The five-digit landline number was only revived late Sunday night after it had gone dead due to the ongoing communication clampdown in the state post the government revoking its special status under Article 370.
A Srinagar-based CRPF helpline which was restored on Sunday has been inundated with calls from Kashmiris living across the country and abroad seeking to know the wellbeing of their kin in J-K, officials said on Monday. The ‘madadgaar’ helpline number — 14411 — has received over 870 calls over two days and over 55 per cent of the callers wanted to know about their families, they said.
The five-digit landline number was only revived late Sunday night after it had gone dead due to the ongoing communication clampdown in the state post the government revoking its special status under Article 370. As per official data compiled till Monday evening, the helpline had received over 470 calls from Kashmiris based in India and abroad who were anxious to know about the wellbeing of their parents, other family members, relatives and an update on the situation in their respective areas.
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Many of them also expressed their desire to talk to their families and asked CRPF personnel manning the helpline to help them out, the officials said. The helpline has received about 17 calls from the UAE, 11 from Saudi Arabia, three each from the US and Russia, five from Israel, four from Singapore, two from France and one each from Australia, Kuwait, Belgium, the UK and Canada among others, according to the data.
Also, since Sunday night, more than 410 calls were received from Kashmiris living in various parts of the country wanting to know about their families, they said. About 200 calls were received from the family members of various security forces personnel who are posted in the Kashmir valley for law and order and counterterrorist operations duties.
Out of this, 149 calls were for Central Reserve Police Force personnel, 24 for JK Police, five for Army, two for Air Force, 10 for Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), six for Border Security Force and five for Sashastra Seema Bal troops. A similar number (200) of calls were received from non-Kashmiris who wanted to know about the wellbeing of their friends and colleagues, they said.
The helpline, that operates from a CRPF base in Srinagar, has also rushed its troops to address the problems of locals in distress. At least 20 patients, who had undergone Kindney transplant in the recent past, were provided important medicines by Kashmir-based CRPF personnel who were allowed to go home on leave to celebrate Eid, they said.
The helpline also received a call late Sunday night from one Aamina from Delhi who said her family living in Rangreth area of Srinagar had run out of food and groceries.
Five kg of wheat flour, three kg rice, oil, sugar and vegetables were provided to the family by the CRPF personnel working with the helpline, they said. The helpline team also received a message on Twitter from a Delhi-based person, saying his parents have to travel from Srinagar to the national capital on August 14 but they don’t have copies of their air tickets.
The personnel took out a printout of the ticket from the e-mail sent by the person in Delhi and delivered it to his parents so that they can get an entry into the airport and travel to Delhi, they said. In an another SOS case, a Kashmiri man informed the helpline that he is working in Delhi and has sent his salary to his parents living in Pulwama but now he needs some urgent money to purchase medicines.
“The man was provided with medicines by CRPF officials in Delhi on Monday,” a senior official said. A team of 5-6 personnel man the helpline round-the-clock but given the recent developments, the force has bolstered its manpower, they said. The ‘madadgaar’ (14411) was launched by in June 2017 by the CRPF, deployed thickly in the internal security grid of J-K, to help any Kashmir Valley resident based anywhere in the country, in distress.