Sometimes, despite all the hard work we are doing, we are not getting the result as per our expectations. Then we feel like the roads are blocked from all the directions and they are preventing us from moving forward. Our dream seems so out of reach that they make us question if it’s truly worth pursuing or fighting for. And that’s when the above quote will help us. No matter what challenges we face along the way, are never meant to make us quit. Quitting is never a solution, that’s what our Kashmiri girl, Inshah Bashir was inspired from. She is Kashmir’s first woman wheelchair basketball player. Yes! Basketball on a wheelchair.
Inshah who is 24, hails from a small district Budgam in Kashmir. From childhood, she was inclined towards sports. She believes there was always a sportsperson in her. She used to participate in cricket and volleyball tournaments at the district level in her school time. Academically also, she performed well. As they say life is not a bed of roses, there are always ups and downs. Inshah also faced the same thing when she met with an accident that changed her life completely. When she was just 15 years old, she fell in her under construction home from a height of 40 feet. She suffered from a spinal injury and underwent surgery but unfortunately it was unsuccessful.
She spent eight years of her life in her room. Days seem like years. Her life was shattered and she felt she was getting deeper into depression. Not be able to stand on her feet we cannot even imagine her plight. The pain she felt, cannot be expressed in words.
But the only option left with her was to move on. She got admitted at a rehabilitation center in the valley named Shafqat Rehabilitation Center. It was like a ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds after a storm. There, she found out that wheelchair basketball will be her future. It took a lot courage and will power to overcome her trauma. She got her enthusiasm back. All through this journey, her family and friends supported her to fight back.
She was the first one to play with the boys team and later at the national level she got selected in a team as “Rest of India” in 2017. It was the struggle of nine years that is paying off now as she got an invitation from US Consulate to participate in the Sports Visitor Program 2019.
For her, “Basketball as a sport has a huge role in making me strong.”
She added, “My core passion is to excel in this game. As far as my long-term vision is concerned, I want to become a ray of hope for those who have accepted disability as their destiny. I want to help bring out their hidden talents and give their will power a boost.”
For every individual out there, Inshah Bashir is a big inspiration. She is a great example that winners never quit and quitters never win.
The State of Jammu and Kashmir is extremely rich in its art and culture. Being known not only for its beauty but also for its traditional heritage. The craft that has been practiced here for hundreds of years brims with many stories. Kashmiri Shawls and Carpets are world famous. What makes them unique is its intricate designs and detailed needle work. It has given livelihood to many of people living here since ages. But how it all got started? Let’s go back to the era and turn the pages of history to find out.
King Zain-ul-Abidin (A.D. 1420-70), in the late 15th century introduced the art of weaving in the Kashmir Valley. He was also called the Akbar of Kashmir by the historians. The art of weaving was imported from Persia which was then the Asia’s capital of high art. During the time of the Mughals, there was the immense flourishment of the craft and continued throughout the Afghan and Sikh rules.
There were two innovative techniques that were introduced during this time. One was the Tapestry technique and another was the Amli or Needle Work. The former was introduced by the Western textile historians. It was quite similar to some respect with technique traditionally employed in Europe for Tapestry weaving. The Tapestry technique was a bit slow and laborious and it demanded a very high degree of specialization.
The Amli or Needle work was introduced at the beginning of the 19th century by an Armenian named Khwaja Yusu. It was entirely ornamented with the needle on a plain woven ground. A cloth was first placed on a plank and rubbed with a piece of Agate or Carnelian. For the needle-work, stem stitches are used. Needle-worked shawls were made throughout this period and were very popular.
Then with the arrival of British in the same century, there was certain utilitarianism and commercialization. The Transportation and packaging of luxurious squares of fabric was made easy. They were considered fashion statements as they were much more expensive than the regular silk and cotton fabrics. Gradually, they opened factories in Kashmir and production got started. The woven products and Kashmiri carpets and shawls were commercialized and attracted a lot of eyes from all over the world.
In 1989, valley was engulfed in turmoil. The ancient craft of weaving fell into troubled times. Export orders and tourism hit an all time low. Two and a half decades later, things got better. The ancient craft was again revived.
But in the age modernization, people tend to shift towards the machinery products; very few are left who knows the importance of handcrafted stuffs. As they say beauty lies in the detailed work. So let’s cherish the amazing craftsmanship of Kashmir and save it from dying.