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“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 (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aryans.dallake)

Bhanu Pratap Singh: The man of honour of Jammu and Kashmir

Bhanu Pratap Singh: The man of honour of Jammu and Kashmir

With ongoing Asian Games in Jakarta Palembang, India has registered its victory by bringing home several Bronze, Silver and Gold medals. To keep a count on the medals won has become difficult with each passing day. The glory is widening its wings every day.

The most recent victories came bearing gifts as Sania Nehwal, PV Sindu and Hima Das broke National Records in Women’s Single Badminton and Women’s 400m Final respectively. It is in almost all the sports that our champions have roared victories.

Moreover, on 22nd August 2018, India’s four bronze medals hauled in Wushu, one of which became honour of international medal winner, Bhanu Pratap Singh, of Jammu and Kashmir. His victory came as a huge appreciation for the country because, “It is uniquely important in Wushu to excel in Asian Games even if you have won a World Championships medal”, says The Indian Express; and thus India is most proud to celebrate it.

Bhanu Pratap Singh is a 22 year old Wushu Player, son of a Bharat Kesari wrestler, Balkar Singh, (Former) from village Roopnagar in Jammu. It was due to his mischievous childhood and innocent fight- picking that Bhanu’s parents picked him up for Wushu. And, in return he has gifted, not only his parents, but also the nation, a great win in the Asian Games. Besides his achievements as a sports person, Bhanu serves his nation as a cop with the Jammu and Kashmir Police. He is proof that there is no limit to talent and that it ultimately makes your people and your country proud!

 

Here are some mesmerizing moments of Bhanu Pratap Singh from the day of winning.

 

 

Also, the officials of J&K Police department and Indian Army were not behind in sharing their affection for Bhanu. He has got multiple blessings from some very important people as they were proud enough of his achievements and thought it necessary to address it personally to the world.

  1. Imtiyaz Hussain

  1. Shesh Paul Vaid

sp vaid

  1. K. Vijay Kumar

Vijay Kumar

  1. Rajyavardhan Rathore

Rajyavardhan

  1. Waheed Para

para 1

The former chairperson of J&K sports council went as far as to honour Bhanu Pratap Singh by adding his image as his profile picture on twitter.

waheed para, bhanu pratap singh, Waheed para profile picture

 

With Bhanu’s victory in Wushu, it has become difficult for us to await the upcoming Wushu Festival to be held next year in Srinagar. This festival would welcome and celebrate the achievements of four bronze medal holders in Wushu. It sure is going to be big!

It is needless to say how proud we are of our shining star Bhanu Pratap Singh. On the behalf of New Age Kashmir, I congratulate him for his wonderful victory. Lots of blessings and love for you. Keep up the spirit of Wushu!

From “Heaven On Earth” To “God’s Own Country”

From “Heaven On Earth” To “God’s Own Country”

With Eid ul-Adha being celebrated worldwide, let’s understand the real meaning of sacrifice. There are five pillars of Islam that are mandatory for Muslims: Salat (Prayer), Zakat (Charity), Shahada (Creed), Sawm (Fasting), and, only if the individual can afford it, Hajj (Pilgrimage).
Islam strongly advocates charity especially during the month of Ramzan and Eid. The Holy Quran and Sunnah put great emphasis on charity by mentioning the virtues and benefits of Zakat multiple times.

Allah says in the Quran : “It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your devotion that reaches him.”
(Quran 22:37)

This Eid ul Adha let the essential Zakat, Qurbani and associated celebratory expenditures be contributed to the Kerala Flood Relief.

Ibn Abbas narrated that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while the neighbour to his side goes hungry.” ~ Al-Sunan al-Kubra 19049

 

Kerala floods

 

The havoc that destroyed Kerala

The beautiful southern coastal state of India Kerala, has witnessed a disastrous flood that has killed more than 350 people and has wrecked havoc. With the news portals and social media circles abuzz with the damage beyond imagination affair of the state, the heroic rescue operations by Indian Army, Indian Air Force (IAF), Indian Navy, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), local police and the many calls of solidarity, the entire country has come forwards in this hour of need.
With ‘God’s own country’, Kerala battling its worst flood in nearly a century, the ‘Heaven on Earth’, Kashmir is also praying and expressing solidarity with the people of Kerala. In the year 2014, the state of Jammu and Kashmir had witnessed similar devastation caused by disastrous flood of such intensity and magnitude as the monsoon wrath in the southern coastal state.
Four years later we have yet again been reminded of our own tragedies. Many people also reminded fellow Kashmiris that during the 2014 floods, a lot of Keralites helped us cope with that mammoth disaster by bringing in relief, aid material and now, it was our turn to support them in this hour of need.

While the whole Nation is waiting for this terrible incident to pass and hoping and praying for a quick recovery by the state, we, the state of Jammu and Kashmir have also joined hands with the rest of the country to help those affected by the disaster.

Horrific disasters like this bring people closer and test the courage of the country to stand tall and united whenever the need arises. Apart from the government and various organizations, individuals across the country have also come forward to help those affected by the disaster.

With our former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah taking to twitter to take attention of the state towards Kerala that battles its worst floods in 90 years.

The other politician who has taken a pro-active stand on the Kerala floods was Dr Haseeb Drabu, ex finance minister under Mehbooba Mufti government.

IAS topper Shah Faesal who is currently studying abroad put on his wall

As a lot of people are still battling with the devastating floods, many people from the valley are extending their help to offer support.

 

Kashmir Civil Society

 

A group of young civil society members in Kashmir is collecting food packets to send help as many as 2000 families in Kerala. Most of them say that they can understand the pain as the valley has gone through the same deluge in 2014.

Needless to say, Kerala’s flood situations made the Nation forget their differences and extend support in whichever ways possible.

Notably, a J&K Bank’s staff members have decided to contribute Rs 11 crore to the flood-affected victims of Kerala. Chairman Parvez Ahmed shall be contributing his two months’ salary while the other staffs have decided to help the flood-affected victims of Kerala by donating their six days salary during this time of severe crisis.

J&K Bank

The executive presidents has also contributed one month salary and other members of the top management of the bank also reciprocated by making generous contribution to the fund collected by the bank for the relief measures in Kerala.

A huge Thank you from NewAge Kashmir to each and everyone who have reached out to help the state through the distress. Your contribution meant a lot to many.

If you are also looking for ways in which you can help, here’s the link:
https://www.timesnownews.com/IndiaForKerala
https://www.scoopwhoop.com/how-to-help-kerala-flood-victims-helplines/#.g7rd6e92r

 

Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak to each and every one of you! May this Eid bring Peace, Compassion and Happiness.

Haji Public School - ‘Terras Irradient’

Haji Public School – ‘Terras Irradient’

Let Them Illuminate the Earth.

Breswana village, an average, remote, inaccessible village in the mountains of Doda in Jammu and Kashmir, was an area where the concept of education was almost unknown for over 30 years. Yes you might have come across the name of the village quite a number of times, why not? Breswana village of Doda – a district 160 km northeast of Jammu was once a hub of militancy. Here almost every household was hit by militancy till 2004.

 

Rekindling hopes at Haji Public School

Walk with us today to an altitude above 7,100 feet, about 200-odd kms from Jammu through a rocky, harsh terrain with steep slopes, not to mention the adverse weather for most time of the year to a Road to Change.

In 2008, Sabbah Haji sat at her desk based out of Bangalore, and watched in harrowing news reels her small town in the Doda district as the Amarnath struggle of Jammu & Kashmir unfold. It was when Sabbah decided to move to Breswana and join her parents to change people’s lives there and grab positive news headlines for her ancestral home. And what better way to change people’s lives than to educate them?

“And just like that, out of nowhere, we started talking about it,” says Sabaah Haji, Director of Haji Public School, speaking to India Today.

Rekindling hopes for education in the Doda district which went without any education to feed the knowledge-hungry for 3 decades. Education will help break the vicious cycles of violence, terrorism that citizens find impossible to come out of.

Here’s how pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fit

The village overlooking the Chenab River needed to see a drastic change that would uplift it. Nasir Haji, Sabbah Haji’s uncle who is a Singapore-based Indian businessman almost impulsively decided on starting the Haji Public School to change people’s lives there by educating them. The government schools did not function and there were almost no private schools there.

“Uncle Nasir suggested we start a school there,” says Sabbah.

 

Sabbah Haji with students

 

The mountain-cut village school was established and is managed by Nasir’s brother Saleem Haji and his daughter Sabbah Haji. Her mother Tasneem Haji, an educationist, too is part of the school set up. For a School that has just one objective – to impart knowledge to those children who cannot avail of the academic facilities, a strong foundation for classrooms was needed.  What better way than all the village inhabitants coming together and laying the foundation of the school brick by brick?

The Haji Public School started on 4th May 2009, at the ground level, teaching only the lower and upper kindergarten students.

A master plan to get children back

From parents lined up around windows to poke their heads into classrooms as a curiosity to parents not willing to give up on a good education for their children so that they get an opportunity to make it on their own when they grow up, Haji Public School is making a redeeming difference. When it started, the school had student strength of 30 with two grades. As of today, the student strength has risen to 400 plus studying in classes up to eighth grades from 15 villages, who walk hours across mountains every day to attend school. Last year, Haji Public School’s first batch, who had joined in KG in 2009, cleared their Class 8 Board exams with flying colors. This year the second kindergarten batch is through.

2017 batch

 

“We have had families move from cities to the village for the school, because we provide good quality education. All of this is because we have kept it simple. Minimal fee structure, very competent teachers, good infrastructure and teaching aids and fun learning,” says Sabaah to India Today.

Talking about the positive change the school has brought about in his children, Abdul Latief Ahanger (father of two children studying in grade six and grade seven of HPS) says: “I always see them obsessed with books. Also, they were very shy in initial days but now, their level of confidence has increased manifold.”

It takes a big heart to shape a little mind! – That’s for our Volunteer teachers redefining education

 

Volunteer at HPS

 

Who would mind to spend some quality time with our good old Himalayan Mountains, you wonder! Well, many would especially because the district 160 km northeast of Jammu on the lap of our old friend was once a hub of militancy.

“I feel people are too scared to come here and there is a necessity to teach the students here more than any other normal city in India,” says Karishma, a volunteer teacher.

While there’s no doubt your experience in Breswana will be worthwhile, Sabaah warns that the volunteer programme is not a “chill volun-tourism gig” and we can’t agree more. After all, a good teacher makes a good student and that is exactly what HPS is trying to make, bright kids for a brighter tomorrow.

As a volunteer teacher at Haji Public School, you’ll be offered free boarding and lodging in return for your time at the school. Teaching roles at such remote, almost inaccessible places come with extra responsibilities and dedication. To be a volunteer at Haji Public School, you need to be very serious, hard-working, patient and a sincere worker as the hopes of many parents lie on their shoulders so that after completing their education they can work for betterment of their village and make it a better heaven.

Karishma Prakash, 25, quit her engineering job in Bengaluru and Sanu Khan, 30, took a sabbatical from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Thiruvananthapuram. Both volunteer as teachers at the Haji Public School in Breswana village of Doda.

“Coming here has been an eye-opening experience. The children despite the different kind of hardship they face are tremendously bright,” says Dhamini Ratnam, 33, who quit her journalism job in Mumbai to teach class 7 students here.

Thanks to the efforts of these volunteers and many more who are trying to make it better with every single passing day whose constant efforts to make something out of these children is already bearing fruits.

Besides the many deodar and pine trees around the enthusiastic children are waiting for you. Go and share as much knowledge as you have acquired and let the nature be your teacher instead, that’s the best part of imparting knowledge!

You can check out the complete details of their Volunteer Programme here. Click here to see how you can help Haji Public School.

 

Leap of Happiness

Luckily, google up Breswana on the net now and you’ll find a lot of links that talk only about Haji Public School and Sabbah Haji. This amazing journey of changing the narrative of a strife-ridden place to a success story is all due to Sabbah and her amazing team that works day in and out for the betterment of the place.
New Age Kashmir salutes their will-power and will be back soon with more such stories that’ll help you find positive stories in a world full of negative headlines.

Sabbah Haji can be followed on Twitter: @imsabbah

The school website: http://www.hajipublicschool.org/

BANNER NAG

The Other Kashmir – Developments in Kashmir over the Years

We have been living with the typical image of the stunning beauty of Kashmir. There are a number of books written about the colors of the Kashmir valley depicting its beauty, its cultures and traditions.
This Heaven on Earth is not just beautiful but also a source of pride for us Kashmiris. Let’s get over the beauty of Kashmir for some time and move over to some rapid developments that Kashmir has seen in the past few years.

Yes, it is raining developments in Jammu and Kashmir.

Prosperity, health, education, connectivity and jobs are all the parameters to measure development. Being a citizen of the paradise here is a little glimpse of the developing Jammu and Kashmir that’ll help people understand the realities much better.


Human Development Index:

Jammu Kashmir is ranked 7th among major 17 states with a score of 0.64 classified as medium HDI economy, which is of course better than other Indian states.


Infrastructure:

 

North India's first Cable stayed bridge

North India’s first cablestayed bridge – the fourth of its kind in the country.
Named Atal Setu, the bridge was inaugurated y Border Roads Organization (BRO) on Dunera-Basohli-Bhadharwah road in Basohali town in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Chenab bridge

The Chenab Bridge – World’s highest railway bridge being built in Jammu and Kashmir.
Another reason to cheer is this arch type bridge being built over the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district. The arch will stand higher than the Eiffel Tower.

 

patnitop tunnel

Chenani-Nashri tunnel (or Patnitop Tunnel) – country’s longest road tunnel.
An engineering marvel, Jammu-Kashmir’s new lifeline the longest tunnel will reduce the journey time by two hours and provide a safe, all-weather route to commuters travelling from Jammu and Udhampur to Ramban, Banihal and Srinagar.

 

Zojila Tunnel

The Zojila underground tunnel, which is to connect Ladakh to the rest of the country all year round.

Development of aviation sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Jammu Airport is set to offer a world-class experience to passengers with an expanded and modernised terminal.

 

Leh Airport

Leh Airport
Truly Heaven on Earth – An early morning landing at the Leh airport in Ladakh.

 

Srinagar_Airport

Srinagar Airport
Rated as the 2nd best airport in the world, in the category of handling up to 2 million passengers per year by the Airports Council International.

 

Train to Kashmir
The Baramulla-Banihal train racing down the snowy valley surrounded by mountains in the distance has become a talking point on social media, with even Railway Minister Piyush Goyal taking note of it. And, why not?

Kashmir Train Ploughing Through Snow Is A Feast For The Eyes

Railway line linking Kashmir with rest of India may become functional by 2021

New expressway from New Delhi to Katra

A project would come up which would reduce the distance between Delhi and Katra by 110 km.
Health:

 

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital

To bridge the health divide in Jammu and Kashmir there is an availability of Super specialty hospitals like SMGS, GMC in Jammu and SKIMS in Srinagar along with various other government health facilities.

In a recent development the centre has agreed to setting up two AIIMS in Jammu and Kashmir.


Education:

Education occupies a pivotal position in the socio-economic development. There are many Universities, Colleges like NIT and Medical colleges. Major ones are listed below.

List of universities

There are a lot of institutions of higher education that are preparing students for a promising career.

Infrastructure in Jammu & Kashmir – Education

“Best investment of any nation is in woman education”

Similarly, education of women in Jammu and Kashmir plays an important role in the development of the state. Slowly but steadily the status of education of women is improving in the society.

Status of Female Education in Jammu and Kashmir Since 1950

The Centre is planning to set up an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Jammu and Kashmir.

IIT Jammu to start this year with 90 students.


Sports:

 

The state is trying to give a boost to the sports infrastructure in the Valley to join the road of development.

JKOA demands reconstitution of Sports Council

In major push to sports, Jammu and Kashmir government announces a football club for every Valley village

Tourism:

 

kashmir-dal-lake

Jammu and Kashmir uses the power of nature and relies heavily on tourism and believe me a take a tour to Jammu and Kashmir and escape into the lap of nature.

Tourism in J&K is one of the most important sectors of economy.

Tourism acts as a catalyst in the development of backward and far flung regions of a particular area. Not only that, it has become a multi -segmental industry in Jammu and Kashmir by providing different types of jobs like hotel managers, guides, tour operators, chefs etc which further strengthens the J&K economy by increasing income and standard of living of the people. It can also give a boost to the economic condition of the residents by promoting local art like Handicrafts, Handlooms, Cricket bat industry and Ayurveda.


Extras:

More the violence less the development. Good news emerging from the valley as the number of youth joining militancy in Kashmir has come down in the recent years.

 

Astronomical Observatory in Ladakh

Not many will know but there is an Astronomical observatory in Ladakh.

It’s funny how the backward, underdeveloped and controlled Kashmir is the only thing that attracts the media’s eye. While on the other side these developments in Kashmir have demolished all the stereotypes and presented the image of the aspirational Kashmiri and not a stone-pelter Kashmiri.

IAS couple from J&K

 

jannat_kashmir

From young Kashmiris entering the civil services to a five-year-old girl cleaning up the Dal Lake, we are also determined and dedicated to develop our Nation.

BANNER (10)

ADEEBA TAK, the sunshine girl of Kashmir

‘Are Kashmiris Talented? How talented are Kashmiris? What’s your opinion about Kashmir?’ These are some of the questions that an average user on a popular website asks.
Dear readers, there never was a doubt about the immense talent of the young people of Jammu and Kashmir. It is just that a front page image of teens hurling stones sell better than a teen scoring a goal.
Not forgetting to mention how a picture of an angry Kashmiri girl, Afsan Ashiq, pelting stone got her into national media spotlight, more so after it was discovered that she was an enthusiastic footballer.

Kashmir has a young generation who is in search of a bright and productive future and wants to make it big in life, like youngsters of any other state or even country. They are ready to serve the nation.

 

Against all odds, stories of pain and sufferings here, is a Kashmiri tale of hope and dedication.
If there is any unbiased book written on Kashmir, Adeeba Tak from Shopian will find her name in that history book for being one of the very few students across the world who managed to get a full scholarship from University of Pennsylvania! Well, a dream university for many.

 

A huge admirer of the ‘Missile Man of India’, former scientist President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Adeeba has achieved a dream that perhaps every single student on the planet may have; Bagging a 100% US scholarship, to pursue her dream of being an aeronautical engineer.
“I had a dream of becoming an engineer. Everyone said why pursue it, it is not good for girls. I, however, continued. My teachers were a real help. There were times when we didn’t know what was happening around. There was so much unrest in 2016, but our teachers ensured we continued to study,” Adeeba Tak told India Today.

 

At the time when strife was gulping the entire area, the bright Kashmiri girl, Adeeba shuned violence and embraced education. She worked hard and studied harder. Her talent first came to fore when she topped the first edition of a local institute, RISE’s Talent Search Examination in 2015 in Srinagar.
Just like the best apples from the ‘land of apple paradise’ of Shopian are picked by hand and send to the market, RISE coaching centre hand-picked Adeeba for the scholarship. Since then, for more than two years, she was consistently groomed on the admission for UPenn (University of Pennsylvania).

She credits her success to the almighty Allah and then the coaching centre.

This August, with the start of the apple season in her native Shopian, Adeeba will make her way to study mechanical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.
To become an aeronautical engineer has been her main focus.

 

 

Her family is proud today of what she has achieved. “I feel the children should be given opportunities to do what they want to. She has made us all proud. We are very happy,” said Adeeba’s mother.

Facing all odds, Adeeba will be the first girl to achieve such a feat from the Valley. But, Adeeba is not all about studies, she is also a good cook “I make a fairly good Rogan josh,” she giggles and also confesses on catching up on her favorite movies and television shows before leaving for the US.

 

Before she ventures out of her comfort zone and goes off to study in America, Adeeba wants to travel in India and spend time with her family.

“When I reach the US, I’ll treasure those moments the most,” she says with a laugh.

And before you can raise another question, ‘Do Kashmiris like India’? I would like to add that we feel the same about India just like any other state. We are as much as a part of India as you are.
We love you all and take pleasure in the unconditional love that we get in turn. We want to live by each other’s happiness.

Moulding ideas into Innovations, Kashmir

Afoot through the Kashmir Valleys’ (1902) by Marion Doughty rightly describes the forgotten Kashmir that unfolds under “the walnuts and the mulberries, shady and fruitful, ready to aid the hard lives of the people by their bountiful stores of food stuffs.”
These old books remind us of different times in the Kashmir Valley and will make you wish peace prevailed forever in our Paradise.Kashmir has walnut tress everywhere and a lot of people in the village and even the rest of Kashmir are involved in cultivating and selling walnuts. In fact it is one of the major sources of income for people of Jammu and Kashmir.
But, Kashmiri walnuts are a tough nut to crack. Manual walnut peeling and cracking is a tedious process. Also the sap of the walnut skin burns hands and stains clothes. So, the need of the hour was a WALNUT CRACKER which could easily crack, peel and wash walnuts saving huge time and manual labour.

mushtaq_dar

Oh wait, but Dr. G M Bhat, Director of University Science Instrumentation Centre (USIC) and Advisor, Entrepreneurship development Cell (EDC), University of Kashmir, says: “Such walnut cracker isn’t available even in China, where there is a flourishing walnut industry”.
Then how will we have it here in Kashmir???
‘Eureka!’ we have MUSHTAQ AHMAD DAR!

“Must is a hard nut to crack, but it has a sweet kernel.”
A walnut is totally tough on the inside but once you manage to crack that shell, then you are in for a treat. Keeping that in mind Mushtaq came up with a practical technological solution to the persistent problem. His keen eye for the problem led to an innovation which every Indian is proud of today.

“Innovations which help the poorest and the most deprived, are true innovations. India specialises in such innovations, though not many are widely known.”

Kreeri village in Shahabad area of South Kashmir, Islamabad district is no different in its beauty and allure than other places of Kashmir, but what sets it apart is that the place has given birth to a lot of innovators; three persons have come up with five interesting ones in last few years. Among those inhabitants is Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, who had a fondness for putting his creative ideas to practice right from his childhood.

Since he was a keen observer, he thought a machine that would help mechanically peel walnuts would be a great idea. So he developed a manually-operated walnut cracker, peeler and washer machine that can peel, wash and crack up to 80 kg of green walnuts of various sizes, shapes and thickness per hour without damaging the fruit inside, a process which would take days if done traditionally by hand.

Walnut cracker

“I used two wooden drums between whom the space can be adjusted according to the size of the nut. Walnuts are cracked between them as the drums start rolling while the cracked nuts are left beneath,” he explains.
This crude model of his walnut cracker machine was further modified by Dr Bhat and his team to increase the efficiency.
This home-grown technology has made life a lot easier. His innovation has made sure that walnut cultivation and production thrives and we can feel proud to serve the perfect gift from the Chinar country that anyone would be happy to snack on.

premium-quality-kashmiri-walnut-without-shell-gift-pack-6-97

The creative genius has participated in a workshop on Inventors of India, organised by prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and was awarded a certificate for ‘knowledge network for incubating innovations into enterprises’.
The innovation impressed agencies from many countries including Gigi Cheung of China, Joe of Australia, Papakonstantinou A of Greece and Peter Kondrat of Poland have approached Dar for manufacturing rights of walnut cracker.

I feel elated. It is great feeling when requests for manufacturing rights by international agencies come,” Dar says.

He has received many accolades for his innovations and says it only increases his drive.

His mind was always open to the problems faced by people around him and he took interest in solving them. Dar did not stop there and went on to inventing a Pole climber for electricians as well. It could also be used for tree climbing.

“I am working on making a mechanical washing machine that can wash bulky clothes, particularly carpets. The machine should be ready in a couple of months”, he says.

Innovating better ways of living have made a qualitative difference in the lives of the local communities. All these inventions were in direct answer to a felt need, which obviously wouldn’t be addressed by formal channels. Adversity brings out the best in us, that’s why I guess Indians are innovative, even in such adverse circumstances.

“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.”
Keep coming back for more such hidden jewels