When 55-year-old Fatima showed signs of depression after her only son disappeared while in the custody of security forces in India-administered Jammu and Kashmir, doctors at a psychiatric hospital told her to visit a shrine and listen to a Sufi musical composition inspired by the works of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi.
According to a survey conducted by Doctors Without Borders a few years ago, nearly 1.8 million people in the disturbed region were suffering from mental distress.
Since the latest communication blockade in Jammu and Kashmir that started on Aug. 5 after India stripped the region of its limited autonomy, many more people have been complaining about psychological disorders.
"We have nothing to offer them, except anti-depressant drugs. They need peace of mind. So, we ask them to listen to Sufi music to calm their nerves," said a doctor at the Kashmir Valley's only mental hospital in Srinagar.
"We have not documented the results, but many patients have reported partial recovery," the doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to security concerns, told Anadolu Agency.
For centuries, Kashmir's Sufi music maestros have regaled audiences in Kashmir with the poetry of 13th-century poet and Islamic scholar Rumi, who is buried in the Turkish city of Konya. Two other Persian poets, who have regaled people in Kashmir are Nuruddin Abdul Rahman Jami and Khawaja Shamsudin Hafez Shirazi.
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