The Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Unified Martial Arts (JKAUMA) is a Non-Profit Organization (NGO), which is an amalgam of various clubs and Associations (practicing different forms of martial art). It is one of the fastest growing sports body in J&K. Unified martial arts appeal to people from a range of backgrounds as it can be used for self-defense, competition fighting and general fitness. The surge in unified martial art popularity has been evident at our clubs spread in the length and breadth of the state. Some of these members join for competition fighting whereas others join purely for the fitness benefits offered by this unified martial arts. However, in the last about two years, the sport has attracted girls in the valley, who seek the training mostly for self-defense. Our Association seeks to promote healthy living through sports and endurance as well as the sportsmanship and personal development that come with martial arts training.
With drug addiction on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Unified Martial Arts (JKAUMA) has launched ‘Drugs Out, Sports In’ initiative to fight drug addiction in the state by promoting healthy living through Martial arts. In this endeavor, JKAUMA has been organizing seminars in different private schools and colleges to spread awareness among students about the ill effects of drug addiction and how to resist and overcome this menace. One of the major problems in drug de-addiction is a relapse because the victims are unable to locate any constructive platform which can engage them positively. JKAUMA intends to fill that vacuum by bringing in martial arts, which not only focuses on physical development but strengthening the mental facilities of a person. The Academy aims to enrich an individual’s education through practice (both physical and spiritual) and competitions, as well as channelize their energy for constructive purposes and stop them from derailing from the mainstream.
The Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Unified Martial Arts has also launched an initiative to promote ‘Self-defence among girls and women’ by organizing seminars in schools and colleges in the valley. Self-defence, especially for women and girls, is of utmost importance in the kind of the world we live in today. Women usually referred to as the weaker sex, are considered easier targets hence self-defense for women has become a necessity more than ever.
FINDINGS ABOUT DRUG ADDICTION IN J&K
A recent study conducted in a Drug De-addiction Centre in Srinagar found that over two-thirds of patients in the study had started substance abuse in the age group of 11-20 years. Meanwhile, another study claims that the percentage of Valley youths, who are affected by drug abuse, has risen to about 40 percent from five percent in 2008.
Pertinent to mention here is that there has been a steep rise in physical, mental and substance use disorders over the past two decades across the State. There has been an alarming shift in the pattern of substance use in terms of rising in the number of female users, decreasing age at first-use, increasing use of solvents, injectable opiates and use of steroids as well as increasing drug-related deaths (over-dose and accidents). The menace of drug addiction if not controlled will take the form of an epidemic.
According to the database of Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar and Associated Hospitals, the number of patients with substance use visiting OPD in the year 2016-2017 was 6157 and between Jan 2017 and Dec 2017, it was 6550. At the Community Centre, SMHS Complex, the number of patients with drug dependence admitted in the year 2016-2017 was 535 and between 2017-2018 it was 710.
As per the database of GMC, Jammu and Associated Hospitals, the number of patients visiting OPD with substance-related problems were 2122 in 2014-15, 2278 in 2015-16, 2354 in 2016-17 and 2398 in 2017-18. The number of patients with substance use disorders admitted in the year 2014-15 was 46, in 2015-16 it was 55 and in 2017-18 about 66 patients were treated in the in-patient department of the de-addiction Centre of GMC, Jammu.
Most common substances of abuse identified included nicotine, opium, and medicinal opioids, cannabis, benzodiazepines, and other prescription medications, alcohol and inhalants.
“Stress and the overall turmoil naturally play a role but other factors like peer pressure, unemployment, easy availability of the drugs and the fact that no one wants to talk about the issue is an area of concern, too,” said Arshad Hussain, a leading psychiatrist and professor, who has been practising for 19 years at the SMHS Hospital. Dr Hassain said that sports, including martial arts, could play a vital role in countering drug addiction.
FINDINGS ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS IN KASHMIR
Over three decades of conflict in Kashmir valley has taken a toll on the people’s mental health. According to report, about 45 per cent of adult Kashmiris suffer from some form of mental distress, particularly Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Doctors Without Borders released a comprehensive report on mental health in Kashmir, concluding that half of all residents of the valley have ‘mental health problems’.
The report found that nearly 1.8 million adults – 45 per cent of Kashmir’s adult population – suffer from some form of mental distress. A majority – 93 per cent – have experienced conflict-related trauma. An average adult was found to have witnessed around eight traumatic events during his or her lifetime. More than 70 per cent of adults have experienced or witnessed the sudden or violent death of someone they knew.
The report further asserts that one in every three women in border district of Kupwara in north Kashmir suffer from PTSD due to conflict related trauma they have suffered in their life time.
According to the report, 50 per cent of women and 37 per cent of men are likely to suffer from depression; 36 per cent of women and 21 per cent of men have a probable anxiety disorder; and 22 per cent of women and 18 per cent of men suffer from PTSD.
“Before 1989, there were no PTSD cases, but now we have an epidemic of disorders in Kashmir. Generation after generation has been at the receiving end; anybody could get killed or humiliated – [it’s] a condition of helplessness. So, it is a transgenerational transmission of trauma,” an expert psychiatrist, who wished anonymity, said.
He said there is an iceberg effect with relation to mental health in Kashmir valley. “The number of reported cases are very less as compared to actual number of people suffering from PTSD and other related mental health issues,” he added.
He further said that the mental health issues are not localized to adults only as children have also show signs of PTSD and other mental distress in the valley. The number of enforced disappearance of civilians by security forces stand at over 8,000 while over 1 lakh Kashmiris have died during the conflict since 1989, when now banned organization — Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) — hurled two grenade in Lal Chowk in Srinagar, announcing an armed conflict against the Indian state.
How JKAUMA tries to contribute to counter drug addiction & promote self-defence among girls
- The JKAUMA organizes awareness programmes/seminars in educational institutes, including colleges, across Kashmir division on drug addiction and to promote healthy living through martial arts
1. Through its seminars, the academy spreads awareness among students about the ill effects of drug addiction and how to resist and overcome this menace.
2. During the seminars at schools and colleges, health living is promoted through martial arts as a recent study conducted in a Drug De-addiction Centre in Srinagar found that over two-thirds of patients in the study had started substance abuse in the age group of 11-20 years.
3. One of the major problems in drug de-addiction is relapse because the victims are unable to locate any constructive platform which can engage them positively. JKAUMA with its ‘Drugs out, Sports In’ initiative tries to fill that vacuum by bringing in martial arts, which not only focuses on physical development but strengthening the mental facilities of a person.
- The JKAUMA organizes seminars and awareness programmes in government and private schools, including Higher Secondary institutes, about importance of self-defence among girls.
1. Through its seminars, the academy encourage female students to take up martial arts as self-defense is as important as quality education for a student, particularly girls
2. The academy also holds regular martial arts training sessions for girl students by national acclaimed female coaches.
- The JKAUMA organizes district, state and national championships in order to give a platform to youth to showcase their talent.
- The JKAUMA also supports education, pays for martial arts training, participation in district, state and national championship for selected students
UPCOMING PROJECTS OF JKAUMA
The academy intends to create a new organization to promote all sports in J&K to inculcate an environment of sportsmanship and promote healthy living through sports.
The academy intends to fight drug addiction in J&K and enable them to channelize their energy in constructive ways.
The academy intends to make available sports infrastructure, including stadiums and arenas, to youth so that they can excel in their respective sport.
The academy intends to engage youth and generate employment in sports.
The academy intends to promote J&K as sports tourist destination.
The academy also intends to promote self-defence among girls and working women.
The academy intends to bear cost of studies, training, participation in events for underprivileged children.