Kashmir ground report: After the repeal of Article 370, winds of change blow through Shopian
Shopian has a reputation for stone-throwing, but the district is experiencing peace as youth involved in violence return to the mainstream two years after Article 370 was repealed in Kashmir.The district, which was infamous for stone-pelting for several years, is undergoing a transformation as youths here focus on other aspects of life. Since the people of Kashmir's lives have changed, please keep us updated on the major developments via this ground report.
Prior to these changes, Shopian was considered a terrorist stronghold, with 50-60 hand grenades thrown here every day in 1989.Not only that, but the border with Pakistan, which is only 40-45 kilometres away from Shopian, also played a role. As a result of its geographical location, this border district provided a soft ground for infiltration.
There was so much hatred among the youths here that they pelted stones at Army personnel, but the situation has changed since Article 370 was repealed. Youths were drawn to the government initiative through a variety of schemes.
The flow of money across the border is said to have stopped with demonetisation, and the government has gradually involved people in start-ups and other employment schemes. The nativeThe youths in this area have moved away from stone-pelting and toward economic employment. Some have opened their own restaurants, while others have opened showrooms and are moving forward with the assistance of government programmes. They also provide employment to residents of nearby villages.
Some have also begun working in local hospitals, while others have started their own food trucks. The effects of the repeal of Article 370 can be seen on the faces of those who live here.