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Dehradun is one of the safest cities in India. It is considered as an educational hub, with students from every nook and corner of India – especially from Kashmir valley – coming here for schooling as well as for higher education. Making life easy especially for those who have come travelling from distances away from home with academic objectives, crimes like theft, assault and violence as prevalent in the other cities are in fact not as worrisome in Dehradun due to their relative absence in the city. According to an official report, there are more than 8000 students of Kashmir valley alone who are studying in different institutes of the city.

After interaction with some of the students from Kashmir, who are currently studying here in Dehradun, what I found, the main reasons they prefer Dehradun over other cities for education is it’s favorable climatic conditions, hospitality of the people and a relatively low rate of crime with specific significance given to absence of religious, racial and regional discrimination.

In Dehradun, Kashmiri students are very much comfortable. The city shelters them with respect and that is the key to good numbers of Kashmiris here. Even those moving here for the first time, least worry about their accommodation. Boys prefer living in rented accommodations, which are easily available, for it gives them a sense of “greater freedom” while the girls use hostel facilities as it provides “security to them”.

Adil, one of the students said, “I came here for pursuing my degree, because climate in Dehradun city is somewhat similar to that of Kashmir and the markets are also reasonable.” Despite being a Member of Tableeq Jamaat, having a long beard, I never felt uncomfortable or faced any type of discrimination. “I feel very good here. We live in harmony. A Muslim student finds it easy to rent an accommodation in a house owned by a Hindu. After completing my degree here, with good percentage, I believe I can get a good job anywhere easily,” another student Mudasir Ahmad of Kuglam said. “The police is cooperative here, they understand if we face any problem. People are also very helpful, weather is like that of Kashmir, we feel as if we are in Kashmir,” said Faisal Jan who is pursuing his BSC MLT from Doon PG Paramedical Institute.

Ibrahim Lone who hails from Bandipora bastion of North Kashmir, is currently living in a rented accommodation here in Shanti Vihar Govind Ghar Bullupur. He said, renting an accommodation is inexpensive. He also told that he is living in a Hindu’s house, with the Landlord’s Royal family living in the ground floor while as I have my room in the second story of the same house. He often said that they were pure vegetarians but didn’t restrict us from eating non vegetarian food, but I use to keep the doors and windows of my room always closed while cooking non vegetarian food. He further said, govt here is much cooperative, they given scholarships to genuinely competitive and deserving students.

Another student Faheem Ahmad said, well it’s neither too hot nor too cold in Dehradun. The climate is just perfect, this is the main reason that I took admission here. He further said that you don’t need to worry about crimes like theft, assault, and violence in this city due to their absence.

Being here for almost 3 years, I never faced any difficulty, any inconvenience in any respect, people here are very hospitable and the educational institutes provide good opportunities too, said Shafat ul Islam a MSc. Botany student of UCST college who hails from north Kashmir’s Kupwara District. We feel a sense of safety here. We think we are in Kashmir. People here have humanity, they are soft. Also, the distance from Srinagar to Dehradun is not too far either, Lone Yawar of Pulwama said. Yawar is pursuing his BPT from Sai Group of Institution.”

Hailing from district Kupwara, Sohail Bhat a student of Sai institute said, “before taking admission here, institutes provide us with SIM cards so that we don’t face any inconvenience in talking with our parents. Moreover it is neither too hot not too cold in Dehradun. The climate is just perfect.”

MS Qazmi, a Senior Journalist and State head of The Tribune while sharing his experience with this Correspondent told that most of the institutes offers a variety of courses and opportunities that is the main reason behind students from Kashmir preferring Dehradun for Education.

Author is a Journalism Student and can be mailed at Khuehamiayaan@gmail.com.

One Comment

  1. This is not the whole picture. I taught in Dehradun some years back in different colleges and know the extent of communal feelings, covert or overtly expressed, On occasion, Kashmiri students have been beaten up and have had to face discrimination by landlords. With a saffron wave now all over the country things couldnt have improved. That said, Dehradun may be marginally better than other places, but only marginally so.