Aged 28, Nusrat Ara is a vibrant Journalist living in Indian administered Kashmir. She loves to read and finds writing cathartic. “I have always wanted to write about people. Stories are rich with a people’s heritage,” she said yesterday.
Since 1947, her country has been war-torn. The situation has worsened in the last 2 decades. Half of the citizens, women, are desperate. They have been left alone; some widows and others have lost their sons. As is with conflict situations world over, the women of Kashmir have suffered sexual violence. This is often coupled with undeserved HIV/ AIDS complications. “The beauty of Kashmir and its tragedy make a deadly combination,” she adds helplessly.
Nusrat recently met victims who were reluctant for interviews. Insisting that nothing good would come from talking to her, the women expressed disgust and despair from years of yearning for change. “There is so little we can actually do, “she reported.
A word to sum her up is Enigma. As once termed so by her teacher, Nusrat remains mysterious about her dream destination. “I want to travel a lot, see all kinds of places, and people. I want to experience the world”, she retorts.
This year, Nusrat is undertaking a Sanjay Ghosh Media Fellowship for Women Journalists. It is themed Kashmir Women: Setting Examples amidst Conflict. She hopes to be remembered, by all who encounter her, as a woman who understands people and situations as they are.
A native of Kashmir, Nusrat lives with her parents and brother.