Q: Tell us about your background and what you do with your time.
A: I am from the Vale of Kashmir and I work in promoting human security and peace using RTI and other democratic policies. Regarding my background, I'm a trained Biomedical Engineer and have been associated with health-care related activities as a Clinical Podiatrist at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, India. However, my interest has always been in peace, environment and women issues. In this regard, I've been associated with development sector and social organizations including Consultant Empowering Women: Revival of Culture and Heritage with Aga Khan Trust for Culture, New Delhi. I'm also a member of the national council of National Federation of Indian Women-NFIW, an associate member of Women's Regional Network- Afghanistan, India & Pakistan. I am also the National Campaign Coordinator for the Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, a network of almost 5,000 organisations, which promotes government accountability and SDGs in India.
I co-authored a master plan for community-based tourism in TosaMaidan (a vast meadowland which was previously a firing range for 50 years and was closed down by the community efforts) with a renowned environmentalist in Kashmir. The plan was approved by the government of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and is now in the implementation phase. I also co-authored a book on the closure of the firing range and the community's ownership and conservation of the same ecological hotspot. With my petition in J&K high court on behalf of our community and the associated organisation, compensation to all the firing range victims across the state of Jammu & Kashmir has been approved. And this made possible the framing of rules for the Field Firing Range Act-1938 for the state of J&K. Increasingly, my work is focusing on peace, climate justice, rural development, and community-based tourism in Kashmir centered on women.
Q: Who is the greatest female influence in your life?
A: There is no particular female I look up to. Everyone's struggle is different; I learn or un-learn things from everyone I come across. So, I see all of them influencing my life in one way or another.
Q: Please share with us something that you want other women around the world to hear.
A: "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilisation, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there -- on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
--A pale blue dot, Carl Sagan-1994
Q: What do you imagine for women and girls around the world?
A: I long for the day when women will be considered human. No more no less.
Q: What do you like most about WorldWideWomen?
A: The way WorldWideWomen is telling us stories of women. In every story, we find a part of us. Which helps us draw a connection and feel we all are so inter-related. This feeling is beautiful.