Early this summer as the Covid-19 lockdown restricted people to their homes, some started rebelling a month later. Unable to move into the city, most of them took refuge in the woods and this led to discovery of a new, hitherto unknown Kashmir.
On July 13, Jibran Khan, started his day early at 5:30 am. A restaurant owner in Sopore, he picked a hand sanitizer, face mask and other things and joined his friends waiting outside.
Khan’s 6-member group decided to explore new meadows and tourist destinations in the foothills of Harmukh in Banidipora. “Tough this Himalayan range is very famous but still normally people don’t visit,” Khan said.
The group’s exploration mission is an older fantasy. Last summer they could barely move because of the curfews imposed after reading down of Article 370. When they wanted to resume, it was the contagion fear dominating the world. Finally, they decided to move out with adequate precautions.
IN HARMUKH REFUGE
The group destination was Kudara village. “The scenery was breathtaking from the high-altitude and the countryside showed wide swathes of green,” Khan said.
The carpet of grassy slope led them to Sheerasar, a lake in the lap of Harmukh. Apart from some water bodies, this less explored range is blessed with towering peaks and verdant forests stretched to the steely sky adding charm to the place.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Overworked, underpaid and vulnerable to infection, around 20,000 ASHA workers are practically the first line of defence against the contagion, especially in the Kashmir periphery. Given that they lack even the basics of rights as workers, they seemingly are an exploited lot, Farzana Nisar reports
GUPKAR IN NEWS
The recent PAGD meeting was symbolic to show its presence but also indicated softening of stand, writes Zahoor Malik
THE QURAN GUJRAAN WASTAY
Mufti Faizul Waheed, the Muslim scholar who died of Covid19 last week, was perhaps the only Gujar scholar who succeeded in translating the Holy Quran into Gojri. He achieved this rare feat, after a series of failures by many scholars in past, while being in jail, reports Masood Hussain
THE SECURITY TOOL
Rakesh Pandita’s killing has prompted police to bar the movement of the politicians and the protected persons without security clearance. Political parties see the measure as an attempt to interrupt their reach out to people, reports Yawar Hussain
Amarnath pilgrimage could undo the painstaking efforts to control the virus in Kashmir, writes Riyaz Wani
RECLAIMING KHUSHAL SAR
The government avoided any commitment that it will restore the freshwater lake. Eventually, a social activist threw his hat in the ring, handheld the residents, living on its banks, and initiated the first civilian effort to retrieve the water body. Two months in the muck and the lake is visibly clear but authorities require chipping in to help move the mode, reports Yawar Hussain
SOCIAL MEDIA - TWO VIDEOS, TWO STORIES
For the last many years, social media is triggering decision-making within the government and society. Last week demonstrated it yet again when the Jammu and Kashmir administration reacted to two videos, both concerning the education sector
After dominating the history of Jammu and Kashmir for decades, the Congress is completely out of the picture now, writes Zahoor Malik
‘WE ARE TRYING TO TECHNOLOGICALLY EQUIP OUR SCHOOLS'
Director of School Education Kashmir, Tassaduq Hussain Mir is a busy man these days. He has to ensure that the government schools adopt and adapt to the online mode of teaching. In an interview, Mir tells Khalid Bashir Gura that the government schools are better placed in terms of infrastructure and the faculty than the private schools
Afghanistan could easily become the battleground for regional powers trying to safeguard their respective interests in the country, writes Riyaz Wani