In Kashmir from last few years, women are breaking societal stereotypes and touching new heights. Be it making career in aviation, art, media, running restaurants or turning to be an author at a very young age, Kashmir has witnessed many such success stories of its women folk. Interestingly 24 years old Ms Mehreen Amin is another addition to the list of Kashmir’s women success list. Ms Mehreen successfully broke the taboos to create her own niche to become Kashmir’s first female fitness trainer and gym owner. She hails from down town area of Bohri Kadal. Ms Mehreen’s story is a tale of overcoming personal and social challenges and following her heart to own an exclusive gym. Since 2016, she is running ‘Fitness Hub Healthcare Center’ gym near Islamia College, Hawal.
Ms Mahreen had earlier interest in photography, however her instance with the fitness world took place when she was not doing well with her health and had started gaining weight. “I had just passed my class 12 and went to Delhi where my brother was working; on his continuous insistence I joined a gym to lose weight. That is when I first ever in my life stepped inside a gym center. My female instructor there was a great professional, she developed my appetite in the fitness field and I lost 30 kg in few months. It was a great change in my life,” Ms Mehreen said. She says that it was that period when her fitness trainer on seeing her growing interest in the field suggested her to go for a professional course of a gym trainer. She did one-year diploma in fitness management and became a professional gym instructor. When she returned home, Mehreen had no intention to start her own gym given the conservative nature of the society in valley. She recalls that it was only after, she joined a gym in Srinagar and faced a disappointing experience, she got pushed to start her own. She sensed misogyny in the industry in valley that further cemented her will to start her own, but it came with hurdles primarily convincing her parents and find the viability of the set-up in the valley.
Finally after long search, she found a place near Islamia College, which is barely few hundred meters away from historic Jamia Masjid. From finding the place to setting up the equipment, Ms Mehreen did everything on her own without any support, it was difficult during the initial months but eventually word spread out and currently she trains more than a hundred women as well as kids who requires special fitness needs. Ms Mehreen is a woman who defied society norms and pursued what she believed is the right thing, her determination and grit is to be valued beyond everything. Whilst you face setbacks the ones who shines on them emerges victorious, challenges when it becomes enticing is when you know you have succeeded, she truly made the society rethink and made a bold statement. She represents strength, She represents Kashmir.