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A Voice is Budding Out of Desolate Kashmir


Aged 28, Nusrat Ara is a vibrant Journalist living in Indian administered Kashmir. She loves to read and finds writing cathartic. “I have always wanted to write about people. Stories are rich with a people’s heritage,” she said yesterday.

Since 1947, her country has been war-torn. The situation has worsened in the last 2 decades. Half of the citizens, women, are desperate. They have been left alone; some widows and others have lost their sons. As is with conflict situations world over, the women of Kashmir have suffered sexual violence. This is often coupled with undeserved HIV/ AIDS complications. “The beauty of Kashmir and its tragedy make a deadly combination,” she adds helplessly.

Nusrat recently met victims who were reluctant for interviews. Insisting that nothing good would come from talking to her, the women expressed disgust and despair from years of yearning for change. “There is so little we can actually do, “she reported.

A word to sum her up is Enigma. As once termed so by her teacher, Nusrat remains mysterious about her dream destination. “I want to travel a lot, see all kinds of places, and people. I want to experience the world”, she retorts.

This year, Nusrat is undertaking a Sanjay Ghosh Media Fellowship for Women Journalists. It is themed Kashmir Women: Setting Examples amidst Conflict. She hopes to be remembered, by all who encounter her, as a woman who understands people and situations as they are.

A native of Kashmir, Nusrat lives with her parents and brother.



JaniceW's picture


Stella, in these few words, you have provided vivid context to the life of Nusrat and the environment she grew up in. With so much resistance from people to talk with her, I admire her tenacity and drive to experience the world, continue sharing their stories and give voice to them. Thank you for giving us a broader sense of the woman that is Nusrat.

LauraB's picture

Budding Voice

Stella, Both your words about Nusrat as well as Nusrat's stories of women in Kashmir claim not often heard voices. Exactly the vision of World Pulse, a telling of the stories not broadcast on the front page, but the ones intertwined and deeply held by those in the midst. Your writing flows well conveying Nusrat's essence in a short piece. Well done.

Jennifer Ruwart's picture


I so enjoyed your bio on Nusrat. The way you wove her own words into your story helped me get a sense of who she is as a woman and journalist. I look forward to reading your next interview story.

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

stella Ndugire- Mbugua's picture


Jen, Laura, Janice:

Thanks for your input. You are encouraging me to write. At first I was so uncertain about the piece. Sometimes, what seems small news is big news to others. You guys have no idea how Pulse is empowering me. My life has really changed in the last few weeks.

True, Nusrat is beautiful inside and out. I think that after our interview, her life has changed. Mine has too. I have never been grateful for the freedom and peace in my country. It is like she has lived most of her life not knowing what calm and peace is.
I admire her courage and strength... It was so thoughtful that you paired her with me. I loved the experience with Nusrat.


Stella Ndugire- Mbugua
ICS- Africa

sunita.basnet's picture


Dear Stella,
Wonderful Bio about Nusrat. I cannot wait to read your next article.
Great Work dear. Keep writing.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

stella Ndugire- Mbugua's picture


Hi girl,

Keep looking out for mine as i do your....


Stella Ndugire- Mbugua
ICS- Africa

Debra L's picture

Getting to the core issues

Thank you for your bio of Nusrat - you were able to get to the essence of the impact of the conflict in Kashmir, the effect on women and children, and indeed, the impact on Nusrat.


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