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Meet Zahara Nedou, owner of Internationally renowned Kashmiri organic beauty brand

Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar, Jan 25: A woman from Kashmir has started a unique brand of organic skincare reviving the old traditional culture of the Valley.

Zahara Nedou, 36, a resident of Srinagar city while talking with ews agency—KNO said that she started her brand  “Zahara Skincare” in 2016 and later decided to take her brand to different corners of the world as organic products with no side effects.

Zahara said that she had taken her basic education at ‘The British School’ and later graduated in business management besides post graduation in marketing.

She had travelled to various countries and cities where she was influenced by new cultures.

“The difficult part isn’t to start the business but to sustain it, to get where you want to be, she said, adding that as a woman it is very hard to start something as for most people a women entrepreneur running a successful beauty brand still is a “hobby”.

“There are miles to go in our community for a woman to even come close to cracking the glass ceiling but they can and nothing is impossible,” she said. “It was possible only due to the support of my family that I managed to start a unique thing of what I was dreaming even without a role model.”

Zahara said that her vision is to create a holistic community based on clean, green living and a very healthy lifestyle which is accessible to anyone. 

“In very less time, my brand has got recognition as we have won several beauty awards including Vogue beauty award 2020, best innovative brand Harper’s beauty award 2018-2020, and Elle beauty award,” she said.

“Our brand is being loved, endorsed and appreciated for its uniqueness of being a Kashmiri pure product,” Zahara said.

“I want to break a perception that organic products are expensive or unattainable, she said, adding that my grandmothers were my biggest cultural influences as they never used any chemicals in their beauty products and even made their own shampoos.

“We have a range of our around 40 products which are available online as well as offline. The offline products are available in Delhi, Mumbai, Goa and Dubai. In the coming days it will be available in other markets of the world,” Zahara said.

Zahara said the ingredients which are used in the product include almonds, apricots, walnuts, saffron and herbs which are all grown in Kashmir.

“At present more than one dozen youth are getting employment through my brand,” she said.

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Grenade lobbed on police party in Rafiabad

(Asian News Hub) – Suspected militants on Wednesday hurled a grenade towards police party at Drusoo area of Rafiabad in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. However, no loss of life or injury was reported, officials said.

Officials told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that suspected militants lobbed grenade towards police party, which exploded some metres away from them.

However, no damage was reported in the incident while search has been launched to nab the attackers.


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Kishtwar Cloud Burst: Heavy rain halts rescue operation, 21 houses among 42 Structures damaged

(Asian News Hub) – Heavy rains have halted rescue operation following cloud burst in Hanzor area of Dachhan in Kishtwar district, officials said on Wednesday afternoon.

So far bodies of seven people have been recovered, while 17 persons were rescued in injured condition and five of them have been shifted to Kishtwar hospital, police said.

Sixteen persons are still said to be missing and operation to trace them has been halted due to heavy rain in the area, the officials told GNS.

“Bodies of seven persons have been recovered while 17 persons have been rescued in injured condition so far in Hanzor area of Dachhan in Kishtwar district,” police said.

As scale of devastation due to cloud burst unravels, Police said that 21 residential houses were damaged, two of the partially, along with 21 cowsheds.

Earlier police had said that six houses and one Ration depot was damaged in the cloudburst which took place during the last night.

“Rescue operation halted right now due to heavy rain,” the police said in a tweet.


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Violence was never part of Kashmiriyat: President Kovind

‘Democracy has a capacity to reconcile all differences to bring out best for citizens’

(Asian News Hub) – The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday said that violence was never part of Kashmiriyat but has become a da1sily reality now.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Kovind in his address at Sher-I-Kashmir-International Convention Centre (SKICC) during the 19th convocation of University of Kashmir (KU) said, “Violence which was never part of Kashmiriyat but has become a daily reality now.”

He said, “It was most unfortunate that the outstanding tradition of peaceful coexistence was broken but now, there is a new beginning to regain this lands lost glory.”

In the meantime, Kovind congratulated the young students of the KU who are being conferred with the respected degrees in this convocation.

“I have been told that nearly three lakh students are receiving degrees today and I am impressed by the number with more 2.5 lakh bachelors and more than one thousand doctorates, the university has made remarkable progress,” he said.

Kovind also said that the quest for learning and faith in knowledge among the students of Kashmir is really inspiring.

“Equally inspiring is the success of female students, just about half of the students who are receiving their degrees are Women and when it comes it gold medals, I was told that 70 percent of the winners are women,” he said.

Kovind said, “It is not only a matter of satisfaction but also pride for all of us that our daughters are ready to perform at same level as our sons and sometimes even better.”

He said that building human resources and infrastructure was the stepping stones to the higher idea.

Kovind also said that he was told that the KU has the distinction of being one of few in India with a dedicated centre for inter disciplinary research and innovations that will encourage young scientists for various fellowships across varied disciplines.

“Above all, I am glad to know that KU has responded to the Pandemic in a most praised worthy manner,” he said.

Speaking about the aftermath of COVID-19, Kovind said, “The entire world has been facing a difficult times. The virus has affected all works of life and education is no exception.”

He added that “Fortunately, technology provided a solution. All school, Colleges and Universities across India has continued to provide education in the online mode. After the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, the KU immediately shifted the academic to online modules and made each resource available to its students.”

“Moreover, KU also supported the administration by providing quarantine facilities at its main, north and south campuses. It shows how the contribution of the university towards the society can go beyond imparting education,” he said.

Kovind said, “Democracy, I firmly believe, has within it a capacity to reconcile all differences and also a capacity to bring out the best of citizens’ potential. Kashmir, happily, is already realizing this vision.”

He further said, “The youth and the women especially have high stakes in it and I and sure that they will not let go of this opportunity to rebuild Kashmir.”

Kovind said that in September last year during the consultation of NEP, he had spoken about his dream.

“I wish to see Kashmir as paradise on earth. Kashmir is bound to acquire its rightful place as the crowning glory of India,” Kovind said.


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