Paddling the success track- Bilal Ahmad Dar

Paddling the success track- Bilal Ahmad Dar

Once upon a time there was a teen boy and he was in love with cycling but he had none. So he went on hunger strike. Seeing him suffer, his mother sold a piece of land. Then she got a cycle for him. This boy was none other than Bilal Ahmad Dar who is now a professional cyclist. He is from Check-e Kawoosa area of Narbal in Budgam district. His family is in farming of paddy, fruit and vegetables. When he started his journey, cycling as career was not very popular in the valley. However, his passion took him to the road of success.
Paddling the success track- Bilal Ahmad Dar

His journey started when he was spotted by former Indian cyclist and Arjuna Award winner Amar Singh at a talent hunt drive in Srinagar. He won the competition by defeating 199 other local athletes. Singh asked Bilal to come down to Delhi and get trained under him. It was not easy for Dhar to convince his family so he asked his mentor and guide Rifat Abdullah to help him out. The family finally got convinced and it was one of their best decisions.
Here, Dar was exposed to world class coaching, equipment and hectic training. Every morning he used to cycle between 80 to 120 km for around 4 to 5 hours and spend another 3 hours at the gym after the school. This is a regimen that he has been following since last three years.

Bilal has won 18 medals- three silver and one bronze in the Asian championship – and four consecutive gold in junior national championship. Recently he turned 18 and will now be eligible to compete at a senior level. He is not only aiming at getting a medal at the Asian games but also to winning in Olympics and Commonwealth, the biggest sporting stages on the planet.

Paddling the success track- Bilal Ahmad Dar

There is absolutely no shortcut to success. What Bilal has been doing is a great source of inspiration for all those who want to make it big in their lives. We wish him all the luck for his upcoming tournaments. Keep making us proud.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir is a land of mesmerizing beauty with its divine view of sky touching mountain peaks and the land, changing colour from white to green. Just like people are shaped by their experiences, with the necessary ups and downs in the way Jammu and Kashmir have been shaped by the works of its visionary and dedicated people.

Today, the valley has seen influential people, who are bringing change in Kashmir, like Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, National Award winner, IAS officer and Deputy Commissioner of Bandipora; Syed Sehrish Asgar, IAS officer and DC of Budgam; and Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, IAS officer and DC of Srinagar, who through their positive view and promising work have created a wave of development in the state. All of them have taken significant steps in developing and empowering the youth of the valley, setting apt examples for the new generation. Every day our youth is motivated by the works of such ideal people and following their promising voices even the millennials of Kashmir are turning into influencing ones.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

With the help of this article at New Age Kashmir, we will introduce you to the equally promising but less popular voices from Jammu and Kashmir. These are people like you and me who carry forward the dream of a developed valley.

Sajid Yousuf

Sajid Yousuf from Srinagar is the President of All J&K Youth Society and the Secretary at GAP (Global Association of Peace). Yousuf is a highly motivated and visionary man. With his abilities as a student of law, he has always fought against corruption in the valley and speaks volumes for the rights of people.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

Wajahat Farooq Bhat
Wajahat Farooq belongs to Baramulla, Kashmir and is the Chairman at J&K Save Youth Save Future NGO. He is also the General Secretary at Primary Agriculture Co-Operative Credit Society Sheeri. Wajahat is a motivating voice from the valley. His dedication to the development of state and youth is prominent in his work.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

Mujaid Alam Bakerwal
Mujaid Alam belongs to Kashmir. He is an active social media user who has a deep influence on people, as evident from his likability on both Twitter and Facebook. Mujaid has set an example of balanced nationalism for all. And given the army background of his family, he is outspoken and fair-minded. He is also an avid cartoonist in his free time.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

Mauseen Khan
Mauseen Khan belongs to Srinagar, Kashmir and his heart belongs to the valley. He is a young man who hopes & aspires for a peaceful and developed Kashmir where his people can thrive and live happily. He doesn’t regard extremism as the rightful means to such ends.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

Ibn Sina
Ibn Sina is the rising star of Kashmir who belongs to Srinagar. He is a writer and an active conveyer of news on social media. With his promising voice, he motivates people to play an active part in the political, social and economic development of the valley. He is a man with vision and hopes to do better for the state.

The Promising Voices of Jammu And Kashmir

New Age Kashmir applauds them all on their promising initiatives to develop the youth of the valley and promote peace and love via their views. We congratulate them on their achievements as influential people and wish them all the very best in their endeavors to make a change in society. Jammu and Kashmir is proud of you, keep up the good work.

The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache

Fayaz Ahmad Jan- The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache

What is the one word that comes to your mind when someone talks about the beauty of Kashmir?
To mine, its is “Heavenly”.
So is the case with the unique art and craft of the valley. All the beautiful aspects of the valley, be it the lush green lands, crystal snow on mountains or the humility of Kashmiris, art and craft of Jammu and Kashmir are the best form of representation.

While beauty makes Kashmir lovable, its craft makes it famous!

The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache
The art of Kashmiris and their craft can be seen in anything usual in Kashmir, e.g. embroidery on carpets and shawls, creative wood carving on doors, beds or tables, papier mache on boxes or showpieces, etc. While the craft gets most exposure in the beautiful city Srinagar, it is inhibited within people of even the remotest parts of Kashmir.
After all, it is the artisans, the craftsmen, due to whom the art and craft of Kashmir has come to be known not only to India but to the entire world.

Through this article, New Age Kashmir would like to celebrate one such talented artisan of Papier Mache, Fayaz Ahmad Jan, who has recently been honoured with the fourth highest civilian award in India, The PADMA SHRI award for his magnificent work in the handicraft of Kashmiri Papier Mache.

The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache

The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache

The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache

Fayaz Ahmad Jan is one of the most credible and talented artisans of Papier Mache from Hassnabad (district Srinagar) in Kashmir. Jan has been working as a papier mache artisan since 35 years and his forefather are believed to have been attending to the art since hundreds of years. He can surely be considered the carrier of Kashmiri papier mache in Kashmir and to the world.
No doubt the quality of products produced by Jan are an outcome of his rich heritage and experienced hands.

What is Papier Mache?

The Carrier of Kashmiri Papier Mache
Kashmir Papier Mache is an handicraft technique that was brought to Kashmir in the fourteenth century by a Sufi mystic. To make papier mache object the paper is first converted into pulp, mixed with various solutions and then moulded into designs as the creativity of the artists. Once dry, the mould is ready to be painted and given absolute life.

Fayaz Sahab and Papier Mache

Fayaz sahab has a papier mache workshop in Rainwari Srinagar. At his workshop he trains new artistes in papier mache and many other handicarfts. The workshop also serves as his office where he takes large orders and convert them into beautiful products with the help of other artisans in the valley. You can find various show pieces, bowls, jewelry boxes, paintings, vases, lamps, etc. in his workshop. Jan never cease to experiment, you might find a new unique design every time you visit the workshop.
(One can easily find the workshop by asking on the streets in Rainwari)
The designs we see today on the walls of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport are created by none other than Fayaz sahab himself. He was the main worker in the team of papier mache and wood carving designs developed over a period of an year.
Apart from that he has participated in various workshops held in the US, Brazil, France, Sweden, Italy, Singapore, Oman, Dubai, Iran and Kyrgyzstan. Hence making Kashmir and Kashmiri handcraft of Papier Mache popular around the globe.

At New Age Kashmir we celebrate and applaud all our Kashmiri artisans. Their contribution has added quality and richness to the cultural heritage of the valley. A big salute to the winner of National Award (1988) and National Merit Certificate (1985), Farah Ahmad Jan sahab, finally the winner of Padma Shri as recognised by the government of India for his uniqueness in the Papier Mache handicraft.
Fayaz sahab remains a big example for our youth in Kashmir and a continuous reminder of the importance of our Kashmiri culture and art. May the art continue to flow.

First Woman Wheelchair Basketball Player of Jammu and Kashmir

First Woman Wheelchair Basketball Player of Jammu and Kashmir

“When the world says “Give up”, Hope whispers, “Try it one more time”.
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.
First Woman Wheelchair Basketball Player of Jammu and Kashmir

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.

First Woman Wheelchair Basketball Player of Jammu and Kashmir

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.

History of Weaving in Kashmir

History of Weaving in Kashmir

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.

History of Weaving in Kashmir

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.

History of Weaving in Kashmir
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.

Meet the “All Ladakhi” Women’s Ice Hockey Team of India

Meet the “All Ladakhi” Women’s Ice Hockey Team of India

When winter visits Ladakh, it brings energy and joy with it. Do you know what is the most loving thing for Ladakhis to do in winters? Is is playing Ice Hockey. Children in regions like Gupuks, Karzoo and outside Leh, where ponds and lakes freeze to form a mini skating rink, take to ice hockey with much enthusiasm and passion.

Ladakh, Women Ice Hockey, All Ladakhi Women Ice Hockey Team of India

Do you know that India’s Women Ice Hockey Team comes entirely from Ladakh?

Yes, though lesser known, India has one of the strongest women ice hockey teams, who belong entirely to the beautiful valley of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. With their utter passion and sheer hard work, the team has come a long way in the popular affairs of international sports.

Ladakh, Women Ice Hockey, All Ladakhi Women Ice Hockey Team of India

Let us take you down to their roller coaster ride to success and the stature they have achieved today!

Short and Crisp- Origin of Ice hockey in Ladakh

Ladakh, Women Ice Hockey, All Ladakhi Women Ice Hockey Team of India

Ice hockey was introduced to Ladakh in one of the most uncommon way. It was in 1970’s that a local, who was enlisted with army during the time, found a pair of bladed skates in the storage. And soon, the curious and passionate Ladakhis were onto ice hockey. Using some conventional field balls and hockey sticks, the first local tournament was held in 1972.

Neither the Ladakh Winter Sports Club and the teams that were formed to play ice hockey knew the professional rules of the game. In some cases the goalkeeper would wear cricket batting pads as protective gears. It was in only in 2006 that the authorities made it necessary to wear proper head gears.

With emerging craze of the game and interest of locals, local teams began to be formed by the end of 1980’s.

The Problem of Gender

Ladakh, Women Ice Hockey, All Ladakhi Women Ice Hockey Team of India

Despite the fact that Ladakh enjoys a higher percentage of gender equality as compared to other parts of India, the Ladakhi women were yet not immune from the idea of femininity. They were initially reduced to the more feminine sport, i.e., figure skating.

Disket Angmo, who is now the official team spokesperson and defence player of India’s women Ice Hockey team, began her career as a figure skater. She, along with other girls would skate during the intervals between men ice hockey matches.

The Initial Struggle

Ladakh, Women Ice Hockey, All Ladakhi Women Ice Hockey Team of India

“There is no better teacher than adversity”. -Malcolm X

Most of the women players of ice hockey team began as figure skaters and borrowed hockey equipment to try their hand at the game. And since most of the players of Men Ice hockey team of India are from Ladakh, skaters and passionate women like Disket were motivated to want to represent India one day.

The dream was not far from being achieved with such positive and challenging attitude. Therefore, in 2008, the Ladakh Winter Sports Club addressed the applaud able transition of women from skaters to players and gave them a chance to prove their worth introducing them into the professional game. It took five years to form a strong team, due to lack of funds and resources to practice, before the Ice Hockey Association of India could conduct its first National Championship in 2013.

A Cheer to Self- Driven Women

Ladakh, Women Ice Hockey, All Ladakhi Women Ice Hockey Team of India

With time the number of women player grew and seeing the affirmed, self- driven and motivated women ice hockey players, the Ice Hockey Association of India decided to send the women’s team for the Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) Challenge Cup of Asia in Taipei 2016. The training for the match took place at Iskate, Ambience Mall, Gurugram.

Iskate is barely 1/4th size of the international ice hockey arena. The players could only hone their basic skills at the ring. They lost the Challenge Cup.

Despite the barriers that came in the form of lack of practice and resources, the team kept struggling and never gave up hope.

The Happy Tears of Success

Ladakh, Women Ice Hockey, All Ladakhi Women Ice Hockey Team of India

It is to learn from our women ice hockey players that defeat can sometimes work wonders for us. It depends on us that whether we learn from it or cry over it!

Soon, thanks to the team’s hard work and fund generated by crowd funding, Women Ice Hockey Team got a chance to play at the seven-nation Challenge Cup of Asia 2017.

In this Challenge Cup, the team secured two wins. One in their second match with Philippines (4-3) and second in their last, with Malaysia (5-4).

As soon as the whistle blew and marked the win of Indian team, the joy among players was witnessed by everyone in the arena. The tears of joy rolled down their cheeks as the national anthem played on speakers. The silence in the arena during the anthem was evident of their hard work and the fruit they had received after all these years. Even the referees had tears in their eyes, the moment was blissful.

Continuous Winnings

Ladakh, Women Ice Hockey, All Ladakhi Women Ice Hockey Team of India

This is the story of our brave Women Ice Hockey Team of India. They marked the biggest victory in the history of women ice hockey by winning at Asia’s largest ice hockey tournament. Their win caught the eye of international media and were highly praised by the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his visit to India in 2018.

Later in 2018, Hayley Wickenheiser, the four-time ice hockey Olympic gold medalist from Canada, visited the team and offered IHAI to bring the team for a Hockey Coaching program in Canada and to participate in WICKFEST – Wickenheiser Female World Hockey Festival in Calgary.

The Women’s team went for the match and won one of the four exhibition matches. Moreover, the experience and the training the team went through while their visit was beyond any win.

The enthusiasm these women bring to the game of ice hockey is incredible. A big applause for their wins, falls and struggle that has brought them to the stage of popularity and perfection.

Recently, the Women Ice Hockey Team of India has played at the 8th IHAI National Ice Hockey Championship that began on 16th January and ended on 25th January, 2019 at Karzoo Rink, Leh, Jammu & Kashmir. It’s time for more achievements!

Sports Stars Of Kashmir

Sports Stars Of Kashmir

“Success doesn’t just come and find you, you have to go out and get it”
Our sports champions in Kashmir have always been a source of inspiration. They have left no stone unturned to achieve the position they are in. For our J&K state, 2018 has been a great year and the sport’s history of the valley is getting richer day by day. Jammu and Kashmir has produced many champions in the realm of sports who have made the entire nation proud of them. Let us look how the New Year has started for our valley and what all achievements we have in the very first month of 2019:

Bilal Ahmad Dar

Sports Star banner1
Bilal Ahmad Dar, a teen cyclist won a silver medal in the 3km individual pursuit event at the Junior Asian Track Cycling Championship in Indonesia. Last year also, he had set a national record in the individual pursuit 3-km under-18 category during an event in June last year. Bilal is a resident of Chek-i-Kawoosa, Budgam district. He is known for cycling achievements and representing his country was his utmost priority in international events. He said, “I want to represent the country in more international events and win medals. I hope people start taking the sport of cycling more seriously”. He definitely made our country proud.

Bavleen Kaur

Sports Star banner
Our state won 6 medals in total at the Khelo India Youth Games and guess what, 5 (three gold and two silver medals) out of 6 medals belonged to Ms. Bavleen Kaur, a 16 year old gymnast from Jammu and Kashmir. and won She is a trainee of Krupali Patel Singh and Sp Singh and gave credit of her success to her coaches. “What makes this win even more special for me is the happiness I was able to give my coaches who have always helped me grow despite the lack of adequate training facilities and equipment back home in Jammu and Kashmir”, she said. Balveen is a girl who always aims higher and she is now looking forward to represent the country at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Malaikah Gul Dev

Sports Star banner
Malaikah made her victory by winning a Gold Medal in the annual women’s Alpine Skiing, Advanced Level Dream programme held in South Korea. There were more than 155 participants from 55 countries across the world.
She is a 9th Class student of Delhi Public School Srinagar and her father Gul Mustafa Dev who is the first Olympian from Kashmir. She dedicated her victory to her father and the school for boosting her confidence.

Rabiya Amin & Pakeeza Nazir

Sports Stars Of Kashmir
Two teenage girls of Central Kashmir’s Chrar-i-Shareef Town of District Budgam Rabiya Amin and Pakeeza Nazir won Bronze and Silver medals in karate at international level at Ahmedabad Gujarat. They both hailed from a middle class family. They were doing academically well but always wanted to achieve big and that’s when they started their training in Karate.
“Locals did not allow us to practice at playground but my family provided me everything all the time, support and stuff whatever and whenever I need, with the prayers and support of my family I won at Ahmedabad” said Rabiya. But now after seeing their achievement everyone is supporting them and are proud of them.

These were some of the achievement of our talented youth and we do have a kick start for this year. Many more victories are on their way. Till then Keep Playing, Keep slaying!

Rasikh Dar: The New Rising Star from Kashmir

Rasikh Dar: The New Rising Star from Kashmir

In India, Cricket isn’t just a game. Not being a national sport, it is still treated as a religion and the cricketers are considered as Gods. The thrill, madness, passion and the excitement during a match for the cricket lovers is a treat. As much as they would love to watch and play the game; the passion for this sport has generated a plenty of opportunities for the youth in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Our Kashmiri players like Parveez Rasool Zargar, Amir Hussain, Qamran Iqbal, etc have made the Valley proud and are the source of inspiration for the youth to get out of the nutshell and chase their dream. One such Kashmiri Star, Rasikh Dar becomes third Kashmir cricketer to be picked at the auction of upcoming IPL 2019. This 17 year old teenager, managed to steal the limelight with his amazing fast bowling skills. He got shortlisted for the auctions with a base price of INR 20 Lakhs and will represent the team of Mumbai Indians.

Rasikh Dar: The New Rising Star from Kashmir

He hails from a small village in south of Kashmir in Kulgam district. His father, Ab Salam Dar is a teacher by profession and mother is a homemaker. He is the first boy from the district who got selected in IPL. Rasikh had started playing cricket at an early age just like every other kid but who knew he would be able to make his story totally extra ordinary.

He is way ahead from the people of his age group. Last year he tried to play in Jammu and Kashmir under -19 team but was selected. Despite of the failures he never lost faith in his hard work and determination. And of course, his love for the game kept him motivating in his entire journey. Then he made his entry to the Jammu and Kashmir senior team in Vijay Hazare Trophy- a domestic tournament of the country. Then at the time of Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy, he was spotted by the franchise’s scouts who were impressed by his performance. After that he went through a trail with his fellow fast bowlers, then on the day of auction he got the news that he has been selected by Mumbai Indians.

“I am yet to come to terms [with the selection], so is my family. As an individual, I am very excited and equally happy to be the part of Mumbai Indians’ camp. God willing, if given a chance I will give 100%,” Dar said. “It’s a proud moment for me to play alongside Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh. I am looking forward to learning tidbits from Lasith Malinga. In many ways, he is a treat to watch when it comes to hitting the right line and length.” he added

Rasikh Dar: The New Rising Star from Kashmir

Indian fast bowler, Irfan Pathan identified his talent and saw a star in him. He helped him a lot. They used to practice together for hours which enhanced his skills and made him a better player. Irfan said, “He will surely make it big”. Rasikh also gave credits to the efforts made by J&K coach Milaph.

He is truly an inspiration for youngsters to dream big. Best wishes from the New Age Kashmir for the upcoming tournament. Keep shining and keep making Kashmir proud.

Sahitya Akademi Awards, Sahitya Akademi Awards Jammu and Kashmir 2018, 2018 Sahitya Akademi Awards, Mushtaq Ahmad Mushtaq, Inderjeet Kesar

Sahitya Akademi Award- Winners from Jammu and Kashmir (2018)

Kashmir is a land blessed with rich literary heritage that goes back to many centuries!
Did you know that the use of Kashmiri Language in literature began with the poetry of Lalleshwari, also known as Lal Ded, in the 14th century. Known as Lal Vakhs, her verses are the earliest compositions in the Kashmiri language. Following her footsteps and poetic genre of mystical writing, Kashmir has revered writers like Nund Reshi, who is regarded as the patron saint of Kashmiris today. Over a period of time, writers like Habba Khatun, who is known as the Nightingale of Kashmir, came up with their own writing styles in Koshur language and added aesthetic to the Kashmiri literature.

Sahitya Akademi Awards, Sahitya Akademi Awards Jammu and Kashmir 2018, 2018 Sahitya Akademi Awards, Mushtaq Ahmad Mushtaq, Inderjeet Kesar

It is due to the blessings and inspiration from our classical Kashmiri writers that the valley has given birth to modern and yet traditionally aware writers. And with the advent of modernization and realization for the need to acknowledge the contributions of our talented writers, the Government of India began to address and appreciate its literary treasure through various awards, one of which is the honorable Sahitya Akademi Award.

Sahitya Akademi Award: History

Literature is the reflection of society”. It is exactly why a piece of work must be recognised for its outstanding contribution to the upliftment of Indian Literature and society. Sahitya Akademi Award is thus an literary award, established in 1954 by Sahitya Akademi, Government of India, awarding any Indian literary publishing written in any of the 24 major Indian Languages, including Koshur. It applauds the phenomenal work of different writers on an yearly basis and acknowledges the new trends in literature with changing times. The award comprises of a plaque and a cash prize of ₹100000. The first Kashmiri writer to have been honored with the Award was Zinda Kaul, awarded in 1956, in the genre of Poetry for his book of poetry compilations “Sumran”.

Sahitya Akademi Awards, Sahitya Akademi Awards Jammu and Kashmir 2018, 2018 Sahitya Akademi Awards, Mushtaq Ahmad Mushtaq, Inderjeet Kesar

Click Here for the List of Kashmiri Sahitya Akademi Award Winners

Sahitya Akademi Award- 2018 (Jammu and Kashmir)

Held in December, 2018 Sahitya Akademi Award in Kashmiri Language was honored to short story writer and a significant broadcaster Mushtaq Ahmad Mushtaq (Tantray). The decision to award Mushtaq was approved by the jury of Kashmiri Language 2018, which comprised of veteran writer and broadcaster Avtar Krishan Rehbar, Prof. Shad Ramzan- the former Head of Department at Kashmir University, and prominent poet and broadcaster Ruksana Jabeen.

Mushtaq has been awarded for his book of collection of eighteen short-stories, titled, “AAKH’’ which was published in 2012. The book has been widely appreciated and was awarded “The Best Book” award in Kashmiri language from State Academy of Art, Culture and Languages in the year 2014. Mushtaq is also a well known broadcast journalist who has been honoured with State Award and Akashwani Award as an “Outstanding Media Professional” and is now posted as Head of the Regional News Unit at Radio Kashmir Srinagar.

Sahitya Akademi Awards, Sahitya Akademi Awards Jammu and Kashmir 2018, 2018 Sahitya Akademi Awards, Mushtaq Ahmad Mushtaq, Inderjeet Kesar

It must be noted that, while many writers from the valley were writing and getting acknowledged for their work in Koshur, many other writers from Jammu and Kashmir were being praised for their poems and proses in other Indian Languages.

Another writer from Jammu and Kashmir to be awarded The Sahitya Akademi Award is the famous Dogri writer, Inderjeet Kesar, awarded for his novel “Bhagirath”. The book was approved by Dogri language jury for 2018 that comprised of famous Dogri writers Mohan Singh, Shiv Mehta and Shiv Dev Sushil.

Sahitya Akademi Awards, Sahitya Akademi Awards Jammu and Kashmir 2018, 2018 Sahitya Akademi Awards, Mushtaq Ahmad Mushtaq, Inderjeet Kesar
Inderjeet Kesar, who in 2004 retired from the Secretariat Service as Deputy Secretary, began writing in 1967 and his book “Bhagirath” was published last year. He has so far written 21 books, including 6 novels, 11 poetry, two short stories, one essay and one devotional song. With his efforts and dedication, Dogri literature has travelled a long way and is recognised widely around the nation.

A big congratulations to Mushtaq Ahmad and Inderjeet Kesar for their achievements from New Age Kashmir. They both are an inspiration for all our aspiring young writers and students of literature in the valley. With their writings and recognition, may they continue to unravel the changes in society, providing the existing ones a place in history and offering a medium to peak back for coming generations.

Nadia Nighat- First Women Football coach from Jammu and Kashmir

Nadia Nighat- First Women Football coach from Jammu and Kashmir

Eighteen years into twenty first century, Football is still considered a domain game for men in most parts of world, and Jammu and Kashmir being no exception. But as Lionel Messi, the inspirational footballer says, “You can overcome anything, if and only if you love something enough”, the new age of Kashmir has turned a page in the history of the valley and set great examples through their passion and determination for higher goals.
With continuous blooming opportunities and equal hardwork of our youth, we have seen inspiring examples like Afshan Ashiq, who was once a stone pelter is now the captain of women’s football team of J & K. She is proof of a change that is headed to a better tomorrow.

Defying the odds, Nadia Nighat has become the first women football coach from Jammu and Kashmir. She is a motivation for the generations to come and is recently in news for her achievement of being placed as a football coach Maharashtra.

Nadia Nighat- First Women Football coach from Jammu and Kashmir

But, the road to success for our champion was not always smooth as butter. Nadia began her journey as a young girl with dreams to make a career in football. As a child, Nadia’s interest in the game initiated as she watched boys in her neighbourhood play football with utter passion. She was not only scolded but also asked to quit playing the game by her parents.
But her interest had busted the fear of an unstable career in the hearts of her parents due to the existing stereotypes related to a woman playing the domain game of men. Nonetheless, her confidence and will power won over every barrier. She participated in a national football tournament in 2007 and has been unstoppable since then. Along with her studies, Nadia managed to join training sessions at a local college, namely Amar Singh College Academy. She later trained with Jammu and Kashmir Football Association (JKFA). The academy has a history of producing talented footballers and was also the turning point for Nadia’s life.

Finally after ten long years of struggle, Nadia at the age of 19, set up her own Football Academy at Rambagh area of the Srinagar district, where she used to train both boys and girls every evening. With 30 Nationals and State Level awards, Nadia enthusiastically ran her academy and trained more than 30 aspirants including three girls.

Nadia Nighat- First Women Football coach from Jammu and Kashmir

Nadia has not only brought a change in the mentality of people that male trainers are better than female trainers but she has also motivated other girls to participate more openly in the game. Jammu and Kashmir sports council are in awe of her, they say, “She is very talented and gives lessons on how to trickle and tackle the situations in the game.”

Nadia Nighat- First Women Football coach from Jammu and Kashmir

Today, with a ‘C’ license to teach football, Nadia is the head coach of the U-13 boys’ team of Thanes, Maharashtra. She also plan to coach U-15 and U-18 teams in the coming future.

An avid fan of footballers Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo, Nadia has proved that people of Jammu and Kashmir might have seen the blues of past and currently existing stereotypes, but there is no denying the spirit and enthusiasm of our youth. In a respectable interview with ANI, Nadia has sent her message for the children of the valley, saying, “I appeal to everyone to follow their dreams and achieve their goals. Do not consider football a man’s game. Parents should allow their children, whatever they want to pursue in their career,”
We wish her lots of love and luck for the adventures to come. More Power to you Nadia Nighat!!