Beginning of 1989.
Sita, I’d show you a White Christmas and New Year.
Naveen, a young, promising businessman committed to his to-be wife, who had never seen snowfall in her life.
Hum kya chahte, azadi azadi.
While the roads of Kashmir echoed morchas hurled by men with blaring, red eyes, the Anand family, a well known Punjabi family in Kashmir, hurriedly packed up all that they could and fled away to Jammu. The white Christmas never came.
Krishan was born in the Anand family. Many feel that he was born with a sliver spoon in his mouth in a home in Jammu, while others that fled the valley were living in refugee camps.
We were few of the fortunate people, I’d say. We had another home after we ran away from our own home. Our parents ensured we get a normal life.
Every holiday(independence day/republic day) when the entire nation would go out and watch a movie, we’d be tucked in our home. Safety. They were well connected, and I grew up seeing them contribute to the community in every way they could. I could never feel how gory it could be. Until..
Strikes in the valley became a usual. Krishan grew up in a Kashmir which bore huge losses every year because of curfews, every now and then.
The young 16 year old Krishan took to newspapers.
I wanted people to know real Kashmir. I would write and write. I would study Business Management in the day and write at night.
I was invited to town-hall session with Barack Obama who was on an visit to India.
To understand the working of the J&K government, be connected with the masses and be able to work at the grass root level, Krishan interned at the Chief Ministers secretariat and worked on issues related to peace, disaster management and promoting trade and investment in the state.
In 2012, I spoke at the European Parliament about the vision that the youth of the world has for the future. I was also a part of Milind Deora’s delegation that visited the parliament, the Vice president of India, Hamid Ansari and Delhi Chief Minister. The select delegation had to propose solutions to the problem Delhi was facing.
I left to pursue a Master’s program in Management from Warwick University in the U.K. My roommate, Ahmed Meehan became my best friend. We’d share food, clothes and everything else. We’d watch matches together, cheering for our countries and celebrating whoever’s won. He was a Pakistani.
Krishan moved to India in September of 2014, when the Kashmir valley was struggling with devastating floods. Krishan couldn’t hold anymore.
I had to do something. I had to do anything that I could.
Krishan took to pen. He wrote in news papers, debated in TV channels and encouraged every Kashmiri to build back Kashmir, brick by brick, home by home.
The sheer need of the time was sharing. We had to imbibe people with the feeling of sharing. If I’d drink a glass of water, I’d donate one.
Thought the government wasn’t very positive, Krishan and the team managed to bring solar energy experts, civil engineers, etc. They began this with the name of Foundation – Rebuilding Jammu & Kashmir. The team worked on mobilising water,repairing sanitation, providing warm clothes, health kits, etc. to the affected.
Lack of education facilities in Kashmir are gripping the very essence of Kashmir. Young kids are incited to participate in protests over anything and everything. So I decided to work on this age gap, which is going to decide the future of Jammu and Kashmir. I also wanted people to know Kashmir for its goodness, there is hardly anything discussed about business opportunities in Kashmir. Coming from a business family myself, I want to highlight this positive side of Jammu and Kashmir to attract more people.
Krishan recently organised Jashn-e-Kashmir in the valley to celebrate the spirit of Jammu and Kashmir. Krishan is also a business consultant at PwC, Strategy&.
The event not only gave a ray of hope to Kashmiris but was also a great business opportunity for local makers and providers. Right from the shawl makers to hoteliers, Jash-e-Kashmir proved to be a great event.
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