While apple festival blossoms in Himachal Pradesh today, Ghulam Rasool walks over the rotten apples littered all across his orchard in Baramulla. In the peak fruit season in
“I have lost most of my fruit and what is left is all rotting. The economic blockade has brought us to dust”, says Ghulam Rasool Bhat, president of fruit growers association,
The fruit industry in
Nazir Ahmad Bhat, a fruit truck driver is one of the many who have been hit the worst. Nazir had brought the truck on loan and most of it still remains unpaid. “Now, I will beg the bankers to remit me the interest. I earned nothing this season, not enough to support my family.” His three daughters all aged below 9 are sharing their fathers misery. “We have no money to buy food or to anything. We don’t know what to do now”.
His truck (JK05-9318) was attacked and damaged near Samba on way from
With the Kashmiri fruit rotting in the orchards, apples from Himachal Pradesh are fetching more money in the fruit market. “Earlier, Himachal apples would go at Rs 350 but now they are close to Rs 500 because Kashmiri apples are not in market. The Kashmiri fruit is nowhere around”, says Arjun Kumar, Commission agent in
As ‘apple prince’ and ‘apple princess’ will be crowned in Himachal tomorrow, Nazir’s youngest daughter, Suman, sleeping next to the flaked green wall, cries for milk.