Most of us grew up reading stories that feature a hero who inspires. This one’s a tale about a hero named Babar Afzal, who’s been fighting against multiple issues like corruption, climate changes, forced migration and more. Previously, Babar has had various fancy jobs at several esteemed organizations in the US, UK and Middle East. But the former McKinsey Analyst quit his comfortable Silicon Valley career and shifted to Kashmir a few years ago. Now, he herds goats in the Himalayas with the local shepherds and considers himself to be one of them – which is no mean feat given the high altitudes and extreme weather conditions the shepherds have to face on a daily basis.
The #IncrediblyTough Babar is bound to remind you of Mohan (Shah Rukh Khan‘s character in Swades), who quit his job at NASA and chose to stay back in India to work towards the welfare of his village. Here’s a glimpse of his life in Kashmir.
After giving up his successful IT career and taking on the nomad life, Babar started a revolution called the Pashmina Goat Program and he has been quoted as “the most credible man on pashmina in the world” by several publications.
The Pashmina Goat Program builds community partnerships for protecting about one million people whose lives are directly and indirectly linked to Pashmina. Because of the sale of fake Pashmina and several other factors, the communities of shepherds, weavers, craftsmen and their families in Kashmir have been at stake for a long time.
But Babar’s attempt to change the ecosystem is slowly but surely bringing a positive difference. And his trusted companion in this journey is his sturdy and dependable smartphone – Babar depends upon his tough device protected by Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 to stay connected to both shepherds and buyers; in addition to capturing images of the Pashmina designs and sharing different aspects of the art with key stakeholders.
For those who don’t know, Pashmina is the finest of wool fibers, responsible for creating the most luxurious shawls in the world. The global Pashmina industry is worth a few billion dollars and India accounts for only one percent of that. But with proper planning, value addition and positioning, this industry size can be increased. That’s exactly what Babar aims to do. More power to him!
This post is sponsored as part of our work with Corning Incorporated, all opinions are of the author.