Since 1989, Indian security forces have been fighting separatists in Kashmir. Human rights groups accuse Indian forces of violations including enforced disappearances and extrajudicial murder, and estimate eight thousand Kashmiris have gone missing. In the capital Srinagar, patients line the hallways of the main psychiatric treatment facilities, suffering from depression or PTSD brought on, doctors say, by years of violence, curfews and militancy under Indian administration; a 2015 Doctors Without Borders survey found more than 1.5 million of those living in the Kashmir Valley have symptoms of depression.
Many Kashmiris seek solace in shrines dedicated to auspicious saints or put their trust in faith-healers, who bless potions and offer recitations or amulets thought to bring powers of protection, huddling in the homes of the healers on whose advice they depend. They ask for an end to their pain, and for their sons to be returned to them.