The protracted conflict in Kashmir has taken a massive toll on human lives. The conflict in Kashmir has affected almost everyone, irrespective of age and gender. The most affected ones are children who have grown up in the intense atmosphere of protests, shutdowns, killings and curfews.
The artwork by school children in valley showcases childhoods ruined by the violence of adults. The children used pastel and pencil. These pictures showcase the loss of childhood and innocence. They speak how Kashmir have gone through the bloodiest summer in 2016 that lasted for more than five months.
Kashmir has been rocked by violence particularly after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani in July 2016. Around 90 persons mostly teenagers were killed and more than 12000 people injured in the protests.
Burning schools, caged Kashmir, stone-throwing protesters, civilian killings, gun-toting troops, are some of the depressing themes on the canvas.
The colours are symbolic. Red marks blood while Black dominates the chaos on the streets.
The schools remained shut for months. Children stayed indoors. They failed to play outside games with their friends.
Around 1562 mostly Kashmiri children & youth were completely or partially blinded by pellet guns in the six months of 2016.
14-year-old Insha Mushtaq, lost vision in both her eyes after being hit by pellets.
Eyes blinded by pellets is a recurring, heart-wrenching theme.