Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Kashmiri Boy From Doru Wins The National Innovation Foundation (NIF) Award

18-year old Aquib Javeed, a class 12th student, shows the way for others to follow

Unsung Innovators: 18-year-old modifies ‘Gulkand’ to bag ‘SRISTI Samman’

Doru Shahabad: Commonsense being uncommon may be a cliché, but armed with simple common sense to dare explore extraordinary things in an extraordinary manner is what gives birth to innovations, new discoveries and inventions. This is exactly what 18-year-old Aquib Javeed, a class 12th student of Doru Shahabad did when he created a product which bagged him ‘SRISTI Samman’ – an award given by National Innovation Foundation (NIF) Ahmedabad and SRISTI to the innovators at grassroots level.

Aquib has to his credit creating a ‘Gulkand’ (a fermented mixture of rose petals and sugar syrup) of sorts which can be used as ‘Chevanprash’, as a drug, and as well as a dietary supplement. For creating this unique ‘Gulkand’, Aquib mixed some locally available herbs with rose petals, which impressed the experts at the NIF and Gujarat University so much so that he was selected for the ‘SRISTI Samman’.

This product can be used as medicine as well as hygienic diet, this is very easy to prepare and the demand for this product will be very high once it comes in the market, says Prof. A K Gupta, who holds the Kasturbhai Lalbhai Chair in Entrepreneurship at IIM Ahmedabad and is Co-ordinator, SRISTI, and Executive Vice-chair at NIF.

“That is why after testing this product we have given Aquib ‘SRISTI Samman’,” says Prof. Gupta, who feels in Kashmir there is no dearth of innovators. “But what is the need of the hour is projection and encouragement for this local stuff,” he adds.

When ‘Kashmir Images’ contacted Aquib Javeed, he said, “This is a simple innovation which fetched me ‘SRISTI Samman’ but actually I am working on some big projects – I am trying create some medicines which would cure some deadly diseases in very cheap way and without side affects.”

(Kashmir Images)

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