Meet Valley’s young female anchor, social worker

A star in the making

At the age of six, she hosted her first stage show before a jam packed audience.  Since then, she never looked back.

Sameer Showkin Lone

Srinagar: Rakshanda Rafique, 10, has become Valley’s first youngest female anchor who has conducted dozens of debates, live shows and other skits at a very tender age.
Her mesmerizing voice makes her a perfect radio anchor while her impeccable presentation skills suit her role as TV anchor.
Rakshanda, a class 5th student of Presentation Convent Srinagar also carries a philanthropic heart apart from her artistic skills. She is interested in social service and claims she is donating half of her money she earns from her performances among the needy.  She has also formed a group “Taarey Zameen Par”, aimed to aware people about environmental degradation. The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) had also sought her help to campaign against the use of polythene through skits and other plays.

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Rakshanda aims to see herself in British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a TV anchor. Having good command over Urdu and English languages, she is likely to make it to national TV serials and radio plays.

“I conducted prestigious events like Parliamentarian Conference at SKICC in 2010, Vodafone dealers meet at SKICC and recently Children day function organized by Radio Kashmir Srinagar on Nov. 14,” she said.

“Kashmir girls are generally ignored and are treated as a burden.” However, she considers herself fortunate enough for having a supportive and media friendly environment at home.
“Girls have a lot of talent. You just need to encourage them and never treat them as a burden,” she said.
Besides anchoring, she has also performed in a number of TV serials that include Dard Ka Rishta directed by Jaidev Singh, Sul Moot (Kashmiri), Habba Khatoon (Kashmiri). On stage, she has performed in various plays which include Rabinder Nath Tagore’s Sanyaasi, Marnuy Chu Behter (Kashmiri) and Ek Potli Armon Ki (Urdu).
Though Kashmiri is her mother tongue, she is also good in speaking other languages like Hindi, Punjabi, Pahari and Gojri and intends to learn French and Russian.
“Whenever I have to present any Kashmiri show I start it with the works of poets like Wahab Khaar, Mahjoor and Niyama Saab, and for Urdu shows I start with the poetry of Dr Sir Muhammad Iqbal or Mirza Ghalib,” said Rakshanda.

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And when it comes to Punjabi, she doesn’t stop. She is also a fluent Punjabi speaker because of her mother’s Punjabi background.
“My aim is to become a famous broadcaster one day and work at BBC London. In Kashmir parents generally groom their sons better and ignore their daughters. But at my home it is otherwise. My parents encourage me and provide me all types of facilities,” says the 10-year old girl.
Apart from artistic passions, she is also a philanthropic person. “Whatever money I earn through my performances, I donate half of it among the poor. There are people who need our attention and support,” she said and believes that children like her can also contribute in the lives of poor and needy.
At school level, she has taken an initiative to create awareness among the people to preserve the environment and water bodies. “We have formed our group namely “TAARAY ZAMEEN PAR”, which has all the members below the age of 12. We are devising a plan to conduct various stage shows and Nukad Nataks to make people aware about environmental degradation,” said Rakshanda.

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About Desk Editor

Thanks to all those who said ‘no’ to me, it is because of them I did it myself.
Sameer Showkin Lone is a Founder/ Editor of News Despatch (www.newsdespatch.com). He is a journalist with experience of working in different media organisations including India Today and Scoop Whoop. He reports on Defence and Security, Politics, Human Rights, Health and Environment.

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