KP businessmen in Valley

  • Publish Date: Apr 1 2016 3:14PM
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  • Updated Date: Apr 2 2016 4:51PM

And they have thrived against all odds


A few Kashmir Pandit businessmen, who didn’t leave Kashmir in 1990, have thrived during the past 25-years and their businesses have flourished despite all the odds. 

Dhar Pharmacy is a famous medical store at Dalgate in heart of the city and has been serving the people for years together. Owners of the famous medical shop maintained a low profile during the past 25-years of turmoil but they remained focused on their business.

Like Dhar pharmacy another renowned name in pharmaceutical business is Bindroo brothers. The owners of Bindroo brothers preferred Kashmir over migration. Bindroo brothers is a famous medical shop near Amira Kadal bridge, and its oldest outlet in heart of the city still remains crowded, as people wait for their turn to buy the prescribed medicine. The another shop of Bindroo brothers located near Iqbal Park is the busiest place in the entire market besides selling medicines, Bindroo brothers, has provided space to the leading doctors of the Valley to carry out private practice there. People wait in long queues for their turn and the place remains abuzz with activity.

 Both the pharmacies have grown and flourished from 1990 to 2016 and the decision of their owners to stay back has proved their critics wrong.

Dhar Pharmacy and Bindroo brothers have opened their branches in different parts of the city and have earned the reputation of being the most reputed medical shops in Kashmir.

Even doctors advice their patients to buy the medicine from Bindroo or Dhar medicate, and people from far flung areas throng these pharmacies to buy the medicines as these medical shops have become household names across the Valley.

In 2003, Vijay Dhar and his wife Kiran Dhar opened a branch of Delhi Public School at Pantha Chowk on Srinagar outskirts. The DPS Athawajan during all these years has become one of the most reputed schools in Kashmir. Parents yearn to send their children to DPS and children of Kashmir’s elite class are studying in DPS Srinagar.

Kashmir’s only pharmaceutical factory Eaton Laboratories at Zainakote in city outskirts is owned by a Kashmiri Pandit Kumar Wanchoo son of the renowned Human Rights activist, Hardinath Wanchoo, who was shot dead by gunmen in early nineties. Kumar Wanchoo put up a brave face and didn’t leave Kashmir despite having a strong reason for it. His decision to stay back paid off as his business has grown manifolds during all these years.   

A Kashmiri Pandit, Sandeep Chatoo, who owns a liquor shop and hotel near Sonawar, during the past 25-years has emerged as one of the strongest and powerful businessman in Kashmir. When no one dared to put his hand in the liquor business Chatoo took a “big risk” and opened the liquor shop in Srinagar. He did not migrate and his luck favoured him. He is one of the most successful businessmen in the Valley.

Kashmiri Pandit businessmen who stayed back have a success story to tell and these stories cannot be ignored.

Most Kashmiri Pandits, who left Valley in 1990, were government servants and they had nothing at stake, as the then administration had assured them that they would get their salaries without any break. But a few Kashmiri Pandit businessmen didn’t follow the footsteps of their other community members and they are still living in their ancestral homes in localities dominated by Kashmiri Muslims. 

Kashmiri Pandits, who migrated from here, claim that the KP businessmen who stayed back paid “Jaziya” protection tax to the militants and saved their lives, but this theory has been negated by the Kashmiri Pandits who stayed back.