Community Correspondents

Basharat Amin

Basharat joined Video Volunteers in 2017 as a Community Correspondent from the Shopian district of Jammu & Kashmir. Despite his relatively recent affiliation with Video Volunteers, he is one of the most passionate and active members of the network.

Basharat has worked with several organisations as a correspondent and researcher and has been an advocate for human rights in Jammu & Kashmir for quite some time now. He graduated with a diploma in Human Rights from the Indian Institute of Human Rights in New Delhi. Basharat then joined the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights & Justice in Kashmir (IPTK) and has had several of his research projects published in their report on structures of violence in Kashmir. In 2008-2009, he conducted research for Amnesty International through interviews of prisoners, on the deplorable conditions they languish in and on the pathetic state of prisons and detention centres in India. Currently, he is associated with Jammu & Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), working with them on a project about the unfair violence perpetrated on the citizens of his state.

Basharat says that joining Video Volunteers gave him a far more accessible and wider platform to raise awareness about human rights violations, in several of the border districts of Jammu and Kashmir. He also produces videos on the government’s ignorance on issues related to public amenities, infrastructure, shortage or lack of water and electricity and so on. Due to the state being prone to conflict, his videos mostly reflect the negative effect this has on the people; from violence to the disappearance of citizens and activists to the basic amenities that people are deprived of in the midst of the conflict. Basharat’s interest in covering violence and conflict in the state has led him to report on the lives of the Rohingya refugees in Jammu and on how refugees are put to unfair suffering by both local residents and security forces due to the constant unrest in the region. His research and articles have been published in some of the leading papers of Jammu & Kashmir including Rising Kashmir and Greater Kashmir.

After VV launched mobile journalism, Basharat made his first video on the dilapidated roads of Gadh Mohalla, Shopian, which had nearly 150 households struggling to travel across the district. During the monsoon, the situation was exacerbated with vehicles unable to pass through, and the lawns of residents that lined it on both sides, being destroyed. The locals reached out to the authorities multiple times but had not been granted definite action yet. After the video was published and concerned officials made aware of the situation, the repairs came through in no time.

As a practising Muslim, Basharat is also concerned about the discrimination that Muslims and other religious minorities face in India. He feels that there is a need for more minority voices in media or voices that report on their experiences and their side of the story. He is grateful to Video Volunteers for giving him an innovative medium to cover the pressing issues in his district that can now reach readers or viewers across India. Basharat hopes to continue to help eliminate human rights violation and educate the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir on their rights through his mobile journalism videos.

Videos from Basharat

Qaleen Baafi: Diminutive Art

/ August 25, 2022

Kashmir carpet is  famous throughout the world. Germany is the largest consumer of Kashmiri carpet, the country’s cold winters make it an ideal destination for the use of Kashmir Shawls, rugs and carpets. Kashmiri carpets are considered to be the finest carpets in the world second only to Persian carpets.

Impact Story

IMPACT: Proper Electricity Infrastructure Installed in This Shopian Village

/ August 17, 2022

It took 4 years of constant follow up of Community Correspondent (CC) Basharat Amin with the Electricity Department to install the high-tension electric wires from makeshift poles to proper ones in Manloo area of Shopian District, Kashmir.

Shopian Village Struggles for Clean Drinking Water

/ July 20, 2022

The ‘Heff Khuri’ village of Shopian, Kashmir Valley is a microcosm of the water shortage issues the whole Kashmir is facing now. The villagers over there are dependent on smaller streams for a long time now, for their drinking water.

Irregular Rains Damage Cherry Orchards In Kashmir

/ July 15, 2022

In this video, the Community Correspondent Basharat Amin talked to a few Cherry farmers in Shopian district of Kashmir specifically asking them about the effects of unusual rains in their orchards.

Take Action

Lack of Bridge Costs Life Of A Young Man In Shopian

/ April 7, 2022

The above video is from Shopian, about the death of a 26 year old youth, drowned in the river while carrying Rice and Corn on his back, is heartbreaking.

‘Democracy is Power of the People, Not Of Those Ruling’

/ February 19, 2021

Press freedom in Kashmir is increasingly under threat and we get a sense of it in an interview with the executive editor of Kashmir Times.

Impact Story

IMPACT | Illegal Riverbed Mining Stopped in RanbiAra, Shopian, Kashmir

/ August 31, 2020

Video Volunteers reporting helps to stop illegal mining of sand and minerals from a Shopian riverbed in Kashmir

Community Survey

Kashmir’s Cricket Bat Industry Provides Livelihood to Thousands

/ August 29, 2020

Kashmir and its bat industry, one of the only two regions in the world where willow grows, provides livelihood to thousands of people in the valley.