She sat upset over the fate of her home state Kashmir. Nighat Shafi Pandit, born on 16 January 1951, had shielded her children from militancy. But when she moved from New Delhi to Kashmir in 1995, she was saddened to see how families had been torn apart by war and internal strife.
Militancy has captured many of the youth. The constant firing between Pakistan and India has turned many wives into widows and many children into orphans. When she visited the inmates in the sole mental hospital in Srinagar, Nighat realised that the damage was not merely physical, but also emotional.
Being the wife of a bureaucrat, Nighat lived a comfortable life. But she questioned: what about the lives of others in the Valley? As an ordinary housewife, what can she do, she wondered.