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Aliya Bashir

New Delhi, India
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About Aliya
Aliya Bashir is a journalist based in New Delhi, India.
Investigative Reporting

In Kashmir, Indian forces continue killing unarmed protesters

02 May 2024  |  World Pulse
Indian forces have been involved in the killing of unarmed protesters in Kashmir, with recent incidents resulting in the deaths of Yawar Ahmad and Sayyar Ahmad. The unrest, which has seen around 80 people killed and over 10,000 wounded in the last two months, was intensified by the killing of Burhan Wani, a militant leader. The Indian government has been using an iron hand approach to suppress the protests, refusing to recognize Kashmir as a dispute and ignoring calls for a referendum. The situation has led to increased civilian resistance and international scrutiny.

Where to Find Amazing All-Day Breakfast in Westchester County

13 Mar 2024  |  Westchester Magazine
Westchester Magazine compiles a list of eight eateries in Westchester County that offer all-day breakfast. The selection includes Bluestone Lane, Eatarry, Hayfields, Jean-Jacques, The Kitchen Table, Stanz Café, The Tasty Table, and On The Way Café. Each establishment is highlighted for its unique offerings, from the Sunshine Burrito at Bluestone Lane to the adventurous s'mores pancakes at Eatarry, and the Parisian flavors at Jean-Jacques. The article provides addresses and phone numbers for each location, along with recommendations for specific dishes and tips on beverage pairings.

Political Turmoil in Indian-Administered Kashmir Forces Out Young Entrepreneurs

01 Oct 2023  |  globalpressjournal.com
Political instability in Indian-administered Kashmir has forced young entrepreneurs like Haris Wani and Alfarakh Bashir to shut down their businesses and relocate. The revocation of the region's semi-autonomous status by Prime Minister Narendra Modi led to a communications blackout and economic turmoil, causing a significant brain drain and financial losses. The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry calls for a rehabilitation policy to support affected entrepreneurs. Despite their efforts, many young business owners find themselves without support or hope, leading to a migration out of the region.

In Kashmir, COVID-19 vaccines bring fears of infertility

23 Jun 2023  |  The New Humanitarian
The article discusses the challenges faced by health workers in Indian-administered Kashmir as they combat widespread vaccine hesitancy fueled by rumors, particularly the belief that COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility. Rashida Jan, a nurse, and other frontline workers encounter resistance from the rural population, who are influenced by misinformation and a deep-seated mistrust of the Indian government and locally manufactured vaccines. The healthcare system, already weakened by conflict and a struggling economy, is further strained by the pandemic. Despite no evidence linking vaccines to infertility, the rumors persist, creating a gender divide in vaccination rates. Efforts to counteract these beliefs include reinforcing facts through science and engaging community leaders. However, vaccine shortages and a gag order on health officials complicate the situation. The article highlights individual stories and the broader social and healthcare context in Kashmir amidst the pandemic.

In Kashmir, a Maternal Death Underscores the Costs of COVID-19 and Conflict

10 Jun 2023  |  Global Health NOW
The article tells the tragic story of Zahoor Ahmed Bhat and his late wife, Shakeela Akhter, in Nowpora Salia, a village in south Kashmir. Akhter died during childbirth after a series of healthcare failures exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the region's political instability. The local healthcare system, already weakened by decades of conflict, was further strained by the pandemic and the Indian government's revocation of Article 370, leading to curfews and internet shutdowns. Akhter's death led to protests and an inquiry, but the family still seeks answers and justice. The article is part of Global Health NOW’s Local Reporting Initiative and highlights the impact of COVID-19 on maternal health in conflict zones.

Kashmir’s counterinsurgent families face a lifetime of stigma

25 May 2023  |  The New Humanitarian
The article discusses the plight of families in Kashmir who are stigmatized due to their association with counterinsurgents, known as Ikhwanis, who fought alongside Indian authorities against Kashmiri militants. Faisal Fayaz, whose father was an Ikhwani killed in 2000, shares the emotional and social challenges he faced growing up. The article highlights the discrimination and threats experienced by these families, including denial of services and education. It also touches on the lack of support from the Indian government for these families, despite their past assistance. The piece mentions efforts by local religious leaders and NGOs to change perceptions and integrate Ikhwani families into society. The broader context of the Kashmir conflict is provided, including recent tensions following the sentencing of a pro-independence leader and the revocation of Article 370 by the Indian parliament.

In Kashmir, Coronavirus Pushed Already-Broken Maternal Health over the Brink

21 Apr 2023  |  Global Health NOW
The article discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal health in Kashmir, highlighting the case of Ruqiya Javed who died after delivering stillborn twins. Javed was refused treatment by her private doctor due to her residence in a red zone and faced neglect at a government hospital. The article cites Bashir Ahmad Bhat from the University of Kashmir, who mentions a study on the pandemic's impact on maternal health services. It also includes accounts from ASHA workers who faced challenges in providing care during the pandemic. The article notes the lack of specialized care for pregnant women, increased obstacles due to transportation and costs, and the denial of treatment by private hospitals. Despite attempts, health authorities refused to comment on the record. The article is part of Global Health NOW’s Local Reporting Initiative and is written by freelance journalist Aliya Bashir.

Women Take the Reins in Kashmir’s Floating Gardens

12 Apr 2023  |  Global Press Journal
The article focuses on the changing dynamics of agriculture in Dal Lake, Indian-administered Kashmir, where more women are now participating in farming activities. Afroza Jan, an 18-year-old female farmer, is highlighted as she works on her floating vegetable garden. The narrative describes her daily routine and the shift from perceiving farming as a male-dominated activity to one where women are increasingly involved and earning a livelihood. The article mentions that over 6,000 families depend on these floating gardens for their income and that the lake is a significant source of vegetables and fish for the city of Srinagar. Raman Uppal from the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority and Zareef Ahmed Zareef, a local poet, provide insights into the importance of the lake and the evolving role of women in this sector.

Kashmir's Women with Disabilities Battle Lockdowns and Social Stigma

05 Apr 2023  |  Asia Democracy Chronicles
The article focuses on the challenges faced by women with disabilities in India, particularly in Kashmir, during the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlights the story of Urfi Jan, a 30-year-old woman with mobility issues who aspired to open a boutique but was hindered by the pandemic. The lockdowns have exacerbated the discrimination and difficulties faced by disabled women, who struggle with access to healthcare, employment, and education. The National Center for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) study reveals the intersectional discrimination these women face. The article also discusses the lack of awareness and accessibility to vaccines for disabled women and the impact of the pandemic on their mental health and livelihoods. It features personal accounts from several women and the work of organizations like Humanity Welfare Organization Helpline and UN Women. The journalist, Aliya Bashir, emphasizes the resilience of these women and their determination to overcome obstacles.

In Kashmir’s cycles of violence, progeny of former counterinsurgents are trapped in traumatic past

19 Mar 2023  |  www.missingperspectives.com
The article highlights the enduring trauma faced by the children of former counterinsurgents in Kashmir, focusing on the psychological and social challenges they endure. It discusses the broader context of political violence in the region, the inadequate mental health services, and the impact of government policies on NGOs. Personal stories of individuals like Rahila and Shazia illustrate the deep-seated grief and mental health issues exacerbated by prolonged conflict and societal stigma. The article also critiques the Indian government's insufficient budget allocation for mental health and the restrictions on foreign donations affecting local NGOs.

In Kashmir’s cycles of violence, progeny of former counterinsurgents are trapped in traumatic past

15 Feb 2023  |  johnmenadue.com
The article explores the enduring trauma faced by the children of former counterinsurgents in Kashmir, focusing on the psychological and social challenges they encounter. It highlights the disproportionate burden on women and young girls, the stigma surrounding mental health, and the lack of adequate mental health services. The government's restrictions on NGOs and insufficient budgetary allocations for mental health exacerbate the situation. Personal stories of individuals like Rahila and Shazia illustrate the deep-seated grief and isolation experienced by these families.

In Kashmir, Counter­insurgents’ Widows Fight to Save Their Sons

01 Oct 2022  |  thediplomat.com
In Kashmir, widows of former counterinsurgents from the Ikhwan militia, such as Jameela Begum, Dilshada Bano, and Biba Zulekha, face societal ostracization and government neglect while striving to protect their children from the region's pervasive violence. Despite the trauma from their husbands' violent deaths and the stigma of being labeled as 'pro-India agents,' these women are determined to provide for their families and shield their children from the cycle of violence. Organizations like Women Without Borders and the International Center for Peace Psychology emphasize the role of mothers and communities in preventing extremism and supporting those affected by conflict. The article highlights the psychological and financial battles these women endure, as well as the broader implications of their struggle within the ongoing conflict in Kashmir.

For India’s COVID orphans, fix the money worries as well as the trauma

27 Sep 2022  |  thenewhumanitarian.org
In Uttar Pradesh, India, children orphaned by COVID-19, like Khushi, are receiving support from an initiative launched in July 2021. The Cash + Trauma-informed Psychosocial Support programme, a collaboration between the state's Department of Women and Child Development, UNICEF, and Mind Piper, provides counselling and financial assistance to help children cope with the loss of parents. The program has trained over 130 social workers, reached nearly 13,000 children, and addresses both mental health and real-world financial challenges. Beneficiaries receive a monthly stipend and tailored mental health support, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. The initiative aims to prevent long-term educational and societal impacts, and if successful, may be replicated in other states.

The value of a ‘spiritual life’ through religious diversity that still exists today inside the culture of Kashmir’s capital city of Srinagar

‘Bees are like my family’: A female beekeeper is reviving honey production in Kashmir

On Kashmir's border of despair, widows of insurgents resist victimhood

13 Aug 2022  |  TRT World
The article discusses the plight of war widows in Dardpora, a village in Jammu and Kashmir, India, known as the 'Home of Pain' due to its high number of widows and children affected by the conflict. The village is located along the Line of Control (LoC), a frequent site of violence and once a crossing point for Kashmiri youth joining the insurgency in Pakistan. The widows, whose livelihoods were previously dependent on their husbands' farming, now rely on each other for support in agricultural activities. The story highlights the community's challenges, such as water shortages and the need for mutual aid in farming. It also touches on the personal story of a widow whose husband was a member of Hizbul Mujahideen and was killed in 1995, leaving her to fend for herself and her visually impaired son.

Indian acid attack survivors unleash creativity to craft a better future

13 Aug 2022  |  TRT World
The article discusses the challenges faced by acid attack survivors in India, particularly during the COVID-19 lockdown. It highlights the story of Nagma, a survivor who joined the Chhanv Foundation for support and is currently undergoing orientation training. The article also mentions the legal strides made after the Supreme Court of India's landmark judgment in the Laxmi Agarwal vs. Union of India case, which led to acid attacks being classified as a heinous crime with stringent punishments. Alok Dixit, a social activist and founding member of the Chhanv Foundation, and Shalini Mittal, an assistant professor at Amity University, provide insights into the difficulties of outreach during the lockdown and the lack of focus on survivors' needs. Nagma's personal journey of undergoing surgeries and finding a sense of belonging at the foundation is also covered.

Landless women farmers in India respond to growing agrarian distress

13 Aug 2022  |  TRT World
The article focuses on the story of Jaibuna, a widow and mother of eight, who has become a smallholder landless multi-layer farmer in Haryana, India. After her husband's death, she defied cultural norms to work on leased land, becoming the first woman in her state to do so. The article discusses the broader context of women in agriculture in India, highlighting the feminisation of agriculture and the associated agrarian distress. It mentions the social stigma of tuberculosis in the region, the high rate of widowhood among young women, and the unpaid labor of female farmers. The World Bank's efforts to improve gender equity in agriculture are noted. The article also touches on the severe agrarian crisis in India, including farmer suicides and recent protests against new farm laws that are perceived to favor market forces over farmers' welfare.

Near the Line of Control, Frontline Workers Fight COVID Vaccination Battles

25 Mar 2022  |  science.thewire.in
In the challenging and militarized terrain of Jammu and Kashmir near the Line of Control, health workers are overcoming severe obstacles such as harsh weather, misinformation, and vaccine hesitancy to administer COVID-19 vaccines to remote communities. Despite the lack of internet connectivity and the digital divide, strategies like door-to-door vaccinations and evening shifts have been employed to increase vaccine uptake. The efforts of medical officers like Dr. Parvaiz Masoodi and health workers like Tabasum Bashir have been instrumental in building trust within the community, leading to a change in attitude towards the vaccine, as evidenced by individuals like Safeera Begum who now advocate for vaccination.

On Kashmir’s border, health workers fight Covid vaccine battles

17 Mar 2022  |  Evening Standard
The article discusses the village of Dudran, which is located in the mountainous region near the Line of Control, the contentious border separating Indian and Pakistani territories in Kashmir. The area is highlighted as one of the most militarized zones globally, often witnessing exchanges of shell fire between the Indian and Pakistani armies. The focus is on the geopolitical tension and the impact of the conflict on the local population.

The Teenage Girls who Intervene to Stop Domestic Violence in their Community

28 Feb 2022  |  Les Glorieuses
The article by Aliya Bashir, featured in the IMPACT newsletter by Les Glorieuses, discusses the bystander intervention campaign 'Dakhal Do' run by Breakthrough India, a women's rights organisation. The campaign, which started in September 2020 in Sangam Vihar, South Delhi, trains young people to intervene in domestic violence situations within their community. The initiative arose in response to the increase in domestic violence cases during the pandemic, particularly during lockdowns when women found it difficult to seek help. The article highlights the experiences of Megha Kumari and Nargis, two teenagers who have intervened in domestic violence incidents and are working to change societal norms that discriminate against women and minorities. The article also touches on the broader context of intimate partner violence in India and the challenges faced by women during the pandemic.

The World’s Finest Saffron Is in Danger of Disappearing

04 Jun 2019  |  Saveur
In Pampore, India, saffron farming, a centuries-old tradition, is under threat due to declining rainfall and inadequate irrigation. Haji Ghulam Hassan Bhat and his family, along with many others in the region, have relied on saffron cultivation for their livelihood. Despite government pledges to improve irrigation, progress is slow, exacerbated by regional conflicts. Farmers are increasingly switching to other crops or selling their land. The cultural significance of saffron farming remains strong, but the future of this valuable spice is uncertain.

Impoverished, Harassed And Alone: Kashmir’s Forgotten Widows

03 Feb 2017  |  HuffPost
Kashmiri women who have lost their husbands to the ongoing conflict face compounded grief, discrimination, and poverty in a patriarchal society where their social status is linked to their husbands. Shareefa Begum, a widow who lost two husbands to the conflict, recounts her experiences of humiliation and hardship. The conflict has left behind thousands of widows, with estimates ranging from 8,611 by the Indian government to 32,400 according to sociologist Bashir Ahmad Dabla. Widows often suffer abuse, ostracism, and struggle to find employment. The United Nations has highlighted the plight of widows globally, noting their loss of social status and the expectation to remarry within their husband's family. Begum, who now raises her children alone, refuses to be defined by her widowhood and is determined to provide for her family.

Widows of Kashmir's militants struggle to save sons from insurgency

21 Nov 2016  |  UPI
Shameema Jan, a widow in Indian-administered Kashmir, struggles to keep her son Adil Ahmed away from the ongoing insurgency that claimed her husband's life. Despite the community's initial support for her husband's 'martyrdom,' Jan and her family were later abandoned, leaving them to face economic hardship and social isolation. Jan's efforts to seek help from both government and pro-freedom groups have been futile, forcing her to work as domestic help while trying to protect her son from the turmoil. The article highlights the broader issue of militant widows in Kashmir, who face severe socio-economic challenges and lack of community support.

Uneducated Women Entrepreneurs Defeat Poverty

22 Feb 2016  |  Inter Press Service
The article focuses on the stories of uneducated women entrepreneurs in Srinagar, Kashmir, who have overcome poverty and societal challenges to become self-reliant. Maryam Yousuf, a dairy farmer, and Daulat Begum, a vegetable grower, are highlighted as inspirational figures in their community. Both women started their ventures with minimal resources and have grown their businesses, providing for their families and contributing to the local economy. The article also touches on the broader trend of increasing women entrepreneurship in Kashmir and the challenges they face, such as lack of access to technical and financial support. Dr. Farooq Ahmad Shah from the Central University of Kashmir is cited, discussing the importance of women's contribution to entrepreneurship in the region.

Local Entrepreneur Innovates Crafts Business to Boost Employment, Quality

21 Aug 2013  |  globalpressjournal.com
Mahvash Masood, a 27-year-old entrepreneur from Srinagar, Kashmir, founded the designer brand Farzeen to innovate and modernize local handicrafts. Employing over 100 artisans, Farzeen focuses on quality and traditional techniques, producing items like pashmina shawls, sozni embroidery, and pottery. The brand has gained recognition for its unique products, securing corporate clients like Piramal Enterprises Ltd. Masood's efforts aim to boost employment and preserve the handmade tradition in Kashmir's handicraft industry. Farzeen plans to open retail outlets across India and launch a skill development program for women.

Kashmir: Rape as a weapon of war

25 Jul 2011  |  news.trust.org
Sexual violence in Indian-administered Kashmir is used as a tactic of war, with official reports of assault and harassment being much lower than the actual number of crimes. Women face severe societal stigma and fear retribution, leading to underreporting. The case of Saira Bano, raped by soldiers, highlights the issue. Despite evidence and interviews, Indian officials and the Press Council of India have often denied or downplayed these crimes. The UN and human rights organizations continue to advocate for justice and recognition of the psychological impact on victims.

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