Palhalan, Kashmir: Hailing from village Tantraypora, I have always been dedicated towards working for the welfare of the community. This quest led me to be engaged with the project “Promoting Localized Empowering Action for Peace and Stability” in Jammu & Kashmir.

After attending several training and workshops on peace education and leadership development conducted by IGSSS, I became more confident to work for the development of society. Further, it was boosted after attending the media training. I learnt about the basics of handling camera, capturing of important scenes and about media ethics while dealing with people. I also learnt about the importance of using media as a tool towards highlighting invisible and unrepresented issues. Sessions on the importance of social media was also immensely beneficial.

Recently, I made a video of an old couple who were struggling to meet their daily needs or afford medicines or treatment. I along with my few friends put up an appeal of support in the social media. The response was overwhelming. In only a week’s time, 70k was deposited to their account. It was a very inspiring experience.  

With the help of youth of my area, I undertook massive cleanliness drive which also received media attention. We are now trying to spread awareness on the ill effects of environment degradation, drug consumption and illiteracy. We are also trying to provide information on Government schemes and entitlements and helping the disadvantaged families access them.

Recently we  highlighted the issue of dysfunctional health centre of our village. The issue of health centre  received media attention and was represented at chief minister’s grievance cell. The positive media response was a big help as the health centre is now gradually becoming functional. However, there is a long way to go and I aspire to dedicate my life towards working for peace and progress of the society.

“Peace is absence of coercion, compulsions and negative force or an atmosphere where everyone is free to do what they like and young people are involved in positive actions benefiting their communities and society as a whole.  The process of peacebuilding needs hands of all” – Asif

Note: Asif, the 25 year old from Palhalan, Baramulla district, Kashmir, is a media trainee with IGSSS


Reported By: Nazia Nabi