Community Correspondents

Sharaz Sikander

State: Jammu & Kashmir

Sharaz Sikander is one of the youngest and most active members of the Video Volunteers community. He was born and raised in Poonch, a border district in Jammu. Sharaz reports for Kashmir Unheard, one of VV’s largest and most dynamic state networks, producing several videos for the website and social media platforms. Having studied Journalism and Mass Communication at several the Indira Gandhi National Open University where he pursued journalism and mass communication, he went on to pursue a graduate degree from Jammu University, specialising in filmmaking, editing, photography and journalism. He is also a writer at Charkha Development Communication Network and has started his own editing and production studio. He also runs a Youtube channel where he uploads some of his videos on culture, events and a few travel logs.

Before joining Video Volunteers, Sharaz used to shoot and edit footage for weddings and other events. He was constantly on the lookout for work where he could combine his journalism and filmmaking skills; Video Volunteers offered him this opportunity.

As a Community Correspondent, Sharaz is mostly interested in reporting and raising awareness about the issues that prevail in his district. Being a border district, Poonch suffers heavily from cross-border ceasefire violations and form the terrible maintenance and development of education and health facilities. The government has little to no involvement in increasing the standard of healthcare, economy and education in the remote regions of Jammu. Most of these issues are rarely covered by the mainstream media and are often ignored for years, with no change. Through his mobile journalism videos for VV, Sharaz has put in great effort to bring these community and individual problems to light.

Always seen with a camera in his hand (if not two!), Sharaz is adept at the technical aspects of video editing and hopes to work on a long-form documentary in the future. His ideal documentary would be about the struggle of persons with disabilities in Poonch, especially those whose lives have been marred by injuries sustained in ceasefire violations and border conflict. His first long-form video for VV explored the issue through the story of a man facing life-threatening consequences because of a stray bullet from a ceasefire violation, and he is now committed to using his camera as a tool of documentation and of power.

Videos from Sharaz

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In Poonch, the Lack of a Road Hampers Education

/ September 26, 2018

Governments come and governments go, but in half a century, none has built a road to this government higher secondary school in Poonch.

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World Health Day: Inside India’s Public Health Centres

/ April 6, 2018

On the eve of World Health Day, a small story from Jammu & Kashmir that is telling of a large problem that India’s public health system is mired in.

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A Life in Balance on the Edge of a Single Bullet

/ November 13, 2017

A stray bullet from a para-military firing range near his village in Jammu and Kashmir entered Maroof Hussain’s body 23 years ago and is now inoperable.