As this BBC article states, the next challenge, after the rescue and relief operation, will be providing a means of earning for survivors of the earthquake. Most of the area is mountainous and unable to support large scale agriculture or industry and the political situation in Kashmir and its surroundings hasn’t quite helped tourism.
It is small orchards, poultry farms etc. that are the main source of income for most villages and many of these have disappeared as a result of landslides or collapses. Another hurdle is that a large number of women who have lost the males of the family, would be reluctant to go out to find work.
Short of evacuating everyone in the whole region, a Herculean task in itself and one which will require creation of hundreds of thousands if not millions of jobs in the rest of the country, we have to come up with long-term solutions. One idea we discussed was setting up micro-industries in the people’s homes (or what’s left of them) that can at least help feed the household. Supplying sewing machines and raw material to the women for example. More ideas welcome.