The 'Secret Superstar' actor says she would be happy if more people from her state (J&K) followed her into the film industry but she does not want to be a role model for anyone. "It is their (audience) wish if they want to get in, it is their choice. I don’t want people to look upto me and say that she has gone so even I want to go.It should be their individual choice.” Upcoming actor, 17 year old Zaira Wasim says she is an introvert but will not shy away from speaking her mind if the need arises. “I am from Kashmir but after ’Dangal’ was released I went to Jammu and we had kept a screening of the film for some people and they loved the film, the character, it was emotionally steering. It (the working environment) is very easy. They take so much pride in my work. “Coming to the sentiments of the people I know what I would feel (for a film or character) it would be the exact same feeling that they (people in Jammu and Kashmir) would feel back home. And I am very careful about that. Because I know what they will like in a film. Same way if I feel let’s ignore it, they would feel exactly like that and might not like it.” Zaira calls her stint in Bollywood a life-changing experience. Daughter of a banker-father and teacher-mother, she says it was a big decision for the family as Bollywood is not really looked up to in our society.


Soon after images of 17-year-old Kashmiri actor Zaira Wasim with her hair trimmed appeared on Facebook, internet trolls in the conservative Kashmir valley, where Islamic militants in the early 1990s forced cinema halls to shut, questioned the teenager’s moral character for acting in a hit film. The trolling grew stronger after pictures were released of the teenaged actress meeting with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who described her as a “Kashmiri role model”. The trolling was a stark reminder as to how the young Kashmiris have limits of their social freedom. However, Zaira managed to overcome all of this and has once again proved her fine acting skills through her latest film which has garnered positive response from all. Talented Kashmiri children and youth are capable of excelling at every level, all they need is opportunities and a support system from their own people.