With normalcy returning to Tral town of Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir after defanging of Article 370, which gave special status to the region, people here say they look forward to a brighter future under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Since after the revocation of Art 370, children were seen happily playing a game of cricket in the playground here with elders gathered around to cheer for them.
Speaking to ANI, the locals expressed their faith in the Modi government and said the Prime Minister was a "good man". Most people were of the view that the decision to abrogate Art 370 was taken to "bring growth and economic development" in the entire region.
"We have urged the administration several times to construct a playground for children but they did not pay heed to our request. Our children should have spaces to play, the schools should improve, there should be husbandry and hospitals in our village and the quality of food should improve in Anganwadi centres. I have full faith in government, Narendra Modi is a good man, he will work for us," a local said.
On being asked about the heavy army deployment in the region, he said: "Army is managing everything carefully. They are cooperating with us and facilitating our needs."
"We want peace and stability in the region. After normalcy would be restored in the entire region, we believe that the government would take steps to develop the region and generating employment and education opportunities for all," another local said.
The youth of the town said the government shall open doors of better education for them.
"There are schools but we have no colleges here. We need colleges and universities. We appeal the government to look into our problem. We believe that the government will work for us," a youth said.
"We do not have a proper school and colleges here. Yes, we are getting books and stationaries but we have to cover around 10 km distance to reach school, which is an everyday challenge for us," a Class 11 student said.
Restoration of normalcy in Tral town plays a key role in the Centre's effort to bring peace in Jammu and Kashmir as it is one of the most sensitive areas, referred as a 'land of Musa and Burhan Wani', the terrorists who were neutralised by Indian Army in 2019 and 2016 respectively.
While Wani was affiliated to Hizbul Mujahideen, Musa was the chief of Ansar Ghazwat ul-Hind.
Security was beefed up in the region after the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh on August 5.