Kashmir Rights Forum

Month: March 2023

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir V K Bidhuri on Monday said that the job melas are aimed at providing better employment opportunities to the youth and nearly 2,500 youth are to get jobs in the mela organized today in Srinagar.

Talking to reporters, Bidhuri, as per the news agency Kashmir News Observer, said that the job melas are being conducted to provide better employment opportunities to the youth.

He said 141 companies are taking part in today’s mela and nearly 2500 youth will be adjusted in different companies.

Asked about electricity during the month of Ramadhan, he said the department concerned will ensure adequate electricity supply to consumers.

He also said that the work on many projects is going on, which has led to inconvenience to the people. “The situation will improve after one month,” he said.

He also stated that the investments in JK would provide better opportunities to the teachers and they will no longer be compelled to work on meager salaries.

“The administration had to ensure implementation of wages act, but in the private sector, such cases can end only when there are better opportunities,” he said while replying to a query about meager salaries of teachers in private schools.

Although in the past business was considered the occupation of men, nowadays women are not only adopting the profession of commerce but also emerging as successful entrepreneurs.

There are many women in the Kashmir Valley who have succeeded in making their place in the business world. But a few women like Hina Chaudhary have succeeded in making a distinct career by turning their passion and interest into business. Hina Chowdhury is not only involved in the textile business but recently opened a first-of-its-kind salon in

Kashmir that provides services and facilities for which women previously had to travel outside Kashmir.

Advanced treatments for skin and hair are performed here with experts and advanced technology.

Hina Choudhary, who has knowledge of design, fashion and material clothes, started her business in 2020 with this distinct and unique boutique.

This ‘Hina boutique’ not only has a wide variety of designer and high-quality clothing for women but also has tailoring facilities for women.

There is also a unique collection of general-use clothes apart from wedding wear.

Hailing from the city of Srinagar, Hina Choudhary has done her LLB. After completing her LLB in 2008, she also worked as a lawyer for several years.

She wanted to branch out and be self-employed since his childhood and eventually ventured into business.

Hina is one of the most successful entrepreneurs and is self-employed and providing employment to others.

From Hina’s boutique to the salon, 10 to 15 men and women are employed.

Due to Covid 19, along with other business professionals, Hina Chaudhary’s business was also affected to a great extent, but she continued to move forward with her ability, courage and determination.

“If a woman tries her luck in any field by remaining self-confident and in her jurisdiction, then success will surely kiss her feet,” Hina said. 

The One District One Product (ODOP) Invest India, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Delhi, in collaboration with the Jammu and Kashmir Trade Promotion Organization (JKTPO), organized a nationwide awareness campaign for the initiative in Srinagar and interacted with manufacturers, UT government officials and media persons.

The conference was addressed by dignitaries including Sh Mehmood Shah, Director, Handloom, and Handicraft; Atul Sharma, MD, Handloom and Handicraft Corporation and Dr. Dil Mohammad Makhdoomi, Director Extension – SKUAST.

Officials from Industries Department, JKTPO, Agriculture, Horticulture departments, and ODOP sellers and media officials were present on the occasion.

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Shah highlighted the efforts being taken by the Department of Handloom and Handicrafts with special focus given to schemes and initiatives of the Union Territory. He emphasized the increase in the push for participation in global exhibitions post-COVID, which has played a key role in reviving the economy of J&K.

Harpreet Singh from team ODOP, Invest India, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce and Industry gave a brief introduction about the initiative. He highlighted the various interventions being undertaken by the Central and State governments to establish a stronger brand for India’s unique products.

Deepangna Singhi from the ODOP team interacted with the sellers from various districts of Jammu and Kashmir and talked about the benefits of the initiative.

Under the ODOP initiative, 21 products have been identified from 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Products like Kani Shawl, Natural Oils (Lavender), Wicker Willow, Basmati Rice, Basholi Pashmina, and Saffron were displayed at the event.

Sellers of J&K’s ODOP shared their success stories with the media and spoke about the uniqueness of their craft. 

Mehek Mihir mentioned her family business of saffron and how with the support of the government departments, her business has grown exponentially. Basith Khan, an entrepreneur of honey, Javed, a grower of saffron, Rafiq Ahmed, a producer of Kani Shawl, Aditya, a businessman – Handicraft, and Tokhir, producer of lavender oil also shared their craft stories at the event.

The ODOP lead conference emphasized that the main objective of the campaign is to create awareness among the public about the unique products available in each district and to encourage their consumption.

This initiative is part of the Government of India’s efforts to promote the growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and to support the development of indigenous products. The nationwide awareness campaign for ODOP is aimed at improving the economic viability of MSMEs and promoting the consumption of locally-made products.

As part of community outreach programme under the auspices of G-20 University Connect, National Service Scheme (NSS) of the Central University of Kashmir (CUK) organised a sensitisation programme for the students at Hanfia Model Secondary School, Gundirahman on “one earth, one family and one future,” here on Thursday.

Speaking on the occasion, Finance Officer and Dean DSW, Dr. Mehraj ud Din Shah said the objective of holding the programme is to educate the school children about the importance of cleanliness and hygiene in day to day life. He said the university aims to apprise the students’ community about the ill effects of substance abuse and encourage them to undertake different skills. Dr. Mehraj ud Din Shah said the university, during the seven day-camp, will hold additional sensitisation programmes about public services guarantee act, side effects of screen watching for school children and drug de-addiction for the general population in the coming days.

Addressing the students, Medical Officer, Dr. Abid highlighted the significance of cleaning the hands and other parts of the body every day. He asked the students to remain physically fit by doing different exercises and avoid eating junk food. Dr Abid also elaborated about different communicable diseases which could be avoided by taking precautionary measures.

School principal Mr. Abdul Majid Lone, Vice-Principal Junaid Ahmad Tantray, and staffers were also present. Asst Prof. Dr Nusrat proposed the vote of thanks.

Harleen Kour Softball Player from J&K to represent India in Asia Cup (Women) Softball championship scheduled to held at LNG Sports Town, Incheon, Korea from 2nd to 8th April, 2023.

Harleen Kour Young and energetic Softball player from Jammu district started playing Softball sport at the age of 13.Kour Student of Carmel Convent Higher Seconday School, Kunjwani started her career in Softball sport from District & Inter-School level competitions, she has participated in many School Nationals and National championships organized by the Softball Association of India & School Games Federation of India.

She is all set to be part of Indian National Women Softball team to represent the country in the International Softball championship at Korea.

Asia Cup (Women) Softball championship at Korea will also be the qualifiying event for World Cup (Women) Softball championship 2023 subject to Indian Women Softball team should be figuring in Top two teams in Asia Cup (Women) Softball Championship Korea 2023.

The selection of the player was done during selection trails at Indore, Madhya Pradesh in February,2023.

Waseem Raja Khan General Secretary J&K Softball Association congratulated Harleen for selection in Indian National Women team.Felicitation ceremony arrangements for Harleen Kour with her CoachHarvinder Singh and other senior outstanding Softball players who have represented India at various International Softball championships will be made on returning of selected player said Waseem Raja Khan. He also requested budding Softball players of Jammu & Kashmir to use their carriers in this potential Olympic sport of Softball which is presently playing in 134 Countries around the world. 

Waseem Raja Khan disclosed that without support of J&K Sports Council particularly tremendous support by present Secretary Jammu & Kashmir Sports Council Nuzhat Gull to uplift this sport in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

Indian Women Softball team is leaving on 31st March,2023 from Delhi to Korea.

“We at J&K Softball Association wishes best of Luck and great cheer for Indian Softball team and we believe that Indian Women Softball team will show great performance to qualify for World Cup Women Softball championship 2023.”

The Indian team will leave under the banner of Softball Association of India which is National Governing body for Softball in India.

Aliya Mir has been honoured with the wildlife conservation award by Jammu and Kashmir, becoming the first woman in the Union Territory for her conservation efforts in the region.

Aliya Mir is also Kashmir’s first woman who works for the charity Wildlife SOS organisation which is part of the Wildlife Rescue Team.

Lt. Manoj Sinha facilitated her with the wildlife honour. The eminent sociologist Aliya Mir was awarded at the World Forestry Day celebrations organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Collective Forests.

After being honoured, Aliya said that she was feeling very happy to receive this honour.

“I am thrilled to have been selected for this honour.”  I am thankful to all the people who trusted me every step of the way and helped me get to this point,” Aliya said.

Aliya was awarded the award for her achievements in all aspects of wildlife conservation including bear rescue in Kashmir, rescue and release of wild animals, injured animal care, and wildlife.

Aliya Mir is Kashmir’s first woman wildlife rescuer who is performing her duties as Head of an Education System in the Wildlife SOS Program.

Aliya has rescued many wild animals, including birds, Asiatic black bears, and Himalayan brown bears, but is best known for catching snakes.  She rescued snakes from corridors, cars, lawns, gardens, and bus rooms in offices and other establishments and released them back into the wild.

Aliya grabbed the headlines for an hour-long when she led the Wildlife SOS team to hunt down a Levantine viper, a venomous snake, from the then chief minister’s regional residence.

According to this, the Viper snake weighed about 2 kg and it is the largest animal biting in a group of wild animals.

The Jammu and Kashmir government is working under a multi pronged strategy towards revival and holistic development of Sericulture sector in the Union Territory.

“Cocoon growers are being facilitated with requisite skill development training, latest technological interventions and related infrastructural support for transforming the sericulture industry in J&K”, maintained an official while elaborating on initiatives of the government in this regard.

The futuristic roadmap for holistic growth of agriculture and allied sectors will help in ensuring product quality and quantity besides raising global demand, added the official. He said that the J&K government was working on area expansion under mulberry plantations to increase leaf availability for rearers and enrich green wealth.

The Forest and Sericulture Departments are jointly working towards achieving J&K’s Green Mission besides creating ensuring marketing support to the cocoon growers in selling their produce in their vicinity.

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, maintained during a function that “Our prime objective is to make better the lives of farmers associated with this dream fabric besides ensuring uniqueness, beauty and ingenuity of J&K’s crafts dominate the global market,”.

The futuristic roadmap for holistic growth of agriculture and allied sector will safeguard the age old skills being transferred from generation to generation. The effort is aimed at to help preservation and promotion of unique and indigenous craft legacy of J&K across the globe.

The government is giving importance to adoption of latest technological advancements in the silk industry to reduce dependence on imported silk. One of the three important centers in the country for Research and Development, Training, Transfer of Technology and IT Intervention has been set up at Kashmir’s Pampore.

Recently, the Department of Sericulture, Rajouri, Mulberry Circle Lamberi organized Kissan Ghosti/Scientific interaction under ATMA programme . The main objective of the programme was to educate silkworm rearers about the latest technology and practice for silkworm rearing.

The farmers were briefed about various projects being implemented under Holistic Agriculture Development Programme.

In a significant accomplishment, Kundan Lal, a progressive farmer of Lamberi Rajouri, has earned Rs 91666.50 in 20 to 25 days by selling 87.6kg dry crop. Similarly, Tilak Raj of Lamberi Village of Rajouri has earned Rs 132356 in 20 to 25 days by selling 131.350 kg of silk.

To cater to the research, training and extension needs of Jammu & Kashmir, the Central Silk Board (CSB) has set up the Central Sericulture Research and Training Institute (CSR & TI) at Pampore, Srinagar, in 1994 to revive earlier activities of the CSB in J&K. The institute is actively involved in Research and Development besides human resource development through its network of 2 Regional Sericulture Research Stations (RSRS) and 8 Research Extension Centers.

The High Yielding Silkworm hybrids and improved mulberry varieties have been developed by CSR and TI Pampore to increase the farmers’ income through Sericulture.

The Central Silk Board is promoting bivoltine production program extending technical support through 6 clusters (including 2 mega clusters) besides extending state of the art of soil testing facilities. Due to the continuous efforts of the Institute and technological interventions, the average yield of bivoltine cocoons has been enhanced significantly.

Notably, the Silk Samagra Yojana launched in 2017-18 under the guidance of PM has proved to be a game changer in making sericulture sustainable by supporting country’s as well as J&K’s silk industry in an integrated manner.

Under Silk Samagra Phase-I, about 900 silkworm rearers have been benefited directly besides establishment of about 618 rearing houses. Besides, the Central Silk Board has allocated Rs 35 crore for J&K under Silk Samagra Phase-II benefitting around 27,000 families involved in Sericulture in the UT.

For the last three decades or so, Delhi has been exposed to the glories of Kashmiri food. Or, to be more specific, Wazwan. It is a banquet conjured up entirely of lamb and it is cooked by a community of caterers called wazas. Kashmiri ‘Waza’ (Chef), is no longer a male dominated job in the Valley as for the first time, nearly half a dozen ladies from central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district under the assistance of J&K Rural Livelihoods Mission’s (JKRLM) UMEED scheme have successfully been able to serve famous delicacies to the people and have earned their name as well. This is first of its kind instance of women empowerment by providing them confidence and the support of all kinds that they needed to showcase their talent.

One of the members of Self Help Group—Khushbu, Humaira explained that they have been engaged with UMEED since 2013. They faced many odds, but did not stop as knew that UMEED is going to provide them many benefits in the near future. Besides Humaira, Ishrat Irshad, Zahida Basheer, Akhtar Jan and Yasmeena Bano are co-helpers of Khushbu.  Humaria, who hails from Lar area of Ganderbal claimed that Kashmiri Waza was a male dominated job, however we managed to get engaged in this field since we started our trainings at Solina. Their happiness was emanating from their faces while they were being interviewed. This is a large change in the outlook towards women and gender roles. Its impact are far reaching, it would give more fruits with the time when other women shall also get work for maintaining their names in the society.

They successfully set up units and are being invited for many functions like engagements and other marriage-related events as well. “Though, they don’t have any restaurant, but last year, they prepared food for the Amarnath Yatries at the base camp while some of girls were running a canteen at Rambagh as well. Humaira is another member of Self Help Group, who has installed her cart at NRLM’s SARAS at Boulevard in Srinagar. She appealed to girls not to let their passion down and work hard to achieve their goal. This story is quite inspiring for whole Kashmir that it has the capacity to single-handedly change the overall scenario of job creation. Kashmiris have always been stuck to government jobs or been dreaming so given the pressure from the society. Kashmiri society needs a change in overall perspective to become an inclusive society and accept the different roles and jobs condone by the highly talented youth of Kashmir.

On Feb 26, the terrorists fired upon an innocent Kashmiri Pandit Sanjay Sharma. He was working as an armed guard in the local Bank Branch in his village, in Achan area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

A sober and pleasant person Sanjay Sharma was a strong believer of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood. It was second such victim in the area in past 30 years when the mass killings of Kashmiri Pandits took place. The last killing of a Kashmiri Pandit, Janki Nath, took place at the hands of terrorists in 1990. However, the family of Sharma took a bold decision to stay back, unlike hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits who along with their families the valley and settled in other parts of the country. This belief was shattered badly in the broad day light with the killing of a stringent believer of the communal harmony. KRF condemns the attack in strongest terms.

The India Today Tourism Survey has chosen J&K Tourism for best adventure tourism destination award. The awards were given away at New Delhi by Union Minister of State for Culture & Parliamentary Affairs, Arjun Ram Meghwal yesterday at a glittering function after the results of the survey were announced.

The award has been given to the Tourism Department in recognition of its sustained efforts in promoting Gulmarg as an adventure destination of international order.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Meghwal highlighted the value of tourism in contributing to the GDP of the country. He said Tourism can increase all the three components of the GDP—consumption through domestic travel, investment through the booming private sector and exports through the sale of locally made handicrafts and products to foreign tourists.

In his address, Union Tourism Secretary, Arvind Singh gave an overview of the steps being taken by the Union Government to further improve the tourism sector.

Editor, India Today Group, Raj Chengappa welcomed the participant States and UTs and gave a broad outline of the survey.

The award was received by Deputy Director, Tourism, Alyas Ahmad on behalf of the Department.

Ministers from Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, representatives of Tourism Boards of several states and UTs, representatives of national travel trade and business bodies were present on the occasion.

On the sidelines of the event, discussions on best practices and sustainable tourism were held.

It may be recalled that the India Today award comes just within a month of the South Asian Travel Trade Expo(SATTE), one of the best trade expos in the country in which the J&K Tourism Department was awarded for its efforts in post COVID-19 recovery of the tourism sector.

It is in place to mention here that last year J&K received a record number of tourists and the Department for the last two years has been consistently diversifying its tourism products which has gone well among the tourists.

The Department during the last two years has taken several new initiates for the quick revival of tourism in the UT. This winter, besides Gulmarg, resorts of Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Doodhpathri and other resorts were kept open and these destinations received a considerable footfall.

Besides, new trekking routes, rafting and adventure activities were added to the recreation portfolio for sustaining the interest of coming tourists. This is besides the opening of new areas like Gurez and other border areas for tourism which have enhanced the attraction and urge for visiting J&K. Last year Gurez was adjudged as the best offbeat destination in the country.