Nadiya Shafi – A Young Trailblazer

Nadiya Shafi - Kashmir Author

Nadiya Shafi is a social worker, feminist and one of the most promising young leaders in the Kashmir women’s movement.

“I was born in Chattabal area of Srinagar. I did BA from Women’s College MA road and Masters in Social Work from Kashmir University.”

Since 2014, she has produced more than 80 short video reports on issues ranging from health, infrastructures, conflict, human rights to Gender, women’s rights and environment.

After completing a Masters Degree in Social Work from University of Kashmir in 2010, she worked with different local and national level social organisations. When Video Volunteers launched its KashmirUnheard project in September 2014, Nadiya took up the job with the team. Working also as a video editor for VV and a mentor of other Correspondents, she is a role model for all the young female – and male – Correspondents in the KashmirUnheard team.

Nadiya has produced many stories on arts and culture, such as stone carvings, crochet, a female Sufi painter, and Kashmiri food. But her bravest work is her extensive documentation of Kashmiri half-widows and the Kashmir Unrest in 2016. She has explored the lives of “half widows”, women whose husbands have gone missing during the conflict, but who are not accorded the rights entitled to widows. But doing this kind of reporting has its risks: due to the pressure built on her by state police and military for her work on half-widows, she had to leave for Delhi for a year and a half.

In summer 2016, when Kashmir experienced one of the worst unrests in a decade, she was back in Srinagar, and traveled with Zuhaib, editor in VV, on her scooter into the conflict zones to document what was happening. She was surely one of the only women to do so. One of her most harrowing videos from this period was shot in a hospital, featuring a doctor speaking out against the army’s use of pellet bullets just after he operated on the damaged eyes of a patient. She also documented cases of state impunity towards young boys and girls. Her documentation of the unrest has featured voices from both sides of the conflict – the stone pelters and CRPF personnel.

In 2017, NDTV is following her as she carries out a case study of women affected by the Kashmir conflict.

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