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 |

Hit by Climate Change, Authorities Seek to Improve Saffron Yields in Kashmir

Saffron, the expensive spice from the Kashmir Himalayas, has been facing challenges for years, mostly related to yields and inadequate irrigation compounded by the climate crisis.

This Doctor Helps Himalayan Women Ward off Cervical Cancer

While working as a doctor in the initial months of his medical career in southern India, a telephone call from his home in the Ladakh Himalayas convinced Nordan Otzer to involve himself with cervical cancer awareness.

Human Trafficking: Women Lured by Promise of Jobs, Sold as Brides

It has been over a decade since 32-year-old Rafiqa (not her real name) was sold to a villager after being lured by the promise that she would be employed in the handicrafts industry of Indian-administered Kashmir.

Flooding, Water Insecurity Looms as Indian Kashmir’s Titanic Water Bodies Shrink

Sadiq Dar, 68, is surprised how the heavy siltation of Wular Lake has turned many of its areas into land masses. “When we were growing up, we would only see water in this lake. Now, we see cattle grazing in it while a large portion is also being used by children for playing cricket,” he tells IPS.

Kashmir Now Hotspot of Illegal Riverbed Mining

Going against its own orders, the government in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has ordered the fast-tracking of environmental clearances despite manifest evidence of illegal sand mining.

How Encroachments, Willows and Silt Ate up Half of Kashmir’s Own Sea

Warming himself with a kangri (a firepot) kept under his pheran (a long winter cloak worn by Kashmiris), 66-year-old Mohammad Subhan Dar sat chatting with a bunch of his fellow villagers on a January afternoon on the edge of the road overlooking Wular Lake in Saderkote-Bandipora, northern India.    

Improved Cookstoves Boost Health and Forest Cover in the Himalayas

Mountain communities in the Himalayan region are almost entirely dependent on forests for firewood even though this practice has been identified as one of the most significant causes of forest decline and a major source of indoor air pollution.

How a Spring Revival Scheme in India’s Sikkim Is Defeating Droughts

Bina Sharma, a member of the Melli Dhara Gram Panchayat Unit in the southern part of India’s northeastern Himalayan state of Sikkim, is a relieved woman.

Kashmir: Where a Pilgrimage Threatens a Delicate Ecosystem

As he struggled to find a section of the stream clean enough to rinse off his muddy shoes, Mohan Kumar, a Hindu pilgrim on his way to the holy Amarnath shrine in Indian-administered Kashmir, gazed with despair over the filth that lay thick on the landscape.

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.

Next Page »


pulixi