Will the rest of the District Magistrates follow suit?
Srinagar, Jammu And Kashmir —
The government authorities have finally taken some steps to ensure that Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) do not share relief distribution photos and videos on social media. In this connection, District Magistrate (DM) Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary issued formal orders to ban the practice.
An order issued by the DM Srinagar Shahid Choudhary said that using the powers vested in him under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, it is ordered that nobody will upload photos or videos of relief distribution on the social media sites.
In amplification of his earlier order, DM Shahid said on Sunday that only designated essential and emergency service officials will be allowed to enter areas declared as containment zones.
Distribution Of Relief In Coordination With DDM Agency In Kashmir
Moreover, the order stated that the operations of NGOs and the distribution of relief in such areas will be in strict coordination with the NGO cell of the District Disaster Management agency.
After the order by DC Srinagar was issued, Digpu talked to few DMs from other districts in the Valley who said that they were also making efforts to stop the practice. However, DC Shopian Mohammad Yasin Choudhary said, “There is no harm if people undertake social work. At the district level, we have not issued any such orders which bar from sharing photos and videos, especially when they are taken with the consent of the ones being clicked.”
Several NGOs Making Relief A Photo-Op In Kashmir
Digpu has brought to light ‘How some NGOs are exploiting the less privileged in Kashmir’, about the very practice of NGOs and reached out to the authorities in J&K including Divisional Commissioner Kashmir about the same.
The authorities in Srinagar have taken around 30 NGOs on board for reaching out to residents in Srinagar district so as to ensure a rationed distribution of relief as well as to ensure that NGOs do not indulge in anything that would alleviate the problems facing the people, especially the underprivileged in view of the lockdown imposed to check the spread of COVID-19.
Given the swift actions of district authorities in Srinagar, it needs to be looked at whether the officials show the same urgency in other districts as well. This is especially important given the rampant use of social media by NGOs in villages and towns of other districts who have virtually flooded social networking sites with gigabytes of relief distribution photos and videos!