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From House wives to Professionals Kashmiri Women sure have come a long way

SRINAGAR,INDIAN-OCCUPIED KASHMIR: At a place like Kashmir better known as a stereotypical society, where women emancipation has always been considered highly unattainable, Dr Zahida Shah has somehow succeeded in breaking the norm of all the times.

Having given up the offer of accepting the Public Service Commission (PSC) confirmed job, Dr Zahida Shah is presently holding the chair of Managing Director and Owner, ‘Mother Care Hospital’. While she receives every patient with her cordial smile and handles them with patience and care, Dr. Shah, is the valley’s one of the prominent clinical exercise specialist and weight management consultant certified by American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Honored by a couple of national awards and acknowledgement certificates for contribution towards health issues of women in conflict zone, Dr Shah has extensively worked on women health. “A woman is the most important member of a family, but unfortunately she has never been treated so. An integrated health and fitness clinic, ‘Mother care’ was conceived in 2003 keeping in view the various challenges that women face in Kashmir regarding the mental, physical and social issues,” Dr. Shah told this reporter.

With the aim to contribute towards the better health of female population, Dr Shah conducts regular and free counseling sessions within and outside the clinic regarding common health issues of women. Owing to it, she said, “Since woman forms the backbone of the family, women counseling has always played a pivotal role. I believe that peace in women’s heart is always reflected on her family”.

Moreover, having run 3 small branches of Mother Care Clinic in 3 different localities of Srinagar, Dr Shah is planning to set up another branch of Mother Care in Raj-Bagh exclusively for pregnant women. “In order to make it accessible and available to more women, we are trying to reach out by opening small branches in different localities. A branch is coming up in Rajbagh which will only cater to pregnant and post pregnancy ladies...the original idea behind Mother Care,” said Dr Shah.

Quoting health as a priority over money and every other materialistic thing, Dr Shah says that she does not want any poor patient to go out of her clinic untreated, which is believed to be the probable reason why the clinic is said to provide a special provision for those patients who cannot afford the expenses.

Even with little support from medical fraternity, Dr. Shah has managed to make Mother Care Clinic the only official representatives of BFY (Better fitness for you) in the state. “We are regularly offering BFY and ACE correspondence courses and certification in Weight management & Dietetics. These courses are quite beneficial for health professionals as obesity epidemic has to be checked at all levels”.

With her sheer optimism, she claims that she can’t ever be negative. “ The day every woman starts to believe that, ‘I am the most important person in my life, I deserve to be happy ,I will take care of everything else after myself” will bring a lot of difference into their own lives and subsequently into lives of their near and dear ones,” asserts Dr Shah.

However, being quite professional and emancipated has never impeded her from doing her duties as a daughter in law, wife and mother. Being a mother of two, Dr Shah is said to be available for her children as per their needs. Having freed herself from the stereotyped scenario, she says, “I adjust according to the needs of my kids and family. I wish all women could afford a job where primarily they could be their own bosses”.

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