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As gymnasiums grow, females and middle-aged invest in fitness

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Nov 17: Kashmir is witnessing a growth in the number of gymnasiums, with people of all ages and genders accepting fitness like a ‘culture’.

The fitness industry in the valley has come a long way since its inception.

Earlier, teenagers and adults used to hit gyms, but the trend is slowly reversing. Now, the gym-goers include women, young girls, and middle-aged adults.

“Fitness is a very broad term, and yes people are becoming more aware about how they look and how they feel. Speaking about past few years, there is vast increase in the awareness of fitness and people’s attitude have drastically changed from good to better,” said Isaam Wani, co-founder of Gold Gym at Rajbagh here.

Isaam informed that the age group frequenting their gyms ranges from 17- 60 years and half of them are females.

“I am extremely happy that Kashmiris are becoming more aware about their health,” said Isaam.

Isaam said that the gym’s motto from the very beginning was to imbibe the fitness culture among the females here.

“We have pretty good number of females working out for us under certified female trainers,” he informed.

Sameer Shah, one of the founding members of Anytime Fitness at Jawahar Nagar, echoed the same views.

“Well I’d say from last one year there has been a lot of change in people’s lifestyle since so many good gyms opened. People who never worked out are now saying, when I sometimes interact with them, they are like ‘we don’t come gym for the physical fitness. We more of come to the gym for our mental fitness and happiness. So yes it has changed people’s life here in Kashmir in a good way,” said Sameer.

The gym has a total of 150 female clients registered with it.

“Yes, we do have a specialized female trainers and we have a separate yoga instructor and zumba trainer for females as well,” said Sameer.

Sameer, however, explained the various problems faced by female trainers as the job is deemed unfit for the women in a Kashmiri society.

“The challenges are mostly projected from the family, as female trainee as a profession is still somewhat taboo and even if the family is supportive, majority of the people in and around the society don’t give heed to such a profession for a girl, which is very unfortunate,” said the young fitness enthusiast.

Sameer said, “Apart from this another challenge faced by female trainers is the lack of female athletes in the gyms when compared to their male counterparts, which clearly gives these female trainers a lesser chance to earn in the manner as the male trainers do.”

While the industry is growing in the Valley so do the number of women who are, combining their knowledge and experience in the fitness industry to make their mark in it.

One such example is that of Mehreen Amin of Bohri Kadal who single-handedly trains and runs “Fitness Hub Healthcare Center” gym near Islamia College, Hawal.

The private fitness club, which opened a year ago, is now rapidly gaining popularity among female sports enthusiasts and its members are on a constant rise, despite a backlash from traditional male quarters in the old city.

“The attitude with regard to fitness and health has underwent a sea change in the Valley. People have begun to realize that gym is beyond six packs abs,” Mehreen said.

The young female trainer said, “Since the club opened, 100 women and girls have registered and regularly practice yoga, body building and other exercises, and the number is consistently rising in the face of traditional restrictions.”

Mehreen, however, rued: “Fitness is still not seen as a serious enough industry in our society and my work often gets discounted. I have often been at the receiving end of bad comments and abuses but as long as my clients and family are happy with me, I don’t care.”


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Youngest pellet victim, Hiba likely to regain eyesight

Bisma Bhat

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Srinagar, Dec 14: Nineteen-month-old Hiba Nisar is likely to regain her eyesight after second surgery.

Twenty days after Hiba was hit by pellets in her right eye on November 25, she went through a second surgery at the SMHS Hospital here.

Hiba was operated upon for two and a half hours by a team of senior ophthalmologists at the hospital.

One of the senior doctors said, “We have successfully removed pellets from her right eye which gave us hope that her eyesight will regain very soon.”

Another ophthalmologist said Hiba had suffered haemorrhage in her eye.

“Now, her chance of recovery is very good,” he added.

“In a month or two, with medication and regular check-ups, she will be fine.”

Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Nisar Ahmad, Hiba’s father, said, “She is feeling better since yesterday (Thursday) as the pellet was removed by the team of doctors.”

“Doctor has advised us to take good care of Hiba and prevent dust from entering her eye.”

“Since yesterday, Hiba is not able to open her right eye properly. Her eye is reddish and swollen which lingers for some time after surgery.”

After undergoing two surgeries, Hiba’s behaviour has changed, he said.

She has become very aggressive as she loses her temper on small things, said Nisar.

“We have to visit hospital again on Monday for her regular check-up,” added Nisar.

Hiba was hit by multiple pellets, when she was in her mother’s arms in her home at Batgund.

Father Nisar is a labourer, and packs apples in an orchard not owned by him.

The family has received Rs 1 lakh as the treatment expenses from the state government.

She is the youngest pellet victim in the current phase of the violence in Kashmir.

Since 2016, SMHS hospital has received at least 1750 pellet victims who were completely or partially blinded.

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JK releases Rs 8 cr for Road Safety

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Jammu, Dec 14: To arrest the trend of traffic accidents and ensure effective traffic management in the state, the State Government for the first time released Rs 8 crore under Road Safety Fund.

This information was given at a high-level meeting chaired by Principal Secretary Transport, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon.

The initiative is in tune with the directions of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety which has called for establishment of non-lapsable Road Safety Fund in the States.

Threadbare discussion was held in the meeting regarding the effective utilization of fund for different activities and purchase of equipment for road safety measures.

The meeting decided to release Rs 2.5 crore for establishment of traffic and design wings in Transport Commissioner’s office at Srinagar and Jammu for effective planning of traffic management in Kashmir and Jammu regions.

For mobile checking of pollution standards of vehicles, Rs 1 crore has been earmarked for purchasing smoke meters/ gas analyzers, tyre depth gauges, route survey etc.

To create awareness regarding traffic rules, Rs one lakh has been released to each Regional Transport commissioners, Assistant Transport Commissioner for conducting activities and programmes regarding road safety in their respective areas.

For enforcing traffic discipline and checking violations on the roads, Rs 1 crore has been earmarked for fabrication of interceptor on a vehicle.  The other accessories and equipment which would be part of the vehicle include roof light bar with siren, cordless mike, One KVA with light bar with siren, cord less Mike, Speed hunter -III plus-speed laser gun, breath alcohol analyzer and others.

Stressing on the digitization and promptness of law enforcement, Dr Samoon called for equipping traffic and MVD personnel with latest gadgets for checking violators.  He called for including heavy duty torches/ warning lights, reflective jackets, breath analyzers, speed guns, Pollution checking mobile man, portable weigh bridges and other items.

He also directed for release of Rs 12.8 crore to IGP traffic for purchase of Hill recovery cranes for use at Zojila, Jawahar Tunnel, Banihal-Ramban, Ramban- Nashri, Nashri-Udhampur, Rajouri-Poonch, Mughal Road, Leh and other places.

For effective regulation, traffic management in Srinagar, Jammu cities Dr Samoon also directed for hiring sufficient number of towing cranes, e-challaning machines, interceptive vehicles fitted with modern gadgets.

He also reviewed the construction of RTO and Transport Commissioners office in Srinagar and called for speeding up the works.

During the meeting Dr Samoon called for enhancing the capacity building of transport department besides strict enforcement of traffic rules to minimize the road accident deaths.

Expressing concern over the deaths on the highways, DrSamoon called for survey of vulnerable spots on these roads and directed for measures to avoid accidents at these places.

Dr Samoon was also informed that 20 engineers have been trained on construction of roads keeping in view road safety.

It is pertinent to mention that Governor’s administration has recently notified the rules for operationalization of the Road Safety Fund to ensure effective implementation Jammu and Kashmir State Road Safety Council Act-2018.

Road Safety Fund has provision for allocation of expenditure for implementation of road safety related schemes, programmes, projects, purchase and installation of equipment and devises connected with road safety, conduct of studies, projects and research on matters relating to road safety, trauma-care programmes or activities, etc.

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Modi invincible notion dispelled: Omar

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Dec 13: The recent assembly poll results have demonstrated that the BJP is not invincible as there is “anger” among people over several of the Centre’s policies, including on agriculture, rising fuel prices and demonetisation, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said Thursday.

Abdullah said the results made it clear that there is anger and a feeling of alienation among the people and the Centre has been unwilling to accept this reality. He also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he should listen more and talk less.

“Modi ji talks a great deal, which is not wrong, but people who talk more, listen less.

“The prime minister does not listen as much as he should. Otherwise, the mass anger due to agrarian distress, demonetisation or rising fuel prices among others will not have led to humiliation for the BJP in the assembly polls,” Abdullah said at an event here.

The BJP lost the assembly elections in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

“The general notion that the PM is a powerful speaker and party president Amit Shah is a master strategist and both have a magic wand and will always lead the BJP to victory, has been dispelled by the poll results. We know now that (Congress chief) Rahul Gandhi can lead the Congress to victory,” he said.

“We now know that it is not impossible to beat the BJP. Everything they were known for, from Shah’s great management, money power and Modi’s capability to galvanise masses has come a cropper,” he said at a national conclave organised by ‘Lokmat’.

The National Conference leader said the political mood in the country had already changed and it will not be easy for the BJP to arrest it very soon and take it into its command.

“The winds of change have begun, the atmosphere has altered. And it is not in the BJP’s favour anymore,” he said.

Abdullah said Gandhi should get the credit for his party’s success as he is the man who faced the flak for the Congress’ poor performance in the past elections.

He said the regional parties will play a key role in the upcoming general election, highlighting the results of Telangana and Mizoram.

He said his party decided to support the rival PDP recently to “save the state” of Jammu and Kashmir.

“We are all worried about the situation in the state. We are also concerned that the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under articles 370 and 35A needs to be defended in the Supreme Court. The next hearing is in January and we wanted an assurance from Government of India that it will be defended in a right manner, but haven’t got it so far,” he said.

Abdullah, however, lauded Modi for reaching out to Pakistan initially to normalise ties between the two countries.

“The prime minister made sincere efforts initially. He invited former (Pakistani) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony at a time when nobody would have imagined and then paid a surprise visit to Lahore, but Pakistan hasn’t acted on our concerns…The perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attack have not been brought to book and are roaming freely in Pakistan,” he said.

“Imran Khan has to walk the talk and dispel the apprehension here in our country that he has been installed by the Army and is Army’s man,” he said.

Abdullah said Pakistan would have to do something to win India’s confidence so that New Delhi can forget the past experiences and trust Islamabad again

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