Tujar is a remote village in the violence torn Sopore in North Kashmir. But an NRI software engineer's compelling idealism has given it new hope.
35-year old network designer Tariq Ali puts his successful corporate career in Australia on hold once every year to return to his village in Kashmir, where his initiative to clean up the area now has over 100 members in just a few years.
Two years ago, the main marketplace at Tujar village in Sopore, was a dumping ground for garbage. The Budshah canal which cuts across the village turned into a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mr Ali, who had just returned from Sydney, was moved at the sight in his village.
"In 2011 when I came here the whole road was stinking, I called a couple of friends and we made a group of 'Tujar Go Green Society' and started working on it- first cleanliness drive we have done on 31st August 2014", says Tariq Ali.
Not keen to miss out on anyone, Mr Ali has roped in even those residents of his village, who are living abroad, and now keep tabs on cleanliness drives in their village through social media.
The society is run entirely on contributions made by the villagers.
"We go to individual homes, we talk to our women folk there, we tell them what the importance of cleanliness is", says Mehraj-ud-din Peer- Manager Microsoft Nokia Operation Devices, Kashmir.
Tujar is a remote village in the violence torn Sopore in North Kashmir. But the software engineer's compelling idealism has given it new hope.
"We got a lot of benefit with this; we have learnt many things from Go Green Society and learning many more", says Ghulam Nabi, who sells chicken in Tujar.
Sopore faces a complicated set of problems, as the town has witnessed so many violent clashes in the past. But it is young men like Mr Ali, who are coming forward not just to make a difference, but are inspiring others to help make that change.