BANDIPORA : The Shadipora transit Camp for Amarnath Yatris at Bandipora district wears a festive look as the locals have decorated the camp with lights and garlands.
The administration has facilitated the local farmers and artisans, govt departments and corporations to erect their stalls wherein they have put their products for sale including fruits, handicraft and handloom products besides other items required during holy pilgrimage.
The Artisans associated with various departments have erected their stalls at Shadipora Camp not only showcasing their performance but also selling the products. The stalls attract a large number of Yatris.
The Department of Handicrafts and Handloom has erected a stall wherein the artisans of Sumbal and adjoining areas have put Handmade shawls and other clothing items on sale, selling their products directly to the customer without any third party intervention.
“We are directly selling the products to Yatris and they are liking our products,” Said Shahnaza Begum who weaves shawl at home and has put them on sale at the camp.
“We always welcome the Yatris here with open arms. This is for the first time we have been facilitated to erect our stalls. We are earning too,” She added.
The members of Self Help Groups associated with Jammu and Kashmir State Rural Livelihood Mission have also erect stalls at the camp selling their products including agro-products including Honey, Jams, handicrafts and Handloom products including Shawls, Suits, Curtains, Scarf, Bags, Embroidery Pheran, Bags, hand woven ladies/ gents/ kids sweaters and caps, socks, mufflers etc.
Several farmers have also erected stalls selling fresh fruits to the Yatris including Apricots, Apples, Peach and Plum, HD Pear Saharanpuri, Apple Galamast, Apple shahanshah, Pear Nakh, Cherry Santrose, Walnut local, Honey Local, Dried Cherry, Walnut Giri, Pickle, Apple Fuji, Apple Hazratbali, Almond Local, Plum Green gage etc while farmers also sell home grown organic vegetables including Lettuce, Cauliflower, Red Cabbage, Green Chillies, Cucumber, Brinjal etc. The stalls of Dry fruits including cashew, Walnut, Dried cashewnuts have also been erected at the camp.
“We are having good sales as pilgrims are happy to buy fresh Kashmiri fruits,” said another young farmer.
He does not see this as a business merely. He said it is a cultural and social interaction where we and our younger generation is interacting with people from other society, culture and religion that will go a long way to bridge gaps between communities and build new relationships.
All the batches of Yatries are being warmly welcomed by locals including traders, PRI members and government officials. They are being welcomed by serving Saffron Samavar Kehwah,
The Yatris were also all praise for the locals. A group of Young Yatris said they were earlier sceptical about the visit but they soon realized that the saying that Kashmir is a heaven, and said it is so true and more important is that not only the valley is beautiful but the people are more beautiful at their hearts.
They thanked locals for welcoming them so warmly and hoped to come regularly to Kashmir. They said they will return to their native places as ambassadors of Kashmir as they will tell people about the positivity of this place.
Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Dr Owais Ahmad said all the arrangements have been put in place to ensure smooth stay of the Yatris at transit Camp. He said the Yatris make a brief halt at the camp and during that period we try to make them interact with the local population so that a cultural interaction takes place and people know each others cultures to gain goodwill for each other.
He said all the departments including Departments of Horticulture, Agriculture, Handicrafts Handloom, RDD, SRLM and other Non Governmental Organisations have erected stalls at the camps wherein local farmers and artisans are showcasing their products and selling the product.