Srinagar, Dec 14: A shocking advertisement in a local daily about a man announcing to sell his kidney to clear his debt sent shockwaves across Kashmir on Monday.
The advertisement stated: “I Sabzar Ahmed Khan son of Ghulam Hassan Khan r/o Nussu Qazigund want to inform the people that I have suffered a huge loss in business and have lost everything. As on date I owe Rs 90 lakh to people. If anyone needs a kidney I am ready to sell mine. The needy can contact me over phone on 94698881804—7006817983.”
Within few hours the advertisement went viral on the social media with netizens expressing shock. “It’s unfortunate that a man wants to sell his kidney to clear his debt,” wrote a netizen.
While talking to a local news agency Sabzar said that though he toiled hard to repay his debt, he still owes around Rs 61 lakh to J&K Bank and Rs 30 lakh to his borrowers.
A businessman, Shahid Ahmed of Rawalpora while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Business across Kashmir has taken a massive hit. Many people have become bankrupt due to the uncertainty which has been prevailing in the Valley for long now.”
Ahmed said, “The outbreak of COVID-19 in March this year proved to be the last nail in the coffin of the business community in Kashmir. One man has mustered courage and has made it public that he is ready to sell his kidney to clear his debt. Many of us are sailing in the same boat but we cannot muster courage like Sabzar and speak up. We have no idea about how to come out of the mess we are in.”
Another businessman, who wished not to be named, said, “We are putting up a brave face but internally we are broken. For things to fall back in place the COVID has to end and the government will have to come up with some concrete rehabilitation plan for the business community in the Valley.”
He said, “We were hoping that the banks will waive off the interest over the loans we have taken but no such step has been taken till date. Our losses have been huge despite that no one has come forward to help us.”
An analyst said, “ From tourism to information technology every sector in Kashmir has taken a hit. In case of Sabzar, he also owes Rs 60 lakhs to J&K Bank. So bank loan in many cases is a reality. A rehabilitation package for the people who have suffered is the need of the hour.”