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Survival

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As the cold continues to linger and shiver life, the winter-induced skin ailments have once again reared their ugly heads in the valley. To ward off these cold demons, many are resorting to good old methods to save their skin. The comforting click of the knitting needles can be heard in Syeda Begum’s room after many years. The octogenarian from Srinagar’s Bemina locality is interweaving a small pair of woolen socks from bright colored yarn…

Behind the current tourism façade, the unaddressed issue of fading boats is distressing Dal Lake dwellers. Part of the problem is said to be last year’s draft and decree of years — pushing the ‘anchorless’ community to obscurity now. On the deck of his floating house, Yaqoob Duno laments over his tribe’s identity loss in the ‘water graveyard’. Ever since the pandemic created another phase of pathos in the “world-famous Dal Lake”, it has consumed…

SMC fails to open dog sterilization center at Tengpora after two years Srinagar: Canine terror looms large across Kashmir as more than 30,000 dog bite cases have been reported in Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) alone, for the last five years. Official data of anti-rabies clinic SMHS hospital accessed by Free Press Kashmir reveals that more than 3,700 dog bite cases were reported in SMHS hospital in the current fiscal year which indicates the…

Jammu: Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has objected to levying of Property Tax in JK and appealed to the government to withdraw the decision. They warned the Government of intensified protest if the Government does not roll back the law. In a press conference in Jammu, the president of the chamber, Arun Gupta, said that people of Jammu Kashmir, especially traders, have been going through an economic crisis for the last one and a…

After losing her ‘fruitful’ home to war, an Iranian woman landed in a conflict zone as a bride of a Kashmiri medico. Although the move proved proverbial—out of the frying pan into the fire—years later, her fruits of labour have become her brand new identity. Quince apple boughs and grape vines exuded a sweet fragrance when Parvin Mojabari took a trip down memory lane. It was a late summer day of 2020 and she was…

Recently, viral pictures of blood stained whooper Swans generated hue and cry among netizens and nature lovers who were angry that after flying thousands of kilometres from their natural habitats, the birds arrived in Kashmir, only to be shot. Killed on the very first day of arrival, a new species to visit Kashmir, among the many winged visitors, the whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) met a tragic end at the hands of the poachers in the…

Despite ongoing games fleetingly shifting focus in Kashmir’s winter wonderland, the administration is adamant to clear “encroachers”, even as it’s sitting on the native hoteliers’ land lease cases from last two years. When one of the oldest hotels in Gulmarg became a burning house in the spring of 2014, not many anticipated that they would soon feel the heat of the mysterious flames. That cindered hotel of circa 1947 was owned by a Kashmiri Pandit,…

On Human Rights Day, Free Press Kashmir reports the captive case of Kherun Nissa of Turtuk region of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir where, divided by borders, her people continue to pine for their loved ones living on the other side.  For years, Turtuk’s Balti band had sung dirges for their lost tribe and not-so-distant homeland gone with history’s takeover bids and belligerence. From the word go itself, these borderline people would enlighten their young…

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed as “a day for all” by the World Health Organisation. But the forcibly disabled in Kashmir, the pellet survivors, feel there is no help in sight.  After the pellet enforced darkness engulfed his life on September 7, 2016, Shameem passed through a living ordeal and was preparing for his eighth eye-surgery this early spring. But then came the further-crippling COVID, delaying his treatment, and thus aggravating…

As the JK Admin is uprooting its “first line of defense” from Kashmir’s forests, the anxiety of enforced homelessness is gripping nomads as evictions have threatened their centuries-old way of life. Inside his dank dwelling, an old-fashioned mud-and-stone house, in district Anantnag’s Kokernag forest area, a sun-tanned nomad is awaiting his worst nightmare to come true. Haji Mumtaz Khatana, a 52-year-old Gujjar is becoming restless, as a torrent of eviction drives and growing cries over…