Srinagar, June 14 : A group of women journalists, freelance writers and students of journalism came together in a two-day consultation held on June 4-5 at the University of Kashmir campus to form a Women Writers Forum in Kashmir.
The forum will collectively address the concerns of women writers for honing their skills to generate stories on diverse issues, to find space in regional and national media and to encourage new writers in the field.
The initiative to form the group was the effort of Charkha Development Communication Network, an NGO based in Delhi which connects issues of the poor and marginalized in rural India to the media.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Charkha's has been working since 2003 through Sanjoy Ghose Media Fellowships.
Charkha's aim is to highlight the developmental concerns of marginalized sections of Kashmiri society particularly in rural areas and to draw out perspectives on women on these issues through their writings.
Through the forum, Charkha will access stories on a continuous basis from Kashmir on developmental issues for placement in the mainstream media through its trilingual feature service in Hindi, English and Urdu.
The consultation was inaugurated by Mohammad Sayeed Malik, senior journalist in Kashmir and associated with Charkha for a number of years. It was coordinated by Muslim Jan, Editor, and Institute of Muslim Studies at the University of Kashmir which has provided space to hold the Consultation.
The 15 founder members of the women's forum plan to stay linked to Charkha for inputs into their work and for accessing the national media.
The founding members of the forum are Rabia Noor, Nazia Akhtar, Afsana Rashid, Tanveen Kawoosa, Ruheela Gul, Souzeina Mushtaq, Arshi Javid, Tania Andrabi, Ashwaq Masoodi, Nida Rafiq Sheikh, Maroosha Muzaffar, Samiya Latief , Sheeba Mohi-ud-din, Shahana Bashir, Shefan Jahan.