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Sopore NGO helps 124 families with monthly food, necessities



Wular Foundation provides support

Wular Foundation provides medical support, PPE Kits, daily meals to COVID19 patients

Malik Nisar

Sopore: While the coronavirus has indiscriminately wreaked havoc across the globe, it has also paralysed already tottering the health system. In Kashmir, the COVID19 outbreak is believed to have caused a huge dent in the already sinking economy due to continuous lockdowns from the last few years.

Over the years, local charities in Kashmir have played a key role in helping the needy by providing meals, medical assistance, and other key services to low-income groups. Started by some local residents, Wular Foundation is one such organisation operating from apple town Sopore. Over the last 40 days of the lockdown in Kashmir, Wular Foundation is providing meals to COVID19 patients in SDH Sopore, besides its regular charity work. The organization is feeding 124 families for the last 5 years.

“We are operating for the last 5 years, but most of our members want to remain low key. After the outbreak of the second wave of COVID19 we started to provide meals to the coronavirus patients in SDH Sopore due to which our organisation was noticed by the public,” said Shanawaz Nabi Marazi, general secretary of the Wular Foundation. “Initially, we had identified 87 needy families and provided them food items on monthly basis.  Now, we are feeding 124 families on monthly basis, we do it just for the sake of Allah, on a humanitarian basis.”

Since the consecutive lockdowns affected the livelihood of a huge number of people on one side and on the other side there was a surge in daily cases of COVID19 cases. The death and the discrimination faced by the people who were suspected to have the virus added to their struggle. It was only due to the public support that needy people could get some support to sustain themselves and their families. With this spirit, Wular Foundation provides daily 150 meals to COVID19 affected people and their attendants.

“People from the marginalised sections and far-flung areas face immense hardships in difficult situations like the current pandemic. A similar situation we witnessed at the SDH Sopore. It would be very difficult for the people, who would come for the treatment from various far-off areas, to arrange food and other basic needs during the lockdown in the town,” said chairman Wular Foundation, Khursheed Ahmad. “That is why we decided to help such people, besides supporting the needy families. Now we are also providing medicines, PPE kits, medical equipment and ambulance services to help people come out of this pandemic.”

“The most wonderful thing was how the community around us responded,” said Mehraj-ud-Din Patni, Vice president of the Foundation.  “Initially people would be reluctant to donate to our organisation, but that changed when we started to work in the hospitals and provide the basic aids. People came out to support and the whole thing became a community effort rather than an organisation.”

Wular Foundation is based in Sopore but is now expanding to other parts of the Baramulla district with each passing day volunteers and donors continuously joining hands. The organization acts upon calls they receive on daily basis.

“From last two months we have spent good amount for distributing meals, PPE kits, medical equipment and ambulance services, all this was not possible without the passion, determination and drive of the hundreds of volunteers who came from different corners to lend a hand to the forgotten, the ignored and the marginalized,” said a member of the foundation, Waseem Beigh.

The foundation is now providing free dialysis to patients, as well as, organising blood donation camps and cleanness drive in  Sopore city.  Last month, the Wular Foundation with Dia Foundation arranged money for the surgery of a girl in Khyber Hospital, Srinagar.

“Wular Foundation mostly deals with marginalized people. So, in whatever way we can, we provide help. Last month a girl from Sopore was suffering from chronic heart disease. We tried our best in whatever way we could. However, we need the support of the people so that we can help more and more needy ones,” said Shanawaz.

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GOODBYE GRANDPA: In loving memory of my Baba



In loving memory of my Baba


In loving memory of my Baba!
Life throws, at times, unpleasant surprises at us. Life feels bitter when someone close to us leaves us without saying a final goodbye.  Death is inevitable.  Life dances on the tones of death. Death dreads. Death stares at everyone.   It spares none.  There is no way to foretell when grief will take your breath away, send you scurrying to the places where no one can see the big fat tears trickling down your cheeks.  My life has not been same since Baba left us. We are shattered. We miss his radiant eyes that evinced a million tales or the curated words that conveyed so much beyond what was spoken.  Sun shines, clouds cover sky, moon moves, everything is routine but my world has turned turtle.

Baba, a free and a fearless soul, took a hurried flight to heavens. He was full of life. But cruel clutches of life consumed him. He was an Institution unto himself- a gentleman of the tribe.Mohammad Hamza Mir was born in Kalmoona, a decrepit village in frontier district of Kupwara. He lost his father at 10, faced countless challenges but didn’t give up. He completed his matriculation in early 1960’s and served in Sheep and Animal Husbandry department. Baba tried his level best to contribute to society is whatever way possible. He was a religious figure, greatly revered. He was a one-man army; he used to write letters in times when there was no source of communication. People would bank upon him and reach out to him to solve their domestic disputes. He was disciplined, creative and a man of method. He taught us to learn, lead, respect everyone and harm none. He got me admitted to school. My first school bag was gifted by him. He was sweet and strict.

He used to get up early for pre-dawn (Tahajjud) prayers. But on August 13, 2023, that fateful night, he chose eternal sleep. He was a poet. He loved painting his thoughts in words. He wrote in his mother tongue but never got published. He left a great legacy behind. He sacrificed his desires for people. He burned midnight oil to update himself about the latest happenings around. His contributions will always be counted. He was once in a millennium soul. Today, when I pray, I feel him around, calling my name. I struggle hard to hold warm tears but…. I crave for his single glimpse. I know he can’t be back but his memories are the hope against the hope. We lost a jewel. Being his laadla, I feel his demise has created a huge void in my life.

He was a compassionate man with high-spirits.  He lived 80 years and lived a full life. Listening, caring, inspiring, sharing, encouraging and always loving, he was there for me- in both elation and distress. He always taught me to love, to be humble, and to help people in whatever way possible. He was once in a millennium soul. When we submitted him to soil, I recalled John Didion, “Certain losses don’t get past you but you incorporate them into who you are. It is always a part of you.”

A compassionate, benevolent, selfless and a high-spirited man he was. He was popularly known as “Dervish” for being so involved with the hereafter affairs. His needs were limited. I fail to describe his magnetic persona. Baba was a hope and a guardian for the needy. He was a pillar of support for orphans, a friend of the downtrodden. He was a true feminist. He always stood for the right of women, as given by Islam.

He taught me to show humility and always keep shoes and ego outside whenever I enter any space. I never knew that my Baba would leave me so early.  He had a desire to see me as a groom but life takes unexpected U-turns as I mentioned in the beginning of this tribute. His wish remained unfulfilled. Death be not proud- is what he taught me all his life.


The Author is the Doctoral Candidate (JRF) in the subject of Media studies at Institute of Kashmir Studies, University of Kashmir

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Meet the self-taught female artist from Baramulla who specialises in portrait drawing



Self-taught female artist from Baramulla

Malik Nisar

At the age of 20, talented and fearless Naveeda Hassan is creating a niche in the field of art and setting an example for the young generations of Kashmir. Naveeda is a self-taught female artist from Delina, Baramulla, who has been inclined towards art since her childhood. Self-taught female artist from Baramulla.

“I have been drawing people for a long. As a self-taught artist whenever I pick up a paintbrush or sit down to draw, my heart draws me towards portraits. Over the years, I have drawn portraits of many famous personalities of India as well as the world,” says Naveeda Hassan, a fifth-semester student at Government Women’s College Baramulla.

For Naveeda, art is a way of storytelling, giving life to her creativity. Over the years art has become her identity and she has done remarkably well and produced some eloquent work. The location of the artist’s studio is the key to finding a perfect harmony between inspiration and peace.  In Naveeda’s studio that peace and inspiration are visible from every corner through the work that, she has maintained over the years. The portrait of Baghat Singh, Virat Kohli, and Nelson Mandela, besides the painting of lush green mountains and various calligraphy works are all eye-catching.

 Everything in her studio has a deep message hidden behind it, one can consider this studio as her world of dreams, every small thing has meaning for her.

Apple-on-Stone“Apple craved on the stone is my favourite because it’s the identity of Kashmir, Ranjeet Singh, when I read about the history of Jammu and Kashmir, I got inspired, I draw his painting my wish was to present it in Amer Mahal. The painting depicts the message of care same care as parents care for their children’s

“I usually do portraits, calligraphy, wall painting, watercolours painting and stone art. Although, I have also worked on various other themes as well like nature, entertainment, and drug abuse. Presently I am trying to work on the social issues faced by women in our society like domestic violence and dowry. I will try to do a series on it,” says Naveeda while showing her artworks.

Naveeda considers Raja Ravi Varma as an inspiration because she feels his work depicts a story and inspires the common man. Raja Ravi Varma, an artist and painter, is considered a legend in the history of Indian art.

“There are many great artists, but I follow Raja Ravi Varma because his work has a unique attraction and message,” she says.

Apart from being an artist, Allah has bestowed Naveeda with a melodious voice. She recently won the first position in the online Naat competition organised by Indian Broadcasting and News Network (IBANN) and in the past, she has also won various Naat competitions held at zonal and district levels.

“Naat recitation is the God-given talent. I started reciting naats from Class 11. The more I tried it, the more I got better at it. It brought me more accolades and recognition. It’s all Allah’s blessing and nothing else,” she says.

Naveeda feels Kashmir is a big canvas for artists due to its unique culture, history, and picturesque beauty, but the government should come forward and provide them with a platform so that their talent won’t go waste.

In Kashmir, there is no dearth of talent be it art or anything else, but it goes unnoticed and overlooked because of the apathetic policies of the government. They should groom the young talent and encourage them for a better future and peaceful Kashmir,” says Naveeda.

Daughter of a farmer, Naveeda aspires to achieve ‘big’ in life and wants to see women of Kashmir gleaming in every field as she feels over the years women of Kashmir have faced a lot of discrimination on various fronts.

“In Kashmir, an artist is bound to many restrictions and when it is a woman, it becomes more challenging due to socio-political taboos. But I want to change this because everyone must have the right to express her or himself,” says Naveeda.

“Well informed and well-educated women play an important role in society. Their thoughts, ways of working and value systems lead to faster growth and development of the society. In the stability of women the society is stable,” says Naveeda.

“My message to the womenfolk of Kashmir is that if you have talent don’t hide it. Express it,” she concludes.

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Meet 3-year- old twin sisters, Kashmir’s youngest social media stars



Kashmir’s youngest social media stars

Malik Nisar

The use of social media is growing at an unprecedented rate globally, and Kashmir is no exception. Over the years lots of faces from Kashmir have come into the limelight through social media, that are motivating the young generation in every aspect of life.

Latest to the addition are Kinza Aasif and Hareem Aasif from Bijbehara, Anantnag. The three-year-old twin sisters have become Kashmir’s youngest social media stars.

The adorable twin sisters amuse one and all on social media. These small videos are popular, and some have gone even viral.

Born on August 24, 2019, the twin sisters, Kinza and Hareem have grown up in a world where technology is advancing around them every single day. They do not know a world without social media, mobile phones or computers; they are well-tuned into the digital world.

“We Are (Twin Sister’s ) Kinza Hareem. In a World of Hatred, We are Trying To Spread Love,” read the description of their YouTube Channel Kina Hazreem, which has more than 11300 followers. However, it was their Instagram page that was more popular with 84,000 followers but that was hacked recently by some turkey-based hackers. Their new Instagram page has reached about 8,000 followers again.

Kinza and Hareem have turned into celebrities. Every weekend, people, mostly children, from different areas visit and click with them. Many influencers and YouTubers like Bandook029, Kashmiri Talenters and Funny Kashmir of south Kashmir. The content on their YouTube channel mostly focuses on their travel to tourist places, birthday celebrations and festival celebrations.

Born on August 24, 2019, the sisters went on their first trip to Saudi Arabia when they were just one and a half years old with their father, who was working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as a doctor, but have to come back due to the second wave of COVID19. The twin sisters have almost visited all the tourist places of Kashmir. Their YouTube and Instagram account Kinza_Hareem (@kinzahareem_twinsisters) are run by their maternal uncle Jahangir Vaid, a teacher by profession.

Kashmir’s youngest social media stars

“Initially, I used to capture their video just for entertainment purposes, but once a friend of mine told me to give it a try on YouTube channel. That was the time the idea struck me, and it worked. Presently, the channel is growing fast, and the response is very good,” said Jahangir Vaid, who has regularly managed their account since July 2021.

“We usually focus on the travel videos, although we have videos on birthdays and other things because it makes our content unique and attractive. Whenever we visit any place, people there love to meet and click with them. We only create short videos but are now planning to create large ones so that our viewership will increase more,” said Jahangir.

“They have the novelty factor attached to their content and cuteness quotient, and because of that people are more influenced by their videos,” says Altaf Khursheed, who regularly follows the twin sisters on YouTube.

“Kinza and Hareem are a complete package for us, if we didn’t have the girls, we can’t imagine having such a wonderful life. They have turned our world into heaven,” said another family member.

In coming November, Kashmir’s youngest social media stars, Kinza and Hareem, will travel abroad with their father, who has recently got a new posting in Germany. That place will provide a different kind of experience and exposure to the twin sisters, says the family.

“In the coming few months, they have to go to Germany with their mother. We are waiting for their visa in between I will try to monetise the channel, and then their father will operate it because I don’t want the channel to stop, I want the channel to grow more and more,” said Jahangir.




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