Tell us about yourself?
I am Dr. Sharmeen Mushtaq Nizami, born and bought up in Srinagar. I did my schooling at Minto circle school Raj bagh and MBBS from GMC Jammu. I am a Doctor by profession, off-road racer by passion, and a social activist. I am also a mother of two.
The first off-roading event I participated was the Frozen rush, then Mudzila and I go once or twice a month on OTRs.
What inclined you towards off-roading?
I was inclined towards offroad because of my love for jeeps and driving which I developed since my childhood. My father and grandfather drow jeep and my father has been a sports person (cricketer, Ranji trophy player) so I always had a sports culture at home since my childhood.
It was after I saw posts of my cousin who was a member ‘Kashmir Off Road’ on social media that I got passionate about going for off-roading.
I am grateful that my family has always been supportive to me, no matter what I am doing, they have been there through all my thick and thin.
Tell us about challenges you faced
A woman faces lots of challenges in her life, she is so busy taking care of her kids, her family, and her profession, that she neglects her health. I think for every woman her own health should be a priority, when she is healthy, her family is healthy, and society as a whole will be healthy. Family members should be the first ones to help their womenfolk in any way they feel they can, this sets the base for a good environment at home and also for the future generations to come.
Who is your inspiration?
Starting from home itself, I am inspired by my father’s personality as a strong person who has always been positive in whatever he faced in life. I am also extremely inspired by the strong character of Hazrat Khadija(RA), as in how she took over her family business and achieved distinction for her fair dealings and piety, her steadfastness and patience are a lesson for all of us. Next in my inspiration line is Mother Teresa for her devotion and charitable work towards humanity. I have also wanted since my childhood to serve and heal people around me, therefore all of them play an important role in my life.
Apart from them my passion and compassion for adventure sports, which also works as a stress-buster for me keeps me determined and inspired.
Tell us about your charity organization?
My organization is named as ARI Foundation, Al Hajira Baitul Mal which means the best thinkers of God. It works for destitute patients, widows, and orphans, provides financial assistance, medicines, organizes free medical camps, etc.
How can we make Kashmiri women more empowered?
I think women of today very well know their rights and they know how to stand for themselves, we just need to provide our girl child that atmosphere at home, in our families, where her passion/talents can grow and she develops a sense of security and freedom at the same time. So the basic starts from home itself and then rest follows.
Interview by Durdanah Masoodi