Pashmina- A Declining Legacy of Kashmir

“It starts like a beige tuft of fibre, protruding from a large burlap sack. As we pull it from the hidden source,  it gradually reveals itself.”

What’s soft and cuddly, has a touch of class, and is guaranteed to bring a warm glow to even the most unromantic? A pashmina shawl. No wonder it is donned as a family treasure and passed down through generations the world over. The “Soft Gold” or Pashmina as we call it is a prized possession since time immemorial, not just for the household or Kashmir but for the entire nation.

Kashmir has a rich and ancient heritage of craftsmanship. The land of unique motifs and design techniques that have been transformed and perfected over centuries. Mastering Kashmiri craftsmanship takes years of training and designing Pashmina shawls is an art that has been carried forward through generations of craftsmen. To your surprise, a pashmina shawl can take up to 6 months to a year to be made. The legacy is intricately handwoven and embroidered to craft perfection. As a matter of fact, until the 1940s, this precious silk yarn produced in this Valley was exported all over Europe. But to our sorrow, today the craftsmen are fighting the battle of the pashmina. The enemy in this war — inexpensive, imitation pashmina wool that has caused its sales to plummet.

Pashmina is fighting an existential battle. The pashmina industry of Kashmir is a crucial economic contributor to the state and to the country as well. It is one of the largest economic activities providing direct employment to the majority of artisans and traders. This sector also plays an important role in the development and welfare of artisans. The pashmina sector makes the conspicuous contribution in sustaining export trade of the state. However, the industry has seen a decline since late 90‘s. The industry is facing a lot of challenges, some reasons of this are an intervention of modern machinery, lack of information regarding market trends and also increased competition from various countries. The artisans, as well as the traders/manufacturers, are suffering in this struggle of keeping this legacy alive.


Having raised the problem now it’s time for India to fight for pashmina and its market position globally. Artisans and the traders/manufacturers who are related to this trade faces many obstacles like rising cost of raw material, decreased demand due to the introduction of fake pashmina shawls in the market, lack of information regarding market trends and labor rights etc. Artisans face labor problems as well, as they themselves are ready to work on low labor because they don‘t have any other source of earning their livelihood. Also, a majority of the artisans are from the poor economic background and therefore, they mainly face economic problems.

As per traders, arts emporium have lost its glory and haven‘t played the role for which it was meant. As per traders, there have been the cases of arts emporium selling products of angora, toosha, etc in the name of pashmina products. Fake selling of shawls in the name of pashmina products are one of the dreadful threat for customers, due to this reason the perception regarding pashmina in the minds of customers has changed and hence the market situation too.


As mentioned earlier there is an immediate need to reshape our domestic market of Kashmir in order to enhance the pashmina business activities so that the local artisans would themselves know the trend being followed in the market in order to be on top of the market and customer minds. We need to believe and consider the artisans as the backbone of this business and wish for them to be very informative and creative in their work which can be achieved if the gap between market and artisan is reduced. The government has identified pashmina a product with high export potential. It’s high time we put in every possible effort to fight the troubles our Pashmina industry in facing and revive its beauty for generations to follow.

Kashmir Rugby Team

Unrest. Turmoil. Tension. Protests.

This is what one normally hears when it comes to the valley. But lesser do they know that the forces trying to dominate evil over good are never stronger than the ones who do the opposite. New Age Kashmir is one such platform where we bring the real essence of what the valley carries and this picture, believe me, is ethereal.

Today, we have a unique story of how a group of girls under the sky when wrap themselves in dedication, hard work, perseverance and talent break all odds and win over stereotypes. We are talking about the girls Rugby team of Jammu and Kashmir who have been in the news for their miraculous victories and unbending attitude towards anyone who has tried to stop them.

When Irfan Aziz Botta, a Srinagar-based industrialist took the decision of introducing rugby to the state, everything went smoothly. He contacted the Indian Olympic Association that organised a camp at Islamia College of Science and Commerce in Srinagar in 2004. But hardly any women participated back then. But today, 4000 girls in the state have enrolled for the game with the State Sports Council.

The fearless, bold women from Kashmir are defying all odds and coming out to play rugby in the Gindun Sports stadium, every Sunday, without fail, to follow their passion and make a name for themselves and the state. They fight everything including the fear of what is happening on the streets, to play for their state. And their efforts are finally paying off. The State’s Women’s Rugby team won the 3rd National Snow Rugby Championship held in Gulmarg recently.


Once considered to be a man’s game, rugby is exponentially gaining popularity amongst young women in the valley. The girls’ team played their first competitive game in 2006 but who could have thought that eleven years later, these rugby players from Kashmir will play at national and international levels.

Salihah Yusuf, captain of the team, narrates her story saying her PT teacher pushed her to participate when Botta went to her school for a training camp since she was active in the school’s sports circuit. And now she says “I am glad she did it, because I live for the game now!” Such is the journey these women have travelled.

Different faces, different circumstances, different stories, different cultures but one spirit of Rugby keeps them unwavered and unstoppable. While some were asked to quit because of studies, others were not allowed to travel outside the state, some were even dissuaded on the grounds of being a girl but as they say “There is no force equal to that of a determined woman”, they had chosen their path.

These girls have been breaking stereotypes around the women of Kashmir. They are not shy. They are bold. They are women with ambition. They are highly motivated by their want of making Kashmir proud.


And when asked where do they see themselves in five years from now? They all echoed the same thought…

Representing India in international rugby matches.

Kashmir’s rugby team has received a lot of support from several quarters. Looking at their determination former Sri Lankan rugby captain and Member of Parliament, Namal Rajapaksa from Sri Lanka have come to help teach them the tricks of this game.

Namal Rajapaksa said, “Kashmir has a window of opportunity. The kids should be guided and an apolitical willingness should be there to bring that change. Sports is a key alternative in that process.” We welcome Mr. Namal Rajapaksa and thank him for his support to promote sport’s culture in Kashmir especially in Rugby.

Kashmiris who don Padma Shri with pride

If life was binary; Kashmir would be one, if victory or loss we are victorious and if good or bad we are always the best. That is not our arrogance but reassurance in the culture we exhibit. Our legacy runs beyond great and so does our genius.

Kashmir has always been glorified as the most beautiful land where heaven meets earth but lesser do we talk about the other accolades we have won over the years through our talent and our sheer GENIUS. So, today, let us take you touring around some of the Padma Shri awardees from Jammu and Kashmir in the past 8 years to show you the people investitured with India’s fourth highest civilian honours from India’s best state- Well, yes that maybe a little biasedness for my homeland!

Starting with Hamidi Kashmiri who is a celebrated Urdu poet and a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Kashmir. Kashmiri is credited with 50 books. The Government of India honoured him in 2010, with the Padma Shri.

Our very own Muma Kana or Ghulam Mohammed Mir for the world, is a social worker who also runs a band saw business in his native Magam in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. In 2010, he received the Padma Shri award, for his public service works.

Jitendra Udhampuri is the next in line. He is a writer of Dogri, Hindi and Urdu literature. He is credited with 30 books and two Dogra treatises in these languages. He is a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1981 while was honoured in 2010, with the Padma Shri.

Riyaz Punjabi, is a former Professor and Vice Chancellor at the University of Kashmir. He has written extensively in the field of Kashmir Studies. Through his publications, public lectures and discussions he has been projecting the syncretic culture of Kashmir Valley. Riyaz Punjabi has authored six books, contributed chapters in 12 edited volumes, and authored more than 20 occasional papers and monographs on diverse themes and subjects. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2011.

Nilamber Dev Sharma is a scholar and writer of Dogri and English literature, best known for his work, An Introduction to Modern Dogri literature, the first publication in English about Dogri Literature. The Government honoured him in 2011, with the Padma Shri.

Rameshwar Nath Koul Bamezai is a scientist in the field of human genetics and cancer biology. He is the coordinator of the National Centre of Applied Human Genetics, School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He was honoured with the Padma Shri Award in 2012 by the President of India for his contributions to the fields of science and technology.

Moti Lal Kemmu is a contemporary playwright from Kashmir. He was born in Srinagar a student of Jammu and Kashmir University. Several of his plays have also been translated and produced in Hindi. He won the Padma Shri award in 2012 for his work in the field of Arts and Literature.

P. Varma is a social worker and a peace activist from the valley who has made exemplary contribution by spreading the message of peace in trouble-torn areas of the Kashmir valley. He left his job to dedicate himself to the Gandhian Movement. He led the Gandhi peace mission to Europe and other parts of the country. In 2012, Govt of India recognized his selfless services towards country with Padma Shri award.

Ghulam Mohammad Saznawaz was the last known master of Kashmiri Sufiyana Music in the world. He opened a school to teach his genre of music. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2013. Sadly, he passed away in 2014 in Srinagar at the age of 74 ending the rich legacy he was heir to.

Balwant Thakur is a renowned theatre personality and scholar, known for bringing Dogri theatre to international notice. He was honoured in 2013, by bestowing on him the Padma Shri for his contributions to the field of theatre.

Rajendra Tiku, is a sculptor and art teacher, known for his outdoor stone sculptures. He was honoured in 2013, by bestowing on him the Padma Shri for his contributions to the field of art.

Next in line is the renowned Ice Man of India, Chewang Norphel, a civil engineer from Ladakh, who has built 15 artificial glaciers, solving all the water crisis and its troubles in the valley. He was awarded Padma Shri in 2015 for his unforeseen contribution for the people of his land.

Latest additional in the list is Pran Kishore Kaul. He is a stage personality. In addition to acting, he has directed and written screenplays. He was bestowed from the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel Sheen Tu Watu Pod. He was one of the founders of the Miltsar Kashmir Music & Dance Group, a group that travels widely with the goal of supporting Kashmiri and Indian arts. Pran Kishore Kaul is best known as the creator of 1991 Doordarshan television serial Gul Gulshan Gulfaam. In 2018, Kaul was awarded with the Padma Shri.

We could go on and on sharing about our Kashmiri gems, the list is endless. These people have not just shone brighter but also illuminated the path they have travelled. We not just admire and adore them but also take inspiration from their exemplary lives. May more and more of us grow to be them!



Let’s do this small exercise this season of spring. Close your eyes and imagine Kashmir. What do you see?

We believe, you felt a whiff of cool breeze, see snow clad mountains competing with the sky, elegance of the majestic Dal lake and the sweet smell from the exuberance of thousands and thousands of tulips. Feels really like a dream, isn’t it? Well believe us friends, the valley is your most beautiful dream personified. And this picture was not just the figment of your imagination come to life, but the beauty of Asia’s largest tulip garden.

We often talk about the development, growth, betterment, talent, cuisines, hospitability and a long list of other attributes of Kashmir. But today let’s take you on a ride to its most celebrated Tulip Festival.

Only of its kind in India, the Tulip Festival in Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, Kashmir celebrates the blooming season of the magnificent Tulips that adds to the ethereal beauty of Srinagar. Nestled on the foothills of Zabarwan Range, the largest tulip garden in Asia presents a stunning view of the Dal Lake. This seven terraced garden was built with the intention to promote tourism and floriculture in Kashmir.

A smooth cruising drive of a mere 9 kilometres from Srinagar along the Dal Lake towards the south brings us to the Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden. Antiquity and an ambience of timeless regality are bestowed by Lord to this Tulip Garden. An entry into this garden is akin to savouring paradise as God intended it to be. The eye then gets riveted to the numerous parallel running rows of more than a million multi-coloured tulip flowers spread over an astounding five hectares of land on the shores of the lake – creating a riot of reds, yellows, pinks, whites and the most spectacular of blues and purples. These are colours of beauty, shaped to perfection. When viewed from a distance, it appears as if a rainbow has descended on the Earth. Hence, the universal dream of philosophers around the world, to reach the end of the rainbow gets symbolically satiated here.

Well, let’s now tell you what’s new this year for you in Tulip Garden. Visitors in the Asia’s largest Tulip Garden on the banks of Dal Lake can enjoy free Wi-Fi access, in addition to many other new facilities like more washrooms, fountains, and drinking points, when the garden opens to public later this month on March 25. Added are more green spaces inside the garden so that all you guests can rest and enjoy the beauty of flowers in full bloom. You can also taste Koshur as there will be decorated kiosks and stalls showcasing authentic handicrafts and cuisine of Kashmir with a traditional and ethnic touch.

The valley is all set to mesmerise you in the 15 days period in this season of colours, fragrance, tradition, ethnicity, celebration, divinity and Koshur. Plan a trip well in advance because a walk in the Tulip Garden in Kashmir will stay with you longer than you expect.

Champions of the Valley

Kashmir, a land which is mostly known for its colossal scenic beauty, landscapes, handicrafts and unique goods, is now making headlines every other day because of its uprising stupendous talent in different fields.
Here, we are going to talk about two Kashmiri kids,  Arwa Imtiyaz and Hasim Manzoor, who have achieved a recognition at national and international level.  Let’s walk you through their success story which is the talk of the town.

Arwa Imtiyaz: – Arwa Imtiyaz, a 15-year old girl hailing from Srinagar, Jammu, and Kashmir is a voice for many people who cannot hear or speak. This class 10th student plays a crucial role of translator for over 300 sportspeople.  Arwa`s mother and brother cannot hear or speak.  Since her childhood she had observed the discrimination faced by her family members and other dumb and deaf people, hence she decided to help them.

She came in contact with sports people who are deaf and dumb because of her brother, who is a badminton player. Since she knew the sign language, she decided to bring a change in society.  She became the voice of voiceless not for money. As quoted in an interview with Awra, “Money is not all to me but I want to help people like my mother, maternal uncle, and aunt, who cannot speak. My mother Rehana can’t speak or hear”.
Waheed Ur Rehman Parra,has appreciated Arwa’s inspirational efforts. In the age where teenagers have little idea about the life, Arwa’s has carved her way by helping others.

Hasim Manzoor: – As they say that age does not matter, we would like to introduce Hasim Manjoor, a seven -year -old resident of Bandipora, Kashmir who clinched gold at Asian Youth Karate Championship (AYKC), held in New Delhi. He won the gold medal in the sub-junior category (below25kg) after defeating his Sri Lankan opponent in the finale.

Before qualifying to finals he defeated his Bhutanese and Malaysian opponents to bag a gold for the country.
At this tender age when a kid hardly knows the meaning of hard work, Hasim with his hard work and passion has shown outstanding performance at an international level. He is definitely among some extraordinary kids.
Time and again Kashmir proves that this place is just not about tourism and handicrafts but also about the hard work and passion to Jammu and Kashmir at national and International platforms and make the whole nation are proud of it.  Earlier 8- year- old Tajjamul Islam had become the first Indian player to clinch a gold medal in the sub-junior category at the world kickboxing championship.

New Kashmir wishes a great journey ahead for these super talented kids.

10 things why Pahalgam winter festival is a must go

As winter comes with a bunch of festival and surprises. Jammu & Kashmir tourism recently brought everyone`s very favourite Pahalgam winter festival on 17th and 18th February. The colours and joy of Pahalgam winter festival took everyone`s eye. Here are the 10 thing why Pahalgam winter festival is a must go,

1.)  Beauty: – Like every year this year also a two-day winter carnival was organised in Pahalgam for celebrating winters and beauty of Kashmir. For all those who just missed out this amazing winter carnival, make a plan for the next year`s winter festival. It is a must go place.


2.)   Kashmiri art:- This year special focus was made to the different art forms of Kashmir. People from around the country attended the festival. The colourful and quirky Kashmiri art made a major attraction to the tourists. Art lovers, this is a must go place to treat your eyes with different Kashmiri art form.


3.)   Food: – The mouth-watering Kashmiri delicacies would force the foodie inside you to plan for the winter carnival in Kashmir. Each and every cuisine of Kashmir has a uniqueness in it. Food lovers from different places attended this festival. Wazwaan, Noon-chai, Mutton Rogan josh, Kashmiri pulao and many other foods were on the list. Top Kashmiri chefs presented their foods at their respective food stalls.


4.)   Kashmiri folk music: – We cannot deny the fact that Kashmiri folk music is rich in itself. Kashmiri folk music has a different style which is perfectly magical. Its culture Kashmiri folk music would be the suitable option.


5.)   Picture exhibition: – Within a decade Kashmir has evolved in various ways, photography is one of them. Kashmir`s picturesque is captured by various photographers or in many paintings. Many renowned Kashmiri photographers like Aamir Wani (#Kashmirthroughmylens) also presented their picture in the exhibition. Picture exhibition part took everyone`s attention during this winter festival. The creativity of Kashmiri artists was presented here.


6.)   Music and comedy show: – Many artists from Kashmir and even outside of Kashmir came to perform at this two-day event.  Performances by great singers and comedians made the event more beautiful and huge.


7.)   The feel of riding a Tonga: – Tonga ride which is everyone`s favourite was also arranged during this festival. The joy of Tonga ride made everyone crazy about this winter carnival. Tonga ride was adding the vintage flavour to the whole event. This part of the festival decorated the whole event.


8.)   Earthen pots:- The trend of earthen pots in Kashmir is from the ancient time. They got the feel of the village at the same time in this carnival. These earthen pots looked very attractive where most of the people could easily relate to it and felt nostalgic.


9.)   Skiing: – One thing for which people are mad about is skiing in Kashmir. The only place in India that offers the best skiing is in Pahalgam, Kashmir. Many tourists from around the world attended this festival to ski.


  10.) Experience the Village life around Pahalgam:- People just couldn`t get enough of this winter festival. They revisited their own culture, the beauty of Pahalgam village and fell for it over and again. The unbelievable crowd was gathered to create their best experience in the beautiful village of Kashmir. 

Mark your calendar for the upcoming 2k19 Pahalgam winter carnival if you missed out this year!

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.

Iram and Jaffar- The Real faces of creativity.

As the curtains fall on 2017, it would not be too far off the mark to mention that it has been a complete eventful year for the valley as whole. From Innovative technological developments to creative developments, 2017 has been a year which will go down in the history of Kashmir for various milestones and achievements in diverse fields made by the people of the valley. The back to back developments in Kashmir made everyone proud and we just can’t stop praising them.

The word impossible itself says “I’m possible”. These talents have proven it right, and the special thing about them is, they followed their passion and success came following them. It’s always a pleasure to write about such inspiring people.

Steve Jobs had said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” One special thing about these people are, they always followed their passion and loved it, and when you love what you do you get great results.

The Real faces of creativity

Here are the two Kashmiri Youth who proved that nothing is impossible and became an inspiration in the Valley:

1.) Iram Mehraj: – Iram Mehraj hailing from Peerbagh, Srinagar is a proud mother of two beautiful daughters. Iram was very learned and curios since her childhood. She did her Post graduation in Biotechnology from Bangalore and completed her B.ED from Kashmir University. She has also worked in Max Healthcare, in New Delhi and then in SKUAST in Kashmir. She is passionate about cooking and is also fond of learning new things through articles and blogs. After completing her education and working for few years in Delhi then in Kashmir, started her own venture called ‘Shreen Libas’, a first among the online stores for women. She started this online business through Facebook in 2014 by #ShreenLibas. After getting fruitful results through Facebook, she took to Instagram and Whatsapp to help her reach a wider group of people. Slowly ‘Shreen Libas’ became a famous name and an inspiration.

2.) Jaffar Rather: – Jaffar Rather is another example of inspirational from the valley. This is the journey of Plumber to a Youtuber, a journey will motivate you and inspire you to keep persevering till you succeed. With merely Rs 100 in his pocket, Jaffar moved to Srinagar at the age of Initially in Srinagar, he was placed at a house as a care-taker. While working as a care-taker of that family he requested them to place him in the government sector and as luck would have it, he got enrolled into ITI (industrial training institute), Srinagar to take training in plumbing. He underwent the training for 2 years (from 1996-1998). Jaffar, after working into this sector for18 years, now has a team of 15 plumbers. He is now getting big projects and a very reputed company ‘Jaquar’ hired him as a product Installer. Further on his journey, and a knack for learning new things led him to start his own YouTube channel as ‘JK plumbing’. He is an inspiration to us all. Team New Age Kashmir wishes all the luck and success ahead to Iram and Jaffar. May you achieve all you desire. These stories of the ones who fell but got up much stronger are really motivational and New Age Kashmir promises you to bring more such inspiring stories from Kashmir.

Iqra Rasool-Kashmir’s New Cricket Sensation

“First they ignore you,
Then they laugh at you,
Then they fight you,
Then you win.”

In a world that continues to see ‘ambition’ as a character flaw in women, the real life story of a confident, ambitious, better skilled and ready to take the world by storm, young sisters, Geeta (Fatima) and Babita Phogat’s (Sana), ‘Dangal’ offered a lot of surprises which was both inspiring and entertaining.
Breaking the taboo of Indian women participating in a sport considered to be dominated by men, just like the Phogat sisters, our very own Iqra Rasool from Baramullah district is quite a match for boys in cricket Dangal.

Seventeen year old Iqra Rasool was born into an ordinary family with an extra-ordinary dream. Her dream is to lead the Indian National Women’s Team at an International arena besides meeting the captain of Indian Cricket Team, Virat Kohli. She had learnt how to bat by just watching the captain. She had also written many letters to Virat asking him for guidance, which to her great disappointment were never delivered.

Baramulla’s ‘super girl’ looked doubters and setbacks straight in the eye and started living the life of her dreams. But life so far hasn’t really been a cake-walk for her.
Success is due
 less to ability than to zeal.
Iqra’s zeal was so big that she used to go to practice by hiding her cricket gear under her pheran (Kashmiri dress), as the conservative society stood in the way of her ambition.

It was never easy for Iqra to play cricket in a society that tends to resist change. She faced social pressures from family, her friend circle, but she passed all tests with her fierce will-power and dedication. The 17-year-old relocated to West Bengal to explore more opportunities which could bring her closer to her ambitions. At present, she is aspiring to play for Bengal.

A two-storey building in the dusty congested lanes of Kashmir is where Iqra dreamed of playing in the international arena. Her room mirrors many memories of struggles in the form of medals and certificates.
She had represented Jammu & Kashmir at the U-19 and U-23 level.

Right from my childhood, I played cricket with both boys and girls. But I want to lead my team to a victory. I’ve played volleyball and handball, but my first and last love is cricket and my dream is to lead the Indian National Team in an international arena,” said Iqra Rasool.

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At a time when young girls flaunt their bangles and toys collection, Iqra started dreaming of cricket ball and stumps.
There was a time when everyone thought sports was a man’s property, but today Iqra is proving everybody wrong. The young girl has won lots of medals, applause and most importantly hearts.

NewAge Kashmir wishes that the road ahead for Iqra is filled with multiple opportunities and she turns them into a sky high success story.