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JAMMU: Dr. Ashaq Hussain Nodal Officer Govt. Degree College Chatroo has been invited and included in the Evaluation board for the Indian National Chemistry Olympiad (INChO) Examination by Homi Bhaba Centre of Science Education (HBCSE), National Centre of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. The international Olympiad movement is aimed at bringing the most gifted secondary and higher secondary students of the world together in a friendly competition of the highest level and HBCSE is the nodal centre of the country for this programme. The programme aims at promoting excellence in science and mathematics among pre-university students. Dr. Hussain is the only expert from Jammu and Kashmir who has been invited for this prestigious assignment.

Pertinent to mention here that Dr. Ashaq Hussain a resident of a remote Village in Bhalessa area of District Doda and is serving in District Kishtwar in higher Education Department and is active in promoting the science education and has time and again brought laurels to the Higher Education Department of the State in general and Kishtwar and Bhalessa in particular by representing at the National level in so many workshops and conferences. Dr. Ashaq is an expert of Chemistry, Science Behind Miracles, Low Cost-No Cost Teaching aids etc and is associated with Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science and technology as a resource person and an Evaluator at National Level.

A prolific teacher and as an administrator he has already attended several seminars and conferences. Being an able administrator as well as a good organizer he has organized several seminars and workshops on science education across the length and breadth of the state to uplift the Science education and thereby inculcating scientific temperament among students and teachers. As an academician he has published dozens of Papers, articles etc and has authored over 8 Books till date.

In this regard, the teaching fraternity, officials and students of this region conveyed him best wishes and expressed happiness over such achievements. One of the teachers of the College state that it is indeed a matter of pride for all of us to have such eminent professor among us to represent our fraternity in the national arena through his academic excellence and contribution in the field of Sciences.

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SRINAGAR: Meet Two Young Entrepreneurs of Kashmir “Omaira and Beenish” who set an example by setting up their own business of Knitting. Taking their passion and expertise they have done what so many entrepreneurs strive to do. Once consider the disdain art and hobby of illiterate women’s these educated girls showed the world nothing is unworthy you just need the vision to look beyond ordinary.

They turned themselves into a brand and a platform from where they have launched new products by using internet.

Talking to KNB reporter Sumaiya, Omaira spoke about Kashmir and the challenges youth are facing at the economic front and how one should not give up what they dream of.

EXCERPTS FROM THE INTERVIEW

How did you got interested in the knitting and how did this idea of being entrepreneur hit you ?

I always had this curiosity of knowing and learning everything . Only my aunt from my family was involved in knitting and she was the one who taught me the main chain of crochet and then I learned by myself from YouTube and other sites. We both were teachers in private school and had a common interest in knitting. Beenish had got some orders and asked me if I could help her and how could I have said no to something I liked doing.

At that point we thought why we don’t start something of our own, as many entrepreneurs were using internet for their business so we too opened our Instagram account then Facebook page and uploaded the photos of our work in December 2015.

What was the response from the society?

We were overwhelmed by the response we got. Everyone started appreciating us because the things which we were creating from knitting was something new and ingenious for Kashmir. Women’s used to make crochets but the simple ones and they had no idea what other creative things could be created out of this and when we started doing this people were quite fascinated.

We reintroduced Kashmiri jewellery by making it through metallic threads as traditional jewelleries are very heavy and expensive people liked what we were making. Our unique ideas were something which took us forward.

What difficulties you faced during the starting?

We were only 2 girls when we started . When we started some people said that they won’t be able to pull it off they are just two girls how will they handle everything by their own. We used to do everything by ourselves, we were owner as well as workers . We used to do photo shoots, modelling, delivering, every single thing was handle by just two of us. As business started growing we started involving other people and today at least 15 girls are employed by us and there many other girls who learned from us and now have started their own thing. We are happy to be starter of something ingenious and making the way for others. Even boys have come forward and have learned this art.

During 2017 turmoil our 80% work got hit as there was internet blockade and our business was dependent on it. But we didn’t give up and today we are our exporting our products world wide.

Knitting is considered something for dweeb girls how come even having master’s and B.Ed degree you chose this path?

Mainly in Kashmir we people had this mind set that this art of knitting is for girls who were weak in studies and were thought of incapable of achieving something in her life. So if you were good at nothing this knitting, tailoring, and similar things were suggested for her . But we both are educated, we have done Masters and B.Ed and we are doing this proudly and have been recognized through this art and received may awards.

Any moment you want to share?

We are from middle class family ,we were no big shots that people knew us from before. What ever we are we are self-made even we never took any financial help from any one not even from our parents . In the beginning of our career we were invited by one of our friend in an event of Mother’s day celebration and the women who were invited were all maestros in their field, there were educationist , journalists, singers,etc and as we had just started and no one knew us . I told Beenish that doesn’t matter if people don’t know who Omaira and Beenish are but our work should get recognition and very soon Gyawun featured us then we had back to back interviews within state media as well as national media and everyone knew who we are and what we do.

Do you have any message to youth?

God has given talent to everyone and it’s up to you how you utilize it . It’s not important that you will make your hobby or talent your profession but don’t even hide it. Do showcase it don’t think what people will say.

When you are determined to do something and you know you have to do it then even god helps you . I think it’s your ingenious idea which keeps you going and gives you appreciation.

Proud and happy moment?

I do get message from young girls and they proudly flaunt that their mothers or grandmothers know this art too. There were some women who had left knitting but then started again after watching us and got inspired to continue. I feel immense pleasure to bring a good name to this art and to show people nothing is ordinarily just have a vision.

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KISHTWAR: From the last year each citizen of Kishtwar district in Jammu and Kashmir state is aware about the splendid working style of District Magistrate Kishtwar Shri Angrez Singh Rana who soon after holding this prestigious post of Kishtwar district created eco friendly relationship and cordial atmosphere among all communities across this highly sensitive district. 

A young , dynamic and honest KAS officer holding this prestigious post as District Magistrate Kishtwar in J&K state brought a sea change in the work culture while acting tough against the blemished officers/officials . He never let any erring government servant to go Scot free. he day when Sh Angrez Singh Rana joined his duties as District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar was one of the historic day when the people of Kishtwar started redeeming their tryst with destiny. 

Being an officer down to earth who took full fledged responsibilities as an administrator, never took any break and performed his duties relentlessly with utmost dedication and devotion. He immediately called a meeting of all officers/officials to create corruption free environment and impressed upon them to perform their duties with sincerity, honesty and dedication . He also asked general public to approach him personally so that their grievanve could be addressed in a time bound manner . He fixed deadlines to the officers to redress the grievance of the poor public and in case if any officer failed to comply timeline, he never hesitate to take stringent action against him.

n Kishtwar district , now every citizen is approaching District Administrative Head personally without any hitch for redressal of their grievances as District Magistrate is holding public darbars , grievance redressal camps , awareness programmes across whole district in length and breadth including  the  far-flung regions and bad pocket areas of the district. It was a historic day that during public darbar held at Bunjwah on 15th Sep 2018 , Angrez Singh Rana District Magistrate Kishtwar along with all district/ sectoral officers redressed the grievances raised by public of Bunjwah on spot which  happened for the first time  and visit of such upright and sincere officer in this remote region left an indelible impression in the minds of people of Bonjwah area regarding the honesty , pro poor approach and integrity of the District Magistrate.

Beside this , District Magistrate along with all other sectoral officers is regularly holding public darbars , Grievance Redressal camps at Block and Tehsil levels in all tehsils in Kishtwar district .  During these Redressal camps , District Magistrate Kishtwar released various funds for different developmental activities of these regions and asked general public for their co-operation towards creating corruption free environment in Kishtwar. 

It is a matter of great pride for the people of Kishtwar to say that District Magistrate Sh Angrez Singh Rana largely succeeded in eradicating the corrupt practices used to be practised in Govt offices  before his joining and as of now every government employee working in this district think thousand times before indulging in any misdeed,  it is all because of staunch and able administration of Sh Angrez Singh Rana. 

During the tenure of Angrez Singh Rana from Sep 2017 no untoward incident of any communal frenzy happened. He strictly enforced law and order and handled the grim situation arisen after the killing of Parihar brothers in the district in an efficacious manner. In a simple interactive talk of Special Correspondent with Sh Angrez Singh Rana, the Officer said that Kishtwar is a town of Sufis and saints who worked together for  maintaining brotherhood and amity among all communities despite of the fact that bad elements tried to create fissures/hate among Hindu and Muslim community, but it was due to the blessings of these sacred souls that fundamentalist evil people could not succeed in their nefarious designs. 

Kishtwar the land of saffron, sapphire and shrines was an independent hilly state during the medieval period when Maharaja Gulab Singh, the Dogra ruler of Jammu annexed it in 1821 AD. District Kishtwar was carved out from the erstwhile District Doda during the year 2007-08 when the Chief Minister of state Sh Ghulam Nabi Azad had taken a historic decision for creation of the new district .It has the unique distinction of being one of the biggest districts of the state in area just next to Leh and Kargil districts. Its area is almost one half of the total area of eleven districts of the valley and one third of the area of the Jammu region which too has eleven districts. 

History, geography, topography, demography, area and population define the status of a place or region. Kishtwar is almost mountainous like that of Himachal or Ladakh region. District Kishtwar has its boundaries touching the valleys of Himachal in the south east and Doda on South-West. The entire district is full of mountains, forest and hills. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs all resides here with peace, amity and brotherhood. He advised the people of Kishtwar to follow the lofty ideas and preachings of saints,seers and peers for which Kishtwar is well known and famous for and not to fall prey to the hate speeches and malicious propaganda of few anti social elements existing in the society.

In reply to a question raised by correspondent about the killing of Parihar brothers , District Magistrate replied that it was very unfortunate incident and expressed his heartfelt condolence and sympathy towards the breaved families.  Replying on queries of investigation in the gruesome killing of Parihar brothers by some unknown persons, District Magistrate replied that  SIT of JKP was constituted and Section 144 as well as Curfew was imposed across town and even internet service were snapped to avoid any untoward incident .  Adding that , the investigation was later handed to NIA , the primer investigating agency of the country. He expressed his hope that very soon the accused persons will be put behind bars. Since the creation of newly carved district in 2007 , a number of District Magistrates got posted at Kishtwar but Sh Angrez Singh Rana created a niche as a District Magistrate among all with his honesty and sheer dedication  who without any delay settles the grievance of the poor people on spot and also take stern action against erring officers.  

"Highlights"

Beside as an administrative head of district , Sh Angrez Singh Rana took a series of steps for empowerment and development of the district through various means . To curb the menance of false and fake news , Registration of WhatsApp group was major achievement which was later adopted by other districts and states across India as well as by some foreign countries at international level . Taking the initiative , as an able administrator , Ordered to dump dry grass at far away distance from homes to avoid any circumstance of fire incidents . Taking a strong note of complaints of private IGNOU center's regarding corruption and other mass copying charges,  constituted flying squad to conduct free and fair exams.  

To curb menance of corruption in government offices , District Magistrate brought transparency and accountability among all departments . He urged upon Socio Political Activist to bring up the genuine issues in his knowledge so that early action and redressal of grievance could be ensured . Taking strong note of Rural Development Department and Blocks of Kishtwar district, He stressed upon concerned authorities to bring transparency and take initiatives of development as per objectives and aims  of various schemes including MGNREGA , SBM , PAMY etc. Also issued order of physical verification of works under taken by department including the execution of works under CDF and MPLADS. Curbed the absentee culture in schools and other institutions. 

Started campaign of No fuel No hamlets and issued order to petrol pump owners not to fill fuel tanks of a motorcyclist / biker found not wearing halmet. Keeping the pride and crown of Kishtwar maintained , issued order over complete imposition of ban on vehicles in historic chowgan ground . He further banned illegal extraction / mining of stones and destroyed the nexus of illegal mining run by some  influential  persons. He also removed illegal encroachment on State land. He  strongly dealt with the black mailers with iron fist and put check on black mailers .  Not only this he imposed fine over littering and spreading filth and achieved the targets under Swachh Bharat Mission with a missionary zeal.  

This was for the first time in the district that both Municipal and Panchayat Elections were successfully and peacefully completed under his stewardship. He is really striving hard day and night to achieve the set out targets under Ayushmann Bharat and is taking hourly reviews with officers ensuring that the deserving beneficiaries may avail the health insurance benefits.    

Started campaign of Beti Bachao Beti Parao with full swing , extra surge and zeal and is convening weekly activities under the scheme whereas he also urged the media correspondents to highlight the importance of Beti Bachao Beti Parao Scheme besides all central  as well as state sponsored schemes among rural masses in order to avail maximum benefits of social benefits and development schemes.

Though it's a natural instinct and views of some vested people to criticize or raise fingers on his honesty and dedication for their personal gains, but their criticism or  maligned campaign even at behest of some murky politicians completely got trashed before the strong will, grit and determination of Sh Angrez Singh Rana who undoubtedly is one of the best administrator in the state. It is high time to vote and salute such honest and dedicated officer for his relentless , disciplined and praise worthy works viz a viz eco friendly and secular approach among all.


{The author is Freelance Journalist Columnist and Human Right Activist from Kishtwar Jammu and Kashmir and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  09419974577 , 09018920786 }.