16-year-old develops Kashbook, Kashmir’s own Facebook, after government banned social media websites

Meet the 16-year-old Zeyan Shafiq who created KashBook, Kashmir’s own version of Facebook, and launched mobile app for it too.

Three weeks since the Jammu and Kashmir government banned 22 social media services, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, the valley has come up with its own version of Facebook.
A 16-year-old boy from Anantnag district of Kashmir division developed Kashmir’s own social networking website and launched it within a week of the social media ban.
Zeyan Shafiq, who finished his 10th standard exams few months ago, along with his now 19-year-old friend Uzair Jan had created KashBook back in 2013 but decided to relaunch the site after the social media ban. The website, since its relaunch, has more than 1,000 users and are satisfied with its features, according to a report in Kashmir Post.
The 16-year-old software enthusiast started learning HTML tags by himself at the age of 11 and tried his hand on computer languages such as C++ and Java.
Zeyan and his friend Uzair Jan developed a mobile optimised website and mobile apps for Google Play store and App Store. Both the developers aim to pursue computer engineering in the future.
“On the portal, you can add people and chat with them, post messages along with many features which one finds in other social media websites. There is also a market for buying and selling,” Zeyan told Catch News .
On April 26, 22 social media websites were banned because these sites were allegedly misused by “anti-government elements”. The Kashmiri youth defied the ban and accessed these blocked websites by using virtual private network (VPN) .
“The government has blocked access to all the social networks and they are blocking VPNs too. So, when they’ll block the whole access to social media then how will people from valley stay connected with each other? KashBook is the answer to social media gag”, told Kashmir Monitor while talking about the need of creating Kashmir’s own Facebook.

Here’s what makes KashBook unique:
* The users can use Kashmiri language to communicate.
* The 16-year-old creator has said that he will use this website to focus and promote goods and services made in Kashmir.
* The site works without a VPN so people in Kashmir can easily use it.
* Kashbook has a forum where people can sell their goods and boost their business.
Since the site has gone live, Zeyan and Uzair have offered their full support to resolve any issue faced by the users. The duo is comprising on the sleep to ensure Kashmiris stay connected through Kashbook.

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