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Mehran Firdous profile image

Mehran Firdous

Freelance contributor

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Mehran Firdous is a freelance journalist based out of Srinagar, Indian administered Kashmir with interests in conflict, human rights, environment and society. His work can be seen in Context News ,TRT world, The Diplomat, The New Arab, Article 14, The Wire and more.

January 25, 2023

University student Mehak is used to frequent identification checks by security forces and officials in the northern Indian city of Srinagar, and always carries two forms of ID. Soon, she may need to carry yet another in her purse.

Plans for a new family ID in Jammu and Kashmir have caused confusion and irritation among many residents like Mehak, while rights campaigners fear the programme could lead to increased surveillance and data hacks in the disputed Himalayan region.

December 19, 2022

Indian fashion designer Saira Tramboo had long dreamed of setting up her own online brand – but frequent internet shutdowns imposed by authorities to quell dissent in her home state of Kashmir made it impossible.

When reliable, high-speed connections were finally reinstated last year, Tramboo began selling her designs on Instagram, joining numerous women and startups using the internet to create new business opportunities in the region.

October 20, 2022

When nomad Mohammed Rabbani and his family left the soaring April heat of their hometown to start their annual trek into the hills of Kashmir to graze their livestock, they took 400 sheep and goats with them.

But only about 200 animals will make the 260-km (186-mile) trip back to Rabbani's home in Rajouri, in the west of the Jammu and Kashmir region.

During their time in the hills, heavy rains, flooding, and unseasonal snowstorms killed half the family's livestock.

September 29, 2022

For editors at The Kashmir Walla, fact-checking a story used to involve a flurry of googling before press time. So when an 18-month internet and phone shutdown began in the Indian Himalayan region in 2019, they had to improvise.

"We used to leave blank spaces in news stories when we couldn't verify certain facts. Every week, a team member would fly to Delhi and fill in the blanks," said Yash Raj Sharma, an editor with the weekly magazine.