Pausing to catch her breath, Nadiya Akbar, 16, squats on a rocky precipice overlooking the miniature houses of her village of Wagoora nestled in the valley below.
Since last August, Ms Akbar has had too much time to think. A high-achiever at her government school in Jammu and Kashmir, Ms Akbar’s parents had pooled together their savings in anticipation of Ms Akbar pursuing her dream of studying medicine.
Now, one year on, her dream lies in tatters and she has been forced to drop out of school and herd her family’s livestock to make ends meet.
“I was developing a severe infection in my right ear and I used to go to a local hospital where doctors treated me,” explained Ms Akbar. “I think that was the