The ongoing unrest in Kashmir, which is more than 100 days old now and has seen the Valley losing over 100 lives, has resulted in a loss of over Rs 26,000 crore worth of business, valuable academic session and public property worth crores.
The flames of unrest began on June 11 with the killing of a 17-year-old boy in alleged tear gas shelling by police at Rajouri Kadal and has engulfed the entire Valley. Sopore, Pampore, Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla, Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Budgam, Ganderbal and Srinagar city have all witnessed violence, arson and deaths during the period.
The education system in the Valley has become a collateral damage in the cycle of protests and strikes called by the hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and curfew imposed by the state government to thwart these programmes.
Despite claims of the state government that over 70 per cent schools were functioning normally in the Valley, the students have stayed home for most of the past 100 days.
Considering that Valley has three months of winter vacations and another month of gazetted holidays, the effect of strikes and curfew on the learning process is any body's guess. The quagmire the students find themselves has led to protests at some places. Although just a handful, a group of students from Natipora area of city came all the way to Lal Chowk early this month to protest against their inability to attend schools.