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 |

Kashmiri Women Suffering a Surge in Gender-Based Violence

Rizwana* had hoped and expected that justice would be served – that the man who raped her would be sufficiently punished for his crime. Months after she suffered at his hands, however, the perpetrator remains at large.

In India, an Indoor Health Crisis

For years, Kehmli Devi, a middle-aged woman from the village of Chachadeth in India’s northern Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, has prepared her family’s meals on a wood-burning stove.

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.

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