Trendsetters from Kashmir

Today let’s introduce you to some Kashmiri youths, who spotted/started new trends early on and decided to spread their ideas and lead the way. The scenario of Kashmir has changed completely in around a decade. The youths of Kashmir are setting trends in various domains and are making an impact in the valley as well as in the country. Here are some #Trendsetters from Kashmir who proved nothing is impossible for them. The term #Trendsetter basically refers to a person or a group who leads the way in any idea. When a combination of creativity and imagination bring a new change in the way and lifestyle, they are considered to be the trendsetter.
1.) Jajeer talkies: – Jajeer talkies, established in 2015, is a trendsetter in the world of Kashmiri humour. It is Kashmir`s first comedy group which was cofounded by talented Shoaib, Aahmed Hussain and Faheem Firdous Quereshi. It is a registered media publishing and entertainment brand. They have huge fan following on Social Media Platforms as their scripts are full of wit and humor. After Jajeer talkies many group of comedians flourished out of the valley and we hope and wish them all a great journey ahead.
2.) Kashmirthroughmylens: – Aamir Wani, a Kashmiri photographer and poet has made his way through his pictures. Kashmirthroughmylens, a popular page on Instagram captures the beauty of Kashmir in a never seen before Kashmir. His beautiful imagery with the perfect combination of his words will make you sit and adore them. The way he captures the beauty of the valley through his lens is worth praising. His pictures loudly and clearly speaks of his dedication, passion and love for photography.Kashmirthroughmylens is the #Trendsetter from Kashmir and has taken photography to another level. Many photographers from the valley who were passionate about this profession have started their own page on Instagram now. It’s a must follow page if you are nature`s lover and art lover.
3.) Parsa`s café: – Café is usually a small and informal place serving refreshment, but in modern times this term has broadened its type and now we can see varieties of café which are fascinating. Parsa`s café is one such fascinating café started by Javid Parsa in 2014. He tied up with a lesser known Kathi junction fast food franchise which outperformed by the year 2016. Javid has a strong dedication for his work, a Kathi junction food project became Parsa`s café. He was a motivation to his friends and he guided them at each step and they together became the #Trendsetter. He is micro influencer on social media.
As we come to the end of our article, we promise our readers that New Age Kashmir will very soon come up with more such inspiring people who set a new trend in the valley. We at New Age Kashmir wish each of the change makers a happy and successful journey ahead.

A supernova. A simple man with a big dream- Sonam Wangchuk.

“But you be whatever your heart tells you to. And if he scares you too much. Keep a hand over your heart and just say, “AAL IZZ WELL!”

This might be one of the most relatable lines from the much appreciated Amir Khan Starrer 2009 blockbuster ‘3 idiots’. The film’s most famous character played by Amir himself, Phunsukh Wangdu, had caused major box office mayhem. But most of us are unaware of the real-life inspiration for the reel-life character, Phunsukh Wangdu.

Meet Sonam Wangchuk, an engineer in Ladakh,  Jammu and Kashmir, who had been the inspiration behind Amir Khan’s reel-life character. As a viewer you must have been left awe-struck by the genius of the character, but in real life his genius is way more surreal.

He was born and brought up in a tiny village of five households about 70 kms from Leh. As a child his focus was into a holistic & harmonious way of learning, right in the lap of Mother Nature. “I played in the fields, sowing seeds, working with animals, jumping in the river, climbing trees,” he says. He was unschooled till the age of 9, and learnt the basics of reading and writing from his mother as there weren’t any schools in the village at that time. “My early skills were so developed by these experiences that when I finally joined school at 9, I got promoted twice in a year!”-He added.

Later on in life while pursuing his mechanical engineering, he started teaching children for an income. It was at this time; Sonam Wangchuk realized how unacceptable the <a href=””>state of education</a> was in Ladakh. Since then the 50-year-old engineer-turned-educationist has been trying to change the education<a href=””> landscape of Ladakh</a> keeping a focus on one failed student at a time. “But then we wanted to take care of the ones who still failed, give them a new chance, re-launch them.” He runs a school in Phey, for about 60 students a year who fail the school board exams. His way of teaching is also very holistic, by creating a living-learning experience. “They learn by doing – they farm, keep animals, make food products and engage in solving real life problems that they face in these harsh climatic conditions.”

There is an acute water scarcity during the early crop-growing period in the Ladakh, situated at 3500 metres altitude from the sea level and located between Kunlun and Great Himalayan mountain ranges. It was while contributing to solve this real life problem of acute water shortage  in the arid and dry regions of western Himalayas, that Wangchuk came up with the simple but path breaking idea of ‘Ice Stupas’.

Sonam Wangchuk became the only 2nd Indian to bag the prestigious Rolex Awards for Enterprise on November 15, 2016 and to gain a global recognition. This initiative by Rolex supports individuals with innovative ideas to make the world a better place.

He had developed a simple yet effective system in an attempt to solve the problem of lack of water for agriculture in the cold desert. He built vertical ice-towers by freezing millions of liters of water, which would efficiently address the problem of premature melting due to the direct sunlight. When the water is sprayed in the -20° temperatures of the Ladakhi winter, it cools and freezes as it falls slowly adopting a natural conical shape. “A pipe brings water from the upstream to the downstream. When you do that, the built-up of pressure in the pipe is used to run a fountain that sprays water in the air,” he explains.

Thanks to its cone-shape, snow melts gradually and lasts until May, helping farmers in overcoming water shortages. “The idea is to freeze the water in the winter and use it in late spring. The conical tower shape ensures that the surface exposed to the sun is minimal, so premature melting is avoided,” he said. He has received a prize money of 100,000 Swiss francs (Rs 67 lakh) and one of the world’s most expensive watches engraved with his name. He wishes to build a university with the amount that would in turn attract funds, by which he can build more such ice-stupas as a solution to the problems of the people of the mountains. In a star-studded night at the Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre, the biggest supernova was the jovial and even more humble man from India with a big dream, Sonam Wangchuk.