Despite lack of opportunities and a minimal industrial sector here, the state of Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing new trends among the youth who have decided to look beyond the rundown paths and carve a niche fort themselves by choosing to walk on the untroden ways. In the haze of uncertainty, these young, educated, dynamic and innovative minds have decided to be entrepreneurs- taking measured risks and working hard to establish themselves as successful entrepreneurs. They, thus, introduce a subtle hopefulness and infuse dynamism in others to aspire to be entrepreneurs one fine day. In south Kashmir’s Pulwama district young and educated students are making infields as entrepreneurs and have been highly appreciated by their families and friends while many others take them as example.
The writer spoke with a few, excerpts:
Shahid Rashid Bhat, Fashion Designer
I have completed my Masters in ‘Fashion Designing’ from Hyderabad and started my own brand of designing under the title ‘SRB Style’. From 2016, I started developing new techniques and looks of Kashmiri cultural dress like Pherens and presented them at fifteen different national and international fashion shows. Now I am pursuing ‘Masters in Crafts Management’ degree from Craft Development Institute which is affiliated with Kashmir University. It isn’t easy to initiate for men or women but it is essential to do so if we have to look beyond the set standards of job options here.
SHABNAM ROSHAN, 25, Boutique Trainer
After completing my 12th, I started my boutique and my parents supported me financially. I am working from last 6 years and at the beginning I used to work with my sister but after few months many new girls came to my boutique to learn tailoring skills. So far, I have trained almost one hundred girls belonging to different villages of our district. I only charge five hundred rupees per head during training months. I love to train young girls because it helps them to become independent in the present fast moving life. I think more and more girls should grow as entrepreneurs and focus on different skills.
MIR BARI, 23, Masters in Tourism
As a graduate of tourism and management, I think women empowerment is immensely important at the time when unemployment rate is very high in our state. Pulwama women are highly talented but lack exposure as compared to Srinagar girls. It is important that we create ambiences for breaking the stereotypical structures here and pave way for young generation to explore their options.
Aqsa Mehraj , 20, college student
I feel young girls of Pulwama are capable of breaking stereotypes in which our society is stuck since ages. Government should train girls of our district through Jammu and Kashmir entrepreneurship Institute by special awareness programs. I am planning to be an entrepreneur after I complete my bachelors next year and my family is also willing to help. But I want financial assistance through government incentives.
Abass Lone, 25, Engineer
Empowerment of man is empowerment of an individual, while as the empowerment of women is empowerment of society. It is a very positive step that the women are coming forward to shape our economy by setting up businesses.
Sabeena Altaf, 18, Student
I am passionate to be a successful entrepreneur in future. I don’t bother about gender bias as in contemporary times females are giving tough competition to their counterparts in every discipline of life- be it education or business. Since I am studying home science, I am planning to start my own fast food business after I complete my bachelors.
Aleem Mir, 25, Engineer
Our society is male centric which leads to a sort of dependence of women on men. This dependence, very often, gets manifested in a very ugly manner; some forms of this manifestation include domestic violence, inequality, and other innumerable issues with regard to the women. Such things must come to an end and women will have to step out to explore their options.