Shivani Charak: The Journey to Success

Jammu and Kashmir along with its beauty is a place of hardships as well. It is beyond arguable that life is a little hard in here as compared to the rest of our country. Children are thus naturally headstrong and strong-willed here because they know that Hard Work is the Key to Success. Every day we are amazed by the achievements of our youth, their valor and strength to fight the odds and win the hearts of millions. We have had inspirations like Nadiya Nighat (J & K’s first female football coach), Iqra Rasool (the brave woman cricketer), Irtiqa Ayoub (the senior Rugby Player), Tajamul Islam (the kickboxing champ), and many more that it is truly hard to keep count of.

One such youngster among our rising champions is Shivani Charak, the golden sport climber of Jammu and Kashmir.


17 year old Shivani belongs to the humble town of Dharmal in Jammu. She is currently a student of Senior high school (Class 12th). In the initial stages of her career as a climber, Shivani battled with cancer, however it did not stop her from continuing to pursue her dream of becoming a renowned climber. She pays due credit to her coach at Shining Star Academy for his continuous support in shaping her to reach where she is today.


 Shivani Charak, climbers of Jammu and Kashmir, climber. boulderiong, shivani cliumber, jammu and kashmir


Journey of a climber within Shivani

Sport Climbing is a form of rock climbing that relies on permanent anchors fixed to the rock for protection. It has seen a transition from requiring physical strength to needing more of logical thinking. When climbing a wall or a rock, one has to be tactical and efficient. In this light, Shivani has gained her confidence through hard training and continuous practice. Having full support from her family, she practiced with other climbing aspirants and her coach in a school, the only one in Jammu and Kashmir that has a 40 feet tall wall to practice climbing. And with time, she achieved one goal at a time, climbing the stairs to success one by one.


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Achievements so far

  1. In the year 2015 she became the National Champion in Speed climbing besides winning a bronze medal in Bouldering.
  2. In 2016 & 2017, Shivani won 7 Gold & 4 Silver medals in North Zone and National competitions. (She was sent to Switzerland, Italy and Slovenia for training after her achievements in the above years.)
  3. In the beginning of 2018, Shivani was chosen by Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF), New Delhi, to represent India in 18th Asian Games to be held at Jakarta-Palembang in Indonesia in September, where she achieved the 11th spot.
  4. She was then selected by IMF for representing the country in the forthcoming Asian Youth Championship to be held at Chongqing in China from 1st to 4th November, 2018 where she secured 9th rank.

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It is eminent to mention that Shivani has been improving her game with every competition. She accepts her results like a challenge and work harder the next time. Her progress can be termed as a pre Olympic preparation. And good performance in these competition will facilitate Shivani’s selection for the Olympic Games to be held in Japan in April, 2020.


Shivani Charak, climbers of Jammu and Kashmir, climber. boulderiong, shivani cliumber, jammu and kashmir, imf, mountaneering


“In an interview with JK Media, Jammu & Kashmir, Shivani mentions that it would be much relevant for aspiring and struggling climbers of the state if a wall was to be built by the authorities. She says that it becomes hard for her and others to travel to Delhi for practice as continuous travelling hinders with their studies. If Jammu & Kashmir is to have a  professional climbing wall of its own, it would be better for them and the upcoming generation of sport climbers.”


Shivani Charak has internationally made a mark on the sport of Climbing & Bouldering. Facing various challenges in all her competitions has improved her game and increased her confidence. At New Age Kashmir, we salute her strength and hard work and hope she inspires more girls to participate in climbing, a sport generally stereotyped to be a male’s domain. We wish her lots of luck and power to continue breaking stereotypes, working hard to achieve big and make India prouder by achieving a place in Olympics 20’.

Fame & Game: Women for cricket in Kashmir

‘Breaking the glass ceiling’ is not just a phrase but it also implies breaking the barriers and moving out of your comfort zone. It takes lots of efforts and courage to step outside the certain norms that have been set by society, especially for women, to follow their dreams.

One such Ideal example is of Roopali Slathia, first woman cricket coach of Jammu & Kashmir who has completed the level- B course organized by BCCI.  A co-author of the book ‘Rising spell in Women’s Cricket’ and a doctorate in Philosophy, Slathia is coming with flying colors in every field.

Though we can’t ignore the fact it is definitely not easy for a girl with the cricket bat in her hand and moves out alone. But if you have a supportive father like hers, who always encourage chasing your ambitions, what else do you need?! Sports directly or indirectly help you to grow as a person, teach you proper discipline, freedom of expression and increase your self-esteem. It takes a lot of guts for a female to choose sports as a career option due to the stereotype associated with it.

Roopali, at the age of 14, started playing cricket in 1996, the time when the concept of Women Cricket was not that popular. But she has already made her mind and was ready to take all the challenges that come with Not-So-traditional career choices. In the early stage of her career, facilities like the infrastructure, playing grounds and coaching were not up to the mark. There were hardly two centers at that time. But slowly things improved, post her selection for the sub-junior national game. She joined NIS Cricket Academy and completed her diploma in Sports Coaching in 2006. She played till 2010. In her 15 years long career, she got selected twice for the India camp; also she had played a number of zonal matches. One of the biggest achievement was her 10 years of Captaincy for the Jammu and Kashmir team.

Roopali Slathia in Kashmir cricket player.

Then she decided to step into professional coaching in 2011, she wanted to help the youth of the Kashmir and guide them through the way. She started working with Jammu and Kashmir cricket association with the ultimate goal is to take the team to a certain level where the entire country will be proud. She emerged as a catalyst for many youngsters and truly an inspiration for all who dream big. When asked what is cricket for you, she replied, “Cricket, for me, is oxygen.  When I enter the cricket field my energy doubles.” She also believes that the love for the sport sooner or later will get you the results.  You just need to get out your comfort zone to make that dream turn into reality.


Our Kashmir is undoubtedly the land of talent and people are promoting the youth of the Valley. They are making our country proud in every way and in every field possible. On the way to success, there are a lot of ups and downs, but giving up is never the option.

Fame & Game: Cricket in Kashmir

One game that most of us have played during our childhood has to be Gully-Cricket or Bat-Ball, (how we used to define it). Do you remember the times when in the arms of nature, sun-kissed trees and snow peaked mountains, everything that was flat and long became a bat and everything round became a ball? Well, you feel me my friend. We all have to agree that Cricket is a game which is not just played but celebrated in our country. Although most of us enjoy watching and playing the game, this is hard fact that a very few have made to fame in this field.  Let’s not leave behind the names who have marked their presence in the fame and have made Jammu and Kashmir proud.


Cricket in Jammu and Kashmir


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The Cricket team of the state participated first in 1959-60 in Ranji Trophy and it was in 1970 that Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) was formed. Since then, our players like Parvez Rasool, who is the present captain of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket team and an all-rounder cricketer Indian Cricket Team since 2014; Mithun Manhas, who has consistently been an all-rounder cricketer of the state, played in IPL and is now the assistant coach of Indian Premier League side Kings XI Punjab; Abid Nazi, who is considered as one of the fastest bowlers in India; etc., have inspired our youth to participate more openly and wilfully in the game.


Contribution of our Coaches


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In the success stories of these players, our coaches and mentors of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket team remain a constant source of fuelling the spirit of our cricketers. Young or old, every player buds under a right coach and his visionary guidance. Sunil Joshi, an Indian cricketer and coach, who has been coaching Jammu and Kashmir cricket team since 2014, is a game changer for cricket in Kashmir. The team has tasted many victories under his guidance, the earliest of them was beating the Ranji giants- “Mumbai cricket team”, in the prelim rounds of Ranji Trophy in 2014/15.


Kudos to Irfan Pathan

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Recently, Irfan Pathan was appointed as the mentor cum coach of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket team. The all-rounder cricketer of Indian National team has since then inspired and helped our players sense an overall development in the game. While devoting his time to the Senior Cricket Team, he did not forget to involve with the young cricketers of the state. In June and July, he went on a selection spree of young cricketers in Kashmir and Jammu respectively. With his constant mentoring and regular support of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association our fresh players have begun to make histories at higher level.


New Buds in The Field

Manzoor Dar is the only selected player from Jammu and Kashmir who played in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) . He has been selected by Kings XI Punjab for his hard-hitting batsmanship.


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Umar Nazir, one of the fastest bowlers of Jammu and Kashmir, has been included in the India-C squad for Deodhar Trophy tournament.


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The success stories of Dar & Nazir are apt examples of how right guidance, hard- work, passion and the spirit of sport can change lives. The influential people of Jammu and Kashmir did not forget to congratulate our new achievers for their success:




The continuous efforts of the JKCA to instil the spirit of sports in the youth has turned out to be a blessing for our new generation, especially our budding cricket aspirants. All of us are thankful to the contributions of BCCI and Mentor Irfan Khan’s efforts. The evident growth of our players gives us a vision of higher pedestal in cricket for all our aspiring cricketers in future.

Humaira Gowher: The Kashmiri Scientist

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence”, said the genius, Albert Einstein.Remember when our teachers asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up? I bet you do! I wanted to become a horse, yeah! Obviously, I didn’t know then that humans can’t grow up to become horses. But, there was this girl who always said that she’d grow up to be a scientist. She said she wanted to know, “how we walked and yet could fall but could not fly?”

Such is childhood! As I grew, I learned that curiosity is something that would shape what we will become. Once we open ourselves to our maximum capability to question, we become our best versions. The initial spark of curiosity metamorphosed a Kashmiri girl, Humaira Gowher, into an expert scientist in molecular biology research at Indiana, USA. The curious child of Kashmir, “who never cease to question”.

Meet ‘Humaira’ the Curious


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Born and brought up in the city of bridges, Srinagar, Humaira is one of those lucky students to have attended Caset Experimental School, then headed by the exceptional educationist Prof C. L. Vishen. She treasured the feeling of becoming a scientist in the classes of Prof Vishen while he discussed the topics of inventions and discoveries. The idea of discovery and innovation, made a home in little Humaira’s heart.

How did a dream turn into reality?


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Despite various challenges related to the complexity of the field, it was her determination to achieve her goals and the continuous support of her professors that turned her dream into reality. She took several steps in the process of achieving this height, starting from her school in Kashmir to graduation & post-graduation at Aligarh Muslim University. Under the supervision of Dr. S. E. Hasnain’s (Professor of Biological Sciences at IIT -Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi), Humaira developed a confidence that made her goals clearer and she got into the esteemed IISc (Indian Institute of Sciences). After two years, she shifted to Germany with her husband and continued her Ph. D only to complete it with in two and a half years and was awarded “Summa Cum laude” (Award of Excellence) for publishing 7 first author peer-reviewed manuscripts during this time. Finally, she shifted to Indiana USA, where she is now a fine professor and researcher at the Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University researching in Cancer Research, Genetics and Molecular Biology.

Secret of Science: Message to the aspirants


Humaira Gowher, The Kashmiri scientist, scientists in kashmir, scientist from kashmir, Purdue university, biochemistry, medicine for cancer


Humaira says, “Motivation to do science comes only from the passion to do it’. Like every other person, her life was also full of ups and downs. Science is like a roller coaster ride of various failures and success, it is the excitement of doing an experiment that kept Humaira free from the horrors of failure. While on the row for her Ph. D she had her first child Hana, whom she says was never a battle she had to fight, marriage, motherhood and science, all blended well in her everyday life. Now, she has an operational laboratory of her own with 22 reputed international journals already under her belt; Gowher’s research has already paved a way for anti-cancer medicines. Research for her is fun, she says, “why shouldn’t you be thankful for having a job—where you are being paid, for having fun.”

Shades of Humaira

There is one more shade to her personality, which came to light after a long time, only when she had time to give it a push. It was in 2017, that Humaira published her book, “How Do I Sing Nursery Rhymes in the Kashmiri Language?” As a 38 year old, she couldn’t simply forget her 19 year old self- the age she left her home, Kashmir, at!

Wherever we go, we cannot leave behind what our culture made out of us, our favourite food, language, hospitality, clothing, jokes, music, poems, etc, already shapes our personality. Humaira had her teenage self-compiled in her memories and after few years she struggled to transfer all that was Kashmir into her kids, Hana and Ahmed. The Kashmiri diaspora in the United States planned an annual meeting to celebrate Kashmiri language, art and culture where her other friends complained that due to the introduction of English language at an early age, it was difficult to raise their children bilingual in both Kashmiri and English.

Humaira took the responsibility upon her and thanks to her poetic genes that orient from her mother that she translated six common English rhymes into Koshur (Kashmiri Language) keeping in mind the similar tune of Kashmiri poems. She saw the results within hours of composition as her own children were able to recite the poems due to similar rhythm and tune that they memorized as babies.

A wonderful inspiration that is Humaira

Humaira Gowher’s dedication towards her work and revitalizing attachment to Kashmir is undoubtedly inspiring. She stands as the finest example of a self-made woman for our upcoming generation and her works are an ideal means of exploring the field of Biochemistry for our budding scientists. People around the world get to see her intellect and personality as a Kashmiri scientist, it makes for one proud moment for the state as well as the nation. I wish her lots of luck in her ongoing research and hope that she achieves success in every experiment of her life as well as career.

The Incredible Women of Kashmir

Who is an empowered woman? Is she just the one who can work, fight or do multiple things at once? No, an empowered woman is the one who climbs her stairs of success while equally respecting her competitors, trusting her instincts, and not pushing anybody behind. And such is the beauty of an ideally empowered woman.

Kashmir with its magnificent beauty has given birth to some incredibly empowering women. Yes. Let’s sit for a while and remember the great women that lived and are living through time, making best through their thoughts and work. Let us recount those Kashmiri women who have played eminent roles in making our society a better place.


Women from the History

Right from the stories of 2nd century’s Queen Dida (Queen of Kashmir) to 13th century’s Kota Rani (Queen of Kashmir), the women of Kashmir have been serving as assets to the state. Not to forget, ‘Kutte Kol’ was  Kota Rani’s establishment, the canal that saved Srinagar city from various floods during the time.

Then came the great legend of Lal Ded, the poet of Kashmir whose poetic genius lied in her creation of mystic poetry called ‘Vakhs’, meaning ‘speech’ (Voice), known as Lal Vakhs. She plays a significant role in the history of Kashmiri literature and has said to have inspired many Sufis. Her poems have been translated by several writers. Want to read one of her creations?

“I was passionate, filled with longing,

I searched, far and wide.

But the day, that the Truthful One found me,

I was at home.”


Then came Habba Khatoon, the poet of the 16th century with her magnificent imaginative narratives, poems, plays, essays, etc. She introduced ‘lol’ (lyrics) to Kashmiri poetry.

This is about the past! What was cannot surpass what is! And the present is what we have.


Women of the Present

Our present inspiration originates from brave, empowered woman like:

Parveena Ahangar

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The Iron Lady of Jammu & Kashmir, she is the epitome of Human- right activism, strength, optimism & pacifism. She is the Founder and Chairperson of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons and an inspiration to all those who lack hope.


Dr. Gazalla Amin

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If passion and dreams were humans, they would be her best friends. A doctor, founder of WAKE (Women’s Association for Kashmiri Entrepreneurs) and the 1st Kashmiri woman- member of KCCI (Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries) who runs an oil business successfully.


Dr. Ruveda Salam


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Dr. Salam, the first women IPS officer from Kashmir, broke various prejudices related to women in the field of education as well as action.


Tajamul Islam


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Good things come in small packages. Truly said, for Kashmir has a champion who fits in a 10-year-old body. Tajamul is valley’s youngest Kickboxing Champion who won a Gold in 2016, when she was only 8, at World Kickboxing Championship, Italy. Her enthusiasm is unmatchable and she inspires thousands with it.


These women continue to inspire people. Through this article, we aim to teach our new generation about their valuable deeds and morals. They clear the confusions that rise within our thoughts, the hurdles of society seem little in front of their efforts. Let’s aspire to be another empowered woman and add to the list.

First Ever Martial Art Games of Jammu and Kashmir, 2018

First Ever Martial Art Games of Jammu and Kashmir, 2018

Jammu and Kashmir, a land known for its scenic beauty, rich culture and massive resources, is now also a sports hub. Recently, the Sports Council of Jammu and Kashmir organised the first ever Kashmir division Martial Art Games 2018. The competition held at the magnificent Indoor Stadium in Srinagar. It included a variety of Martial art forms like Judo, Taekwondo, Pencak Silat, Wushu, etc. and was. The competition that began with loud enthusiasm on 13th September 2018, concluded with high spirits on 15th September 2018. This massive competition witnessed participation of more than 5000 children from the valley

“It was a mega event”, said Nuzhat Ara, Divisional Sports Officer, Kashmir.

It was the number of participants that made the event a success and put a smile on the faces of all the sports officers of the state. As the sports council of the state makes sure to keep its youth involved in one or the other competition, the hard work and efforts had been paid off by the spirit and passion of young sportsmen.

This platform has helped the children of the valley to witness a variety of games together and give them a broader perspective of the Martial Art forms, providing them a station to participate and exercise their talents.

Let’s see how our little champions have benefitted from this wonderful initiative of J & K Sports Council:



The video is only a slight reflection of the energy and sports spirit of the young participants and their inspiring coaches. I must admit, the actual ecstasy of the event was of a different level.


Here are some beautiful glimpses from the cheerful Martial Arts Games at Indoor Stadium Srinagar:

First Ever Martial Art Games, Jammu and Kashmir, wushu, judo, taekwondo

First Ever Martial Art Games, Jammu and Kashmir, wushu, judo, taekwondo First Ever Martial Art Games, Jammu and Kashmir, wushu, judo, taekwondo First Ever Martial Art Games, Jammu and Kashmir, wushu, judo, taekwondo First Ever Martial Art Games, Jammu and Kashmir, wushu, judo, taekwondo


At New Age Kashmir we wish all the participants a good luck for their future and wish for their steady growth in their desired game. We hope that the children address the opportunities that are extended to them by the sports council and realise their worth. The state knows and believes that their children have a lot of potentials and are capable to participate at both National and International levels. Thus, they put in all the effort to wing their raw talents and help them take the highest of flights.

Sangeeta S. Bahl, Mt. Everest, Entrepreneur from KAshmir, The daughter of Kashmir Sangeeta s. Bahl, KAshmiri woman, Mount everest submitted, Mountaneer

Sangeeta S. Bahl: The Victorious Woman of Jammu and Kashmir

“Not all those who wander are lost”, wrote J. R. R. Tolkien in his poem, “The Riddle of Strider”. He must have known the beauty of wandering then! But do you know? Have you ever wandered and found yourself again? Well, to be honest, I have. Initially it was a slow and confusing process for me, but later wandering became more of an adventure, more about curiosity and less about being lost. Thinking, aiming and planning before travelling introduced me with an important lesson  of travelling- going the distance. People generally name it as wanderlust, so it is!


The Wanderer I know!

I have come to admire one such curious person, who would be happy wandering all her life, Sangeeta S. Bahl. She hails from Jammu, the summer valley of Jammu and Kashmir. Yes the one, who recently submitted the great Mount Everest in May, 2018. That’s when she was most into news and articles and everywhere possible. News channels covered her success, journalists would want to talk to her about her experience and slowly the news faded away. But, her success to climb the world’s tallest peak at the age of 53 stayed with me. I realised, she was the first women from Jammu and Kashmir to have scaled the Mt. Everest.


Sangeeta S. Bahl, Mt. Everest, Entrepreneur from KAshmir, The daughter of Kashmir Sangeeta s. Bahl, KAshmiri woman, Mount everest submitted, Mountaneer


Her Achievements

She is a mountaineer, a successful, passionate and risk- taking climber! But, what else is she?

  • An Entrepreneur

Sangeeta S. Bahl is the Founder, Director and Image Consultant of a Gurgaon (Haryana) based firm– Impact Image Consultants. An acumen, she was the first Image Consultant of India.


Sangeeta S. Bahl, Mt. Everest, Entrepreneur from KAshmir, The daughter of Kashmir Sangeeta s. Bahl, KAshmiri woman, Mount everest submitted, Mountaneer


  • An Author

“Executive Etiquette Power” is a book that helps individuals to build confidence, make impression in daily and professional life. And guess what, it is co- authored by Sangeeta S. Behl.

  • A Beauty Pageant Finalist

She was only 16 when she began her career with modelling and acting. With a spark in her eyes she became the Miss India Finalist in the year 1985. Now, for 5 long years, she has been grooming the contestants of Femina Style Diva and projecting them aptly as strong women.

  • A Social Worker

She climbed the Mt. Everest, everybody knows about that. But why did she do it? Was it only a personal interest? But then why would she fail once in 2017 and try again in 2018?

She climbed the Mt. Everest again in 2018 to create aware about Breast Cancer for Women with the Women Cancer Initiative (WCI) in association with Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Mumbai.

Watch her journey:

Add video

Yes, one can sure try twice for personal interest, but doing it for a good cause is what adds to their personality as a human being, as a woman.


Sangeeta S. Bahl, Mt. Everest, Entrepreneur from KAshmir, The daughter of Kashmir Sangeeta s. Bahl, KAshmiri woman, Mount everest submitted, Mountaneer


What have I learned?

While reading the personal blog ( of Jammu’s self- made & strong woman, Sangeeta S. Bahl, and trying to get to know her, I have learned a lot of things.

I have learned that age is never a barrier, but a journey of experiences!

By adding a reason of cause to our actions, we can help many while enjoying ourselves.

There is never a halt in dreaming and achieving, nothing in this world can stop you from wanting and taking what you like.

Trying, trying and trying must be a constant in life just like change.

And, the most important, never giving up!


Meet the Women with Cameras in Kashmir

Meet the Women with Cameras in Kashmir

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.

The talented child of Kashmir- Neetu Jalali

The talented child of Kashmir- Neetu Jalali

“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.


The talented child of Kashmir- Neetu Jalali


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.


neetu jalali, zafran, jammu and kashmir


Here are some important details


neetu jalali, zafran, jammu and kashmir


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!

“Aryans Shikara App”: An innovation of Jammu and Kashmir’s children

“The youth is the future, the future is the youth. The youth and the future will always be linked because none can exist in the absence of another”, said Pali Lehohla in one of his articles. And to go by his word, the enigmatic and energetic youth of today is indeed an epitome of future. And thus with small steps, basic changes in contemporariness and individual initiative, a country can count upon a bright future for its people.

Recently, the initiative of eight youthful students has brought a new wave to uplift digital India, by making an application for online Shikhara ride bookings. These students, who belong to Kashmir, are engineering students in Aryans Engineering College, Chandigarh. The application helps people across the country to pre-book a Shikara ride in Dal Lake, Srinagar and have decided to name their app “Aryans Shikara App”. There is, if, any ride that can beat the Gondola ride in Venice is the Shikara ride in the serene Dal lake. And now, these brilliant budding engineers have made it far more easier to take one.

How’s and About’s of “Aryans Shikara App”

The application was positively accepted and launched on 4th September 2018 in Srinagar during the launch function at Hotel Lala Rukh by Prof Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman of the All-India Council for Technical Education, who was not only proud of his talented and bright children but also mesmerized by their efforts.

The Aryans Shikara App consists of a detailed information of Shikara owners from gate number 1 to 20. While a person can choose the gate number and the Shikara owner in advance, a Shikara owner is also authorized to accept or reject a booking as per his availability. During the launch function, Prof Sahasrabudhe mentioned and explained all the features of the app and simultaneously applauded the innovative thought and motivation of the students that drove them to this invention. “We worked hard in collecting the details of shikaras owners, generating a database and bringing the same on a single platform”, said Riyaz Rasool (one of the student developers)


Aryans Shikara App, Jammu and Kashmir, Aryans Engineering College, Youth of Kashmir, The innovations in Kashmir, Aryans, Chandigarh


The motivation behind the Thought

From a conversation in the conference with the eight student developers of the app, Riyaz Rasool, Irfan Ahmad Malik, Abid Mushtaq, Shakir Ahmad, Asif Ahmad, Mehbooba Bano, Mehzabeen and Sabreena, who belong to Aryans College of Engineering, we got to know that the motivation to create an app for booking Shikaras began with a thought. A thought that crossed the mind of Shakir Ahmad while booking a cab (Ola or Uber Cabs). The students added that the college and teachers have been of continuous motivation in implementing their idea into a product. They specifically thanked Dr. Anshu Kataria, their professor, for his support in availing the needful material for creating the app.


Aryans Shikara App, Jammu and Kashmir, Aryans Engineering College, Youth of Kashmir, The innovations in Kashmir, Aryans, Chandigarh


Jammu and Kashmir have always been proud of its youth, especially from Aryans Engineering College, where approximately 1800 students from different parts of the Valley study. The college has been supporting the talented students to come up with ideas and generate new & innovative products. Before Aryans Shikara App, the students of the same institution have come up with first ever Solar Boat booking app at Dal Lake, “Aryans Solar Boat” and many other apps like “Aryans Android App”, “Aryans Life Saving Glove”, “Aryans Safety Helmet”, etc.


With New Age Kashmir, we celebrate and applaud the achievements of our future-oriented youth and thanks Aryans Engineering College for its motivating support. We wish all the very best for the students and pray for all their dreams to come true. We hope that the new generation will look forward to such endeavors by their seniors, walk in the direction of a brighter future, and a digitally progressive Kashmir.


Note: You can download the Aryans Shikara App (1.4 version of 6.61 MB) from Google Play Store (