By Showkat Budnumbal Kashmiri
Presenting the Scene of Decades Ago.
Budnumbal the beautiful valley of charm and peace is located in the north west of district Kupwara of J&K at Actual Line of Control(ALC) at the altitude of about 7000 feet above the sea level.
It is the frontier area of Kupwara on its north west side and forms the Crown of Kupwara. It is 48 kilometres away from district headquarter and 21 kilometres from Chowkibal. It falls in the jurisdiction of Tehsil Kralpora, Block Reddi Chowkibal, Nayabat Panzgam, Post Office Trehgam and Police Station Kralpora. The adjacent villages of Budnumbal include Khanbal, Manzpathar, Manchatter,Chowkibal and Zunreshi. The village Budnumbal is connected to rest of the villages with a single track zigzag patterned PMGSY road starting from chowkibal and reach Budnumbal via Manchatter and Manzpathar through the hilly area. The village Budnumbal comprises of two panchayats viz; Budnumbal Bala known as Harpora and Budnumbal Payeen known as Banpora. Panchayat Budnumbal Bala comprises of 7 electoral wards and 6 mohallas including Shart Mohalla, Reshi Mohalla, Malik Mohalla, Sarpanch Mohalla,Bhat Mohalla, Wandaji, Mohalla. Panchayat Budnumbal Payeen comprises of 7 electoral wards and 6 Mohallas including Banjerdaji, Bonidub, Waganpathra, Gampora, Shart and Shaildaji. The name Budnumbal is actually a Kashmiri word ” Baed Numbal” ,where ‘baed’ stands for big and the ‘numbal’ stands for meadow or pasture. Budnumbal is a separate valley surrounded by densely forest containing hills on all sides and is a good tourist resort for summers. There runs a river named as “Budnumbal Nallah” which runs parellelly below the populated area and this river forms the source of Kehmil river on its north west side. The major crops of Budnumbal are only dry crops including Maize(Maki), Beans(Rajma) and Potato(Aalo). So for as educational institutions are concerned in Budnumbal there is one High School, 5 Middle schools and 3 primary schools which form the basic system of education in Budnumbal . There is no other vocational, polytechnic and paramedical institute in Budnumbal . Also there is no handicraft centre at Budnumbal.
But the story which tells us about the life in Budnumbal starts now which is indeed a heart touching story and needs attention from all quarters. The total population of Budnumbal valley is about 4200 approximately. The life of people of Budnumbal is totally different from other regions. The Budnumbal valley presents an image of decades ago. There is no communication system like mobile network, intrnet facility, digital services, online education system in this era of information of technology. There is no name of technology there in Budnumbal . People totally remain cut off from each other and could convey or receive information particularly during emergencies like deaths, serious patient cases and all other life affairs due to non avalability of mobile network or telephone. Students of the could not study well especially the current knowledge studies due to lack of intrnet and hence could not compete with the students of other areas. They have to face same competition with same criteria cum sylbus as the urbans face . Nobody bother for that whether the students can crack the Screening tests and interviews without intrnet facility. Not only this, students of the valley Budnumbal need to go other areas like Kralpora and Kupwara for continuing there studies after matric class as there is no facility of Higher secondary and other higher institutions. Majority of students especially girls left their studies after 10th due to the accomodation problem there in other areas and poverty. They could not bear the expenses to stay in town and urban areas. The matric class students are even compelled to go to Chowkibal for appearing in examination as there is no facility of examination centre there in Budnumbal provided. The people often demanded for the same but nobody solves their problem.
There are arrangements of games and sports for the youth of the village because non availability of play grounds and mini stadiums. Thus they remain totally lagging behind in games and sports. They did not get exposure, instead get victim of turmoil and depressions.Budnumbal valley has not yet been electrified though the work is going on but very slowly. Adminstration assured many times to provide electricity and gave dead lines to provide the same but the problem is unsolved till present. People many times demanded for solar panels for managing till the electricity is provided but no response came from the admestration. Without lighting system again education sector become the major victom and students suffered a lot. There is no banking facility or any other digital service available in the valley Budnumbal. Many times people demanded for Nayabat Office so that people will easily get their land and revenue issues settled and docomentised and also the magistrate care for other affairs of the village. But till present admenstration showed no attention towards the same. Even previously government ordered for the same but was not then implemented rather they cancelled it again.
There is no hospital facility in Budnumbal exclusive of one Sub centre at Budnumbal Bala but too could not provide the relief to the area because lack of requesite facilities. Though there is sanctioned and working an MBBS doctor there in Budnumbal on the record of administrstion but in reality people have neveer seen any doctor really in the subcenter till present. It will be ironical if needed to explain the problems suffered by the people of that area which remain cut off for 6 months during winters. During the harsh winters people live their lives only upon the mercy of God and no one cares for them . Patients need to travel long distances on feet facing the harsh cold, snow fall and many miseries to reach the hospitals of Panzgam, Kralpora and Kupwara. People use Wooden Charpayis to carry serious patients, accident victims, old aged patients and delivery patients to reach the hospitals. Most of patients lose the battle of their lives in midway and their relatives return back helpless, heartbroken and disappointed. Not only this, since Budnumbal is shelling prone areas and there remains heavy risk of damage to the lives. Without hospital they become totally hopeless and helpless. Further no safety bankers are constructed yet in the village Budnumbal .
The majority of population are workers, coolies and earn their livelihood from daily based works facing lot of miseries . There is very less employeement in the area though there is huge number of qualified youth who are waiting and longing for the employeement. Women on other hand have mostly no option of earnings as there is no handicraft centre available. Thus women and girls could not get chance to learn handicraft skills so that they too will get earnings. Thus a handicraft center is direly needed. Majority of people in Budnumbal are poor and even downtrodden but no body cares for their upliftment. There negligible income generation from agriculture as there are no horticulture fieds, gardens, and other valuable crops. Paddy is totally absent in the area as it could not thrive there in Budnumbal due to lack of favourable climate and irrigation facility. Thus people mostly depend upon goverment rations provided by food supplies department. For storage of grains there is dire need of a well food grainary which is not yet constructed,however there is store available but having small size and more grains could not be stored especially during winters wheen it needs to store for six months.
The village Budnumbal since provided with scenic beauty and pure and charmful atmosphere is a beautiful place for tourism. But yet it has not been recognized for tourism. If the tourist center would have sanctioned, the poor inhabitants of the villaged would have earned their livelihood. Thus emphasis should be laid on it and tourism should be introduced in this village and the Budnumbal village should be included in Lolab And Bangus Development Authority(LABDA) for the welfare of whole area.
There is no internal road connectivity in the village Budnumbal. Major bridges connecting mohallas and two panchayats of the valley were of wooden and have been totally demaged. People especially children face risk to go from one mohalla to other. Yet these bridges have not been constructed. There are no foot paths and drains visible anywhere in the village. Paths are dusty and become muddy during rains and prople can not pass over easily. Also the main road from Chowkibal though is black topped but is highly risky and prone to the accidents due to blind curves and single track having very less widening. People of the Budnumbal demands for the tunnel so that lives would be saved from accidents. The goverment gets thousand to lacs of feet of timber and huge quantity of timer from the village forests through SFC annually. But in return the village gets zero grants in terms of developmental aids. Nobody cares for the welfare of common masses of the valley Budnumbal . Some times it seems that perhaps it is not on the goverment planning and developmental maps.
Thus in nut shell it is put into kind notice of adminstration cum goverment too see the problems and issues of the inhabitants of village and give them the chance to develop and prosper to live a normal life. And it is requested to the district adminstration Kupwara to raise the developmental standard of the village Budnumbal on preiority and to ornamentalise it to make it really the Crown of Kupwara.