Stories written by Athar Parvaiz
Athar Parvaiz has been an IPS contributor since 2008. Based in Srinagar, Indian Administered Kashmir, he writes about environment, health, human rights and development issues. | Twitter |

Kashmir Flood Carries Away Humble Dreams

Rafiqa Kazim and her husband Kazim Ali had a simple dream – to live a modest life, educate their four children and repay the bank-loan that the couple took out to sustain their small business.

Women Herders Bring Change

When Sangan Bhai, a humble man in the Kutch region of India’s western state of Gujarat, was offered a position as an executive member of the local camel breeder’s association, he made a decision that surprised his community: instead of accepting the prestigious post he offered his wife’s name instead.

Fatwa Comes Too Late for Kashmir’s Half-Widows

Forty-seven-year-old Shahmala’s husband has been missing since 1993. In India’s restive Jammu and Kashmir state, she is what is known as a half-widow, a woman who has no clue whether her husband is dead or alive.

Hope for Justice Disappears With Victims

Upon meeting an acquaintance after a long time, a young man at a Srinagar drug store asks: “Where did you disappear?” The innocuous question elicits an unexpected reply from the other: “Weigh your words. There are people whose loved ones have really disappeared.”

Sun Smiles on a Cold Desert

Surendar Mohan, a catering assistant at the residential school Jawahar Navodiya Vidyalya, looks thankfully up at the sun from this cold high-altitude desert in northwest India.

Kashmiri Women Claim Their Rights

Mehnaz Bano (not her real name), a 37-year-old woman in a hamlet in Indian Kashmir, is living a “satisfied and peaceful” life ever since she secured her daughter’s property rights before her remarriage – though not without a long and tedious struggle following her first husband’s death.

Unexploded Shells Tearing Lives Apart

A vast and picturesque meadow called Tosamaidan, about 112 km west of Jammu and Kashmir’s capital Srinagar, has now become the rallying point for hundreds of villagers who want the artillery exercises being carried out there by the Indian Army to stop.

Ladakh Invites New Scarcities

The Ladakh of today is a different world from the one Skarma Namgiyal remembers as a child. Back then, he had taken for granted the breathtaking beauty of its landscape, the purity of the cold mountain air, and the sweet taste of water in its streams.

Pashmina Withers on the Roof of the World

The famed pashmina shawl that keeps the cold away – in style and at a price – could itself have become the victim of winter. Thousands of goats whose fine wool is weaved into pashmina have perished in extreme cold being associated with climate change.

Pashmina Withers on the Roof of the World

The famed pashmina shawl that keeps the cold away – in style and at a price – could itself have become the victim of winter. Thousands of goats whose fine wool is weaved into pashmina have perished in extreme cold being associated with climate change.

Kashmiri Farmers Unprepared for Drought

Zareena Bano has had to skip school 17 times this year to help out on her family’s farm in Tangchekh village in the northern Indian state of Kashmir.

Running Away from TB Treatment

Twenty-three-year-old Haleema (not her real name) was not the first female patient at Srinagar’s Chest Diseases Hospital in the Indian state of Kashmir to try to run away.

A Floral Touch to Employment in Kashmir

As a little girl, Rubeena Begum had big plans: she would become a doctor and secure a decent income working in one of the 30 hospitals in the Himalayan state of Kashmir in north India.

When the Health System Is Taken Ill

Leaning on her daughter’s arm in the post-operative ward of a hospital in Srinagar, capital of the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, Raja Begam views the anti-infection pill she is being offered with a large dose of suspicion.

Explosives Shatter Lives in Kashmir

Aadil Khan and his two siblings had been playing as usual behind their house in the village of Diver, 110 kilometres north of Kashmir’s capital, Srinagar, when they came across what they thought was a “plaything” laying on the ground. But no sooner had they picked the object up than it literally shattered their innocent lives into pieces.

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