Women writers in Kashmir form a new forum

Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR: Women writers in Kashmir have come under an umbrella to form a new Women Writers’ Forum which includes women journalists, freelance writers and journalism students.

The outfit is dedicated to “contributing towards betterment of society by highlighting perspectives from the ground”.

The forum will collectively address the concerns of women writers for honing their skills to generate stories on diverse issues, to find space in regional and national media and to encourage new writers. The move for formation of the forum, the first of its kind in Kashmir, was initiated by Charkha Development Communication Network, a non-government organisation based in Delhi which takes up issues of the poor and the marginalised in rural India to the media.

Developmental concerns

“In J&K, Charkha’s work through Sanjoy Ghose Media Fellowships since 2003 has led to an understanding of the region and particularly the media. Charkha’s aim is to highlight the developmental concerns of marginalised sections of Kashmiri society, particularly in rural areas, and in particular to draw out perspectives on women on these issues through their writings,” said Sujata Raghavan of the Network.

The 15 founder-members of the forum plan to stay linked to Charkha for inputs into their work and for accessing the national media. In a declaration the forum said it had been formed with the objective of “bringing untold stories to the fore”.

Some of the prominent members of the forum are Rabia Noor, Nazia Akhtar, Afsana Rashid, Tanveen Kawoosa, Ruheela Gul, Souzeina Mushtaq, Arshi Javid, Tania Andrabi, Ashwaq Masoodi and Nida Rafiq Sheikh.

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