I started to work in the field while pursuing my postgraduate degree in journalism. Now, it has been more than five years that I’ve worked as a field journalist based in Kashmir, India. My biggest inspiration to become a journalist came from my native land, Kashmir. The place has witnessed more than two decades of perpetual strife, and the people have suffered immensely. There is huge collateral damage in the backdrop of ravaged conflict, and there are stories that need to be told before the whole world so that the world can empathize with the victims.
In a highly conflict-ridden place like Kashmir, there are some inherent difficulties and dilemmas as journalists exercise very limited freedom of expression. The rule of law ceases to have any meaning. So under such circumstances as a woman journalist, I think there is every need to document the untold stories, which are scripted in pain and thus crave for the platform to get heard. As a journalist, I want to ensure that to my utmost capability that I should be able to give voice to the voiceless and contribute solution-oriented writing. Journalists have the power to speak the truth, and this powerful fact always inspired me to join the media as a full-time profession.
Journalism in Kashmir continues to suffer unabatedly under a media gag. Kashmir is one of the most unsafe places for journalists. I believe as a journalist I can do justice with my work by fair and sincere reportage, unlike other professions. In a nutshell, writing for me is a real romance. From researching and compilation to structuring and illustrating the impact of the piece.
As a fellow with World Pulse, Voices of Our Future Correspondents 2012, I had the opportunity to become a part of the GPI family. When I came to know that GPI was specially going to train us, my joy knew no bounds. I was on cloud nine. Thank you, Cristi Hegranes, for giving me a chance.
I would like to share the stories of my land with a blunt voice at an international level. I am trying hard to build my stories with straightforward scene constructions and realistic characterization to make my reports more piercing. In Kashmir, there is a dire need to allow dissemination of things for a broader perspective of awareness, so my area of interest is more confined to report human-interest issues, which can create powerful impact by bringing the unreported issues to the fore.
They say to live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the sufferings, and yet every effort is being made to find some faint meaning in all these sufferings. I am a strong believer of this saying.