Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir celebrates International Mountain Day-2020 with fervor

Srinagar: The International Mountain Day- 2020 was celebrated with great fervor by the Adventure lovers in Kashmir Valley with the main function organized by the Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir at TRC, Srinagar.

Hundreds of Adventure lovers, boys and girls participated in the Seminar organized by the Directorate of Tourism Kashmir at TRC Hall, Srinagar. During the seminar, various short films were screened to showcase the potential of adventure tourism in the valley.

Smt. Aparna Kumar (IPS) was the chief guest on the occasion. Born in 1974, Smt. Aparna Kumar is an IPS Officer of 2002 batch of Uttar Pradesh Cadre. She is a proud recipient of the prestigious Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award 2018 for her outstanding mountaineering achievements, presented to her by the Hon’ble President of India.

She is the 1st woman Indian Police Service (IPS) officer to complete “Seven Summits” Challenge. After successfully conquering the South and North Poles, She scaled the highest peak in North America, Mount Denali to achieve the rear feat. She is an inspiration to women of India and the world.

On the occasion, Smt Aparna Kumar said Kashmir is blessed with majestic mountains which makes it one of the top destinations for mountain based adventure activities. She also spoke about her journey with mountaineering. She said a strong resolve, focus and commitment is needed to achieve the unthinkable and keep on going forward despite failures to reach your goals. She was very impressed by the presence of large number of girls amongst the participants and said that adventure knows no gender “If one has the passion and will, nothing is impossible,” she said. She also exhorted on preserving mountain bio diversity by practicing sustainable tourism and adventure tourism activities. Aparna Kumar said she would also promote Kashmir’s adventure among countrymen and urge them to visit Kashmir for experiencing mountain like here.

Speaking on the occasion, Director Tourism, Nisar Ahmad Wani highlighted the Mountain Biodiversity of Kashmir and the various forms of Tourism activities associated with Mountains. Wani said the department has been conducting various mountain based sports and nature activities to promote adventure sports among local youth. He said besides other tourism products, adventure tourism in Kashmir has immense potential for which department has been promoting it outside JK through print and electronic media, social media besides participating in travel trade meets. On the occasion, he also assured full support to local associations and youth in the promotion of eco-friendly mountain based activities.

Director Industries and Commerce, Kashmir and President JKMHC Mehmood Ahmad Shah also highlighted mountain biodiversity the Valley is blessed with besides outlining JK Mountaineering and Hiking Activities. He said the Club has been very successful in organizing Sunday treks in which local boys and girls are participating with an overwhelming response.

Prof Dr. Kundangar, Dr. Mehreen Khalil, President ATOAK, Rauf Tramboo and Coloumnist Arjumand Hussain Talib also spoke on the occasion and highlighted importance of preserving mountain biodiversity.

Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir also conferred posthumously, Lifetime Achievement Award, to Late Mohammad Ashraf Batkoo in recognition of his outstanding contribution in promoting mountaineering and adventure tourism in Jammu & Kashmir.

During the function, the award of excellence was, posthumously, presented to Late Fhzal Fayaz Wani for promoting Extreme Mountain Biking in Jammu and Kashmir and Late Bashir Ahmad Damna for promoting adventure sports, especially Mountain Biking and Cycling in Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier in the morning Smt. Aparna Kumar and Director Tourism Kashmir flagged off Mountain Biking in which around 40 peddlers including young boys participated. Also around 30 Girls and 25 Boys participated in the Sport climbing competition held at the Artificial Climbing Wall, Nowgam.

International Mountain Day was celebrated with fervor in Srinagar, Gulmarg and Pahalgam. On Saturday, Snow Cycling Slalom at Gulmarg, Ski Mountaineering at Kongdori will also be held as part of the International Mountain Day Celebration. The programmes were organized by Directorate of Tourism Kashmir in association with J&K Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) | Jammu and Kashmir Mountaineering and Hiking Club (JKMHC) | Adventure Tour Operators Association of Kashmir ( ATOAK) | Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering (JIM) | JK Mountain Biking Association (JK MBA) | Jammu and Kashmir Ski Mountaineering Association (JK SMA). Besides large number of adventure enthusiasts, the representatives from travel trade also participated in the function.