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At a time when Kashmir is reeling under conflict, sports Karate has become a game changer in the Handwara District of Kupwara. Handwara is a border district, just a few miles shy of Pakistan. The youth of the district, especially the girls are excelling the sport of Karate. They have won several medals at national and state level.

The girls here in particular, have stood out, bringing attention to the sporting accomplishments. It is now quite a common sight in the valley to see girls practicing vigorously in the early mornings and evenings.

Fasil Nazir is a chief instructor of the sport. He is black belt from Karate Budokan International Malaysia. He says, "Since 2006, I'm trying to start a Karate club for young kids to earn physical fitness and don't fall prey to drug addiction. In 2007, I successfully opened a club with the help of Handwara police."

Sports Karate Association of Jammu and Kashmir is working for physical fitness, self- defence, sport and competition.

Nazir further adds, "Kashmiri players have all the capabilities that a true sports person needs. Our players are now trying their level best to prove their potential at national and international levels. Parents are also playing a positive role in allowing their children to play which was not a case few years back. We have now come out of that mentality where we would think that only IITs, NIT's and medical colleges."

Sajad Lone

Sajad Lone

Sajad Lone energetic journalist, from North Kashmir's Kupwara. Masters in Journalism, with three year of local experience.

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