While we are busy talking about women empowerment, fighting for equal rights and equal respect our Kashmiri women journalists are busy breaking stereotypes. The stereotypes of being an unsafe- field job for women surround journalism as a professions. But, society can not decide what a woman wants from her career and the bones are thus broken in the process. Who are these women who have so much courage? These are women like you and me who want a revolution to take away the nuances of our society and for once we can all breathe as humans and not separate genders. The only difference between these women and us are the chances they have taken in favour of these measures; and that’s what calls for a celebration.
Meet Sehar Qazi
“Being a woman helps presenting a different perspective”- Seher Qazi.
Seher Qazi is a 29- year – old full- time photojournalist, who hails proudly from downtown Srinagar. After completing her postgraduate degree in journalism, Sehar was told to now search for jobs in either a bank or a school. Why? Because these jobs are safe for a young woman. To this wise- wise advice, Sehar Qazi had an apt reply- A determination to make career in photojournalism!
She began working on her own photo essays on the lives of Rohingya Refugees after initially struggling many years with local and other publication houses. She was regularly poked by her relatives and family members about the issue of safety in her profession. But Qazi’s determination towards journalism was unshakable. Being stared at, she held her camera tight and gave a loud stare back!
Meet Masrat Zahra
An aspiring journalist, Masrat Zahra is a 24- year- old journalism student at Kashmir’s Central University, who belongs to Hawal, Srinagar. She is believed to have budded an interest in journalism after being gifted a camera. He dreams began to widen their wings with the decision of opting for photojournalism in the university.
Soon after joining the course, Masrat became a noticeable student and has continuously been publishing her works in publication and photo agencies like The Work Weekly, The Sun, The Washington Posts, etc. At her age, she is a promise of a change to come.
Meet Sanna Irshad Mattoo
“There was no other medium that let me express myself as well as photography. Its visual narration and originality has a power I can’t describe in words”– Sanna Irshad Mattoo
Mattoo is a 24 year old postgraduate photojournalism student from Saida Kadal, Srinagar, who knew it was photojournalism for her, the moment she began studying the course. With her unique ideas and uncommon sight, Mattoo is also a freelance documentary photographer. She believes that a simple gesture of seeking permission to click a photograph makes the people feel heard and respected and that is what counts to her perfection in journalism.
We are a developing society and its high time we understand that it’s the work of an individual that counts, not their gender. All three of our woman journalist feel the difference of gender in their profession. Their security is always at risk and they are judged commonly for choosing to be out of the house at odd hours. But as a society we need to rise above our prejudice and understand that journalism is a challenging field for both women and men, therefore, reduce the suspicion and generate a rather supportive public.
At New Age Kashmir, we are happy to celebrate the chances that our journalist ladies involve in. Kudos to you all and all the very best for your futures.
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious”, said Albert Einstein when there was too much to praise him for.
“What is talent but a ray of passion driven dreams?
A dream that buds, sprouts and flourish with progressive beliefs.
A path that one chooses to lead.
A life that one longs for, before it meets.”
Jammu and Kashmir is a land of many such passion driven heads. With its beautiful appearance and serene environment, its gives birth to some real talent as evident in our enthusiastic and innovative Kashmiris like Zarka Batool, Braj Bihari Kachru, Adeeba Tak, Aabha Hanjura, Khuram Shafi Mir and the list never ends. We have recently come across one more hidden gem of Kashmir origin, who has immense talent and curiosity towards life and its colours.
So here, meet the Kashmiri- born Neetu Jalali, a highly gifted brain at work.
Who is Neetu Jalali?
Neetu is the child of Kashmir, based out of Rainawari, Srinagar. The students of M.Dass Public School, Kathi Darwaza, Srinagar must feel proud because this is where she schooled and grew into this beautifully creative person. She also went to Vishwa Bharti Girls School in Rainawari for few years. As she grew, she moved out of the country for pursuing MBA from Durham, United Kingdoms after a successful Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from India. She worked with a corporate firm in London for many years before returning to the core of her heart, Kashmir.
What about it?
Neetu Jalali still lives in London, but her heart and soul dwell in our valley, Kashmir. How?
She has developed a couture line called ZAFRAN couture, based in London, which captures the colours, designs, memories, culture and nostalgia of her life in Kashmir. The clothing line offers a wide range of Pashmina shawls, dresses and objects like lamps etc, personally designed by Neetu with the thought of her beloved Kashmir in mind.
ZAFRAN means Saffron
Saffron without a doubt is synonyms with the valley. With the most beloved word as the name of her brand, Zafran connects Neetu Jalali with her roots & heritage and gives her a chance to display the art and culture of Kashmir in front of the world. By using traditional art of embroidery and weaving, she designs modern and yet traditional products under Zafran. Made with heartfelt care and memories, every single piece of cloth in the line has a story to tell.
Here are some important details
- Neetu Jalali works with great entrepreneurs like KashmirBox
- She is the sole representative of Zafran in London, with three helping hands back in Kashmir.
- The demand for Kashmiri couture is high due to its uniqueness and authenticity.
- Buy from Zafran at instagram.com/zafrancouture & www.facebook.com/zafrancouture
At New Age Kashmir, we wish her all the best for her endeavour and encourage her to spread her wings wider. The valley is proud of her talent and prays for a renowned & success future of Zafran couture. Neetu Jalali, you are an inspiration to our growing generation and sets an apt example of a Kashmiri who retains the essence of Kashmir in her work and life to the world. Kudos!