could narrate to us as to why Kashmir is a safer heaven for laborers, Nazir Ahmad Bargat, originally a resident of Kalakote Rajouri pours his heart out for the hospitality of people in Kashmir.
He started with a poignant incident that almost took the life of his younger son, Muhammad Younus Bargat, who was on death bed when some generous people in Kashmir arranged money for the treatment of his son, the story fortunately ends at a happier note, “his son is healthy now and works tirelessly for the family.”
Kashmir is witnessing a huge influx of labourers from other parts of the country throughout the year, barring a few months of winter and there are several questions that demand some decent and elaborate answers as to “Why Kashmir is a safer heaven for labourers?”
Our correspondent Kamran Khursheed drove to a place where more than ten tarp tents are hooked to the ground and there are some five families putting up in those tents on the banks of famous Saas Ara that flows through the village Chatripora, a small village located at a stones throw from district headquarters Pulwama.
Nazir Ahamd Bargat, apparently the eldest person among the five families is all praise to this place, to the people living here, the hospitality etc. “Our place is entirely different from this one, it is not only the greener pastures we come here for, we come here to earn livelihood,” said Nazir Ahmad.
“The most important thing for a laborer is to receive his wages on time and that is what we love about this place, our place is opposite to this, we don’t get work in the first place back in Kalakote and even if we get a few days to work, our wages are messed up with by the mates or the owners.” Says Nazir.
Nazir’s wife doesn’t need to go to the market to fetch vegetables or other items needed in her makeshift kitchen because some local women have arranged the vegetables, the rice and some flour as well, happiness was writ on her face.
“There is a reason everybody in the world talks about the hospitality of kashmiri people, believe me, most of the times I don’t have to take my flock of sheep out for grazing because the locals would call me for coppicing and I get the leaves and branches as fodder for my sheep.”
Whenever Nazir needed any help, as per him locals have never disappointed him, “they have always helped me whenever our family was in need, be it taking us to a hospital when a member of our family falls ill or enquiring almost every day about the status of our food.”
“I want to die here in Kashmir, this place is beautiful, we are bound by some inevitable duties that we are supposed to go back to Kalakote, like the harsh winters, since our tents Cant resist the lower temperatures and moreover our cattle need warmer temperature to survive.”