The state of Jammu and Kashmir has faced political disorder since the independence of India and the human rights abuses in the state have particularly affected the economic and social status of women in the region. Moreover, crimes against women have made it very difficult for the educated women to work beyond the traditional jobs and their defined chores. Still, some women however have managed to break barriers and are making continuous efforts to gain self-reliance.
Today we are introducing you to one such woman who chose to leave her secure government job to turn entrepreneur. Nusrat Jahan, who was born in Dadoora village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, graduated in computer applications in 1999 and soon started working as a community organizer in Jammu Development Authority. But this did not satisfy Jahan, who quit the job to start her own cut-flower business.
Starting the small venture in 2000, Nusrat today, has turned it into a successful business with the annual turnover of Rs.2 crores. But this wasn’t easy. From a non-existent market for her product to unsupportive relatives, Nusrat faced a lot barriers that came her way. “In a place like Kashmir you have to look upon a number of things. It is looked as a common thing when men go out to do business. Unlike having a parlour or a boutique, if a woman goes out and starts a business and especially business in which you will find more men involved just like floriculture or agriculture business, it is a difficult thing,” she told The Kashmir Scenario.
Satisfied by her success today, everyone in her family is proud of her work and being inspired by her, even her sister wishes to start her own venture. Nusrat Jahan’s story is not just a story of success and growth; it is also one of hope of a better future. We hope many more courageous and confident women come up and help women in the valley live a more fulfilled and independent lives.[Featured Picture Courtesy: Outlook India]
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