Kupwara (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], December 15 (ANI): Somia Sadaf, who was born in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) is among several female candidates contesting the first-ever District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sadaf is contesting from Drugmulla constituency in Kupwara district of North Kashmir.
She had married a Kashmiri, Abdul Majeed Bhat, a resident of Batargam village of Kupwara when he crossed the border for arms training. However, instead of picking arms, he opted to live a decent life by starting his own business in Muzaffarabad, where he met Sadaf and later married her.
Later both husband and wife came back to Kashmir under the rehabilitation policy announced by the then National Conference (NC) government headed by Omar Abdullah in 2010.
Speaking to ANI, Sadaf said that she said that initially she was not interested in the DDC polls but people in her area asked her to contest the polls.
"I was born in Muzaffarabad. We came back to Kashmir in 2010. However, I experienced harsh times when I first came here along with my husband. We started life from zero. I know what the pain of a poor person is. It is another reason why I decided to contest the elections," she said.
A few years ago, Sadaf joined Umeed, a Central government initiative to alleviate poverty among women in Jammu and Kashmir. Later, the administration encouraged her to motivate other women in Kupwara to launch self-help groups.
On being asked about her plans on winning the elections, Sadaf, who has completed her Masters from Maulana Azad National Urdu University, asserted that she is willing to work for all and encourage youths to start their own business ventures as it is not possible for the government to provide government jobs to everyone.
"If I win the election, then my priority would be to do the development in the area," she said.
The DDC polls are being held in eight phases and will continue till December 19. The counting of votes will take place on December 22. The elections are the first being held after the abrogation of Article 370 and the reorganisation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. (ANI)