Travelling through various areas of district Baramulla and Bandipora was an amazing experience for me. It was more of learning than showing my expertise in capturing unknown lands and faces. Until now, I was fascinated by the serene beauty of Kashmir but when I went out to explore unknown, I was taken aback after seeing the plight of people in these areas. Since past 23 years of armed conflict, things have changed, some for good and some for bad. The years of turmoil have wreck havoc to all alike but they say, in conflict women become the first casualty and same happened in Kashmir. Women folk in Kashmir bore the brunt of conflict. It is no more a secret now that women are the worst hit since 23 years of turmoil.
The world is fast changing. We, homo sapiens are in 21st century, celebrate human creativity in all forms, yet women in Kashmir are still in stone age. My heart went out and out after seeing the predicament of women in rural Kashmir. In this age of Aqua guard, women in Kashmir travel miles to draw water from polluted rivulets, collect firewood to lighten up their heath and hearth.
Despite government announcements, development is a clich?. When humans have overcome energy crisis, rural Kashmir reels under darkness, apathy and dwindle under poverty.
My aim as a lense man is to explore these unidentified lands and unheard voices, highlight their plight and garner support for their well-being. And this photo-feature is an attempt in this direction.
Bilal Bhadur is currently Media Fellow with Indo-Global Social Service Society’s (IGSSS) Media Fellowship Programme under European Union’s EIDHR project jointly implemented with Welthungerhife in J & K. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect views of European Union, Welthungerhilfe and Indo Global Social Service Society.