A first of its kind Tribal Winter Festival witnessed huge public rush at Ketson, Bandipora. The festival was organised at Ketson Bandipora by District Administration Bandipora in collaboration with Tourism and Tribal Affairs (Gujjar & Bakarwal Boys Hostel Bandipora), Departments, RDD and Wullar Battalion (Indian Army) to give boost to tourism in tribal areas.
The Deputy Commissioner (DC) Bandipora, Dr. Owais Ahmed inaugurated the festival which received overwhelming response from locals dressed up in traditional attire. The welcome address was presented by Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Bandipora, Waseem Raja.
He called for public cooperation for promoting tourism in the area. He also urged the public to come forward to register for home stays. The programme witnessed a variety of programmes which were a mixture of music, dance, and depiction of culture through music and dances that attracted the attention of people and enthralled the audience who responded and appreciated by cheering at them.
To the beats of Typical Desi Dhol, people from Kashmiri Community, Gujjars and Bakerwals hit the floor and shook legs together in a unique portrayal of cultural unity in diversity. The Gatka was another attraction of the day that was performed by members of two tribal communities portraying the fighting spirit of the Gujjar community amid all geographic, social and political odds.
Students from various schools and Gujjar & Bakarwal Boys Hostel Bandipora presented skits and dramas highlighting the importance of education urging the community to educate their offspring, so as to improve their socio-economic status of the people.
A skit highlighting the ills of Drug abuse was also presented by school children. The day also witnessed an attractive Kabbadi match and a unique tug of war between senior citizens and young participants. Stalls were installed by various departments including Agriculture, NRLM, Tourism, revenue, Horticulture etc
Speaking on the occasion, the DC said that Tribal areas have enough potential for tourism attraction to boost employment opportunities. He highlighted the role of various Government sponsored, public oriented schemes for economic upliftment.
He also stressed on counseling and rehabilitation of Drug addicts. Dr. Owais assured development of sports infrastructure in the area to engage local youth. He said the tribal winter festival brings together customs and traditions of tribals.
He said that such festivals revive, promote and preserve the tourism in the district. The programme was attended by Capt Bharat Singh Rawat, DDC member Aloosa, Mewa Jan; Padmashri Faisal Ali Dar; BDC Aloosa, Officers, officials, PRIs and a large gathering of men, women and children.