A young, enthusiastic girl from a remote village of Budgam in Kashmir dreamt of having her own business. Located right in the middle of the market place in Panzan, Chadoora, 17 kilometers from Srinagar, 28-year-old Nargis Mohiudin has rented a room where she has run her office of JK Unique Tour and Travels for about a year now. “I got to know about the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) somehow and went there without informing my family. There I took two weeks training and during the training I realized what I had been aiming to become- a businesswomen” said Nargis, who runs her business single handedly.
When she broke this news in front of her family, relatives and neighbors, they didn’t seem to like it. “My father seemed okay with the plan but the rest wanted me to give this childish whim up, and concentrate on looking for some government job,” Nargis told Greater Kashmir. Nargis lived in a village where girls were educated but doing business was totally out of question for a woman. “I literally begged my parents to support me and they eventually did,” she said.
Living in a village that is thronged by tourists in the summer, gave her an idea. Visitors meant business. She decided to tap the tourist influx in and around Panzan. A travel agency seemed to fit the bill. “I was told by one and all that running a travel agency is not a women’s job, it is only men’s domain but I wanted to do it,” said Nargis.
Dealing with tourists, booking accommodation and guiding them to various tourist spots is what Nargis does now. She plans to expand it soon. “I have applied for registration at the Tourism Department and a website too is in offing and I also have tie-ups with various hotels around,” said Nargis. Last year she paid a visit to Udaipur and interacted with various tour and travel agents from around the country to understand how such businesses are run.