Influence of Border Shelling on the Mental Health and Academic Pursuits of Students Living near Actual Line of Control: An Exploratory Study | P 192-201

Urooj Un Nisa and Nighat Basu

Central University of Kashmir, Jammu & Kashmir

Pages: 192-201

The Actual Line of Control (ALC) encompasses Jammu & Kashmir on three sides and
the conflict on this ALC is the result of antagonism between various countries. The Union
Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is experiencing hostility since independence of
India and Pakistan in 1947. The uncertainty persists, especially for the villages closest
to the border areas where cross-border shelling occurs quite frequently. It is normal for
these areas to experience periodic cross-firing & shelling. People living in J&K near the
border areas are living a miserable life and it significantly affects their mental health in
various ways. In addition to human casualties, basic and social activities like education,
health and hygiene, employment, occupation and social gatherings are always at risk.
Border conflicts routinely violate and compromise the rights of children, including the
right to life, the right to education, the right to be with family, and the right to health.
In this paper, we seek to explore the influence of cross-border shelling on the mental
health and educational pursuits of students living in border areas of J&K. The study
utilized a qualitative approach, in which22 participants living in border villages were
interviewed. The findings of the study described the impact of cross border shelling on
mental health of school students under three sections viz. (a) Declined physical and
psychological health; (b) Poor relationships and belongingness; and (c) Perceiving life
activities as meaningless and purposeless. In addition the impact of cross border shelling
on academic pursuits of school children was also discussed under three sections viz.
(a) Closure of schools/Damage to school infrastructure; (b) Disruption in education; and
(c) Coping with educational loss..
Keywords: Actual Line of Control, Mental health, Academic pursuits.

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