A Year Without High-Speed Internet Has Been a Nightmare for J&K's Entrepreneurs

A Year Without High-Speed Internet Has Been a Nightmare for J&K's Entrepreneurs

On August 5, 2019, the Narendra Modi government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and statehood, dividing it into two union territories. In this series – ‘One Year in a Disappeared State’ – The Wire will look at what the last year has meant and what the region looks like now. Srinagar: “One of my customers placed an order online, and the received her product only six months later,” said entrepreneur Iqra Ahmad from Srinagar. The persistent ban on high-speed internet services in Jammu and Kashmir is hurting businesspeople like her hard, she said. Twenty-eight-year-old Ahmad, a designer, uses social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to advertise her business ‘TulPalav’, translated from Kashmiri as ‘Pick the Clothes’. She started her business in 2015. The year-long ban on high-speed internet services in Jammu and Kashmir have led to her sales dropping sharply. While frequent internet shutdowns have been a persistent problems for Ahmad and others like her, she says the last 12 months have been the most challenging for her business. “I worked day and night to make my social media accounts stronger and reach wider. Because of this, lots of people found out about my business and I have been selling products all over the region. But after August 2019, the ban on internet services has badly hit my business. I can only work when there is uninterrupted online connectivity,” Ahmad told The Wire. Due to the lack of high-speed internet, Ahmad said that very few people have been placing orders. “Uploading pictures of the ...
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