Hundreds of young people have appeared for tests to joiin the Army in Kashmir.
For the last one week, hundreds of young men have lined up outside military camps in north Kashmir. Unlike familiar scenes of confrontation between security forces and crowds, these young men have come to join the Army.
For just 34 posts that the Army is filling in Territorial Army battalions, more than 5,000 tried their luck in a gruelling physical test.
Tanvir Ahmad has travelled more than 100 km to participate in the army's recruitment rally at Pattan in Baramulla district. A resident of Machil near Line of Control, Tanvir had a dream to serve the country by joining the armed forces.
While the 18-year-old could not qualify for the one-and-half kilometre race as part of the physical test for recruitment, he has not given up. Tanvir says he will prepare himself for the next rally.
"I want to join the army to serve the country. There is unemployment in Kashmir and all these youth have come to join the army," said Tanvir Ahmad.
Even bad weather could not dampen the spirits of aspirants. Aijaz Ahmad, a resident of Handwara, said he came to join the army because his six-member family has no source of income.
"There are no job opportunities here. I'm pursuing my graduation but because of poverty it's very difficult to continue. I need a job and at this army recruitment rally I'm trying my luck," said Aijaz.
In last one year 200 boys have joined the army in the Valley.
"It is very heartening to know for 34 posts we have got so many people who are coming and participating. You can see cheerfulness on their faces," said Brigadier S H Naqvi, Commander 10 sector.
During the unrest of 2016, the Army had to cancel recruitment rallies because aspirants could not attend them due to fear of stone-throwing crowds. Now months after the end of violence, the Army is conducting series of recruitment rallies in the Valley.