Indian Army organises Cultural Fest & Village Carnival at Mahu

Promotes offbeat tourism in district Ramban

RAMBAN, OCT 29: Army and Civil Administration Ramban on Sunday organised a Cultural Fest & Village Carnival at Mahu nestled amidst nature’s lap, surrounded by the mighty Riliyar and Pir Panjal mountain ranges and situated on the banks of Mahu river.
Beautiful Mahu village inhabited by 400 households, since decades, aspired to open avenues for offbeat tourism, however, remoteness of the region coupled with internal situations and limited lines of communication became a serious impediment to realize Mohuiite’s dream. The Indian Army stepped forward to materialize this long pending desire of the residents of Mahu.
To boost local economy by means of promoting Mahu & Mangat valley as an offbeat tourist destination, Indian Army in active collaboration with District Administration Ramban, organized a Cultural Fest and Village Carnival for two days beginning today at village Mahu in Banihal sub division. The grand event was conceptualized by the Indian Army after witnessing the huge success of the Winter Carnival that had been organized earlier this year jointly by the Indian Army & JKTDC.
The event was organised under the aegis of Op Sadbhavana and is a part of a multipronged initiative which is a subset of grand design of positive engagement of youth and provide opportunities of regular income to wean the population away from migrating to Kashmir for employment.
Celebrations were carried out in two parts concurrently including local culture and diversity was showcased in a two hour long cultural fest wherein, participants from all corners ie. Srinagar, Jammu, Banihal, Gool, Ramban, Khari & Mahu represented their rich local heritage. Festival was embellished with a wide variety of entertainment programmes attracting interest from all sections of the society.
On the other hand, a village carnival in the form of village fair was organized which consisted of 20 stalls offering fun activities for children, muscle flexing completion for youth, shopping arcade for girls and succulent cuisine for foodies. A huge crowd of approximately 4000 people from far and wide of J&K UT witnessed this cultural fest.
High ranking Civil and Military dignitaries attended the event. The chief guest, complimented the organizers of the event and expressed gratification on collaborative efforts of Indian Army and civil administration. He further stated that such events besides promoting tourism and local culture bring identity of pride to the village and its inhabitants. The Remote region of Jammu division is blessed with yet to be explored pristine natural beauty, he added.
Tourists as a part of the package enjoyed the host spirit of the locals during their ‘Home Stays’, flavor of local cuisines, witness of cultural performances of local artists & enjoyed the scenic beauty. Indian Army along with Goonj NGO with an aim to enhance women empowerment and patronizing education, distributed sewing machines, gas stoves, school bags & stationery kits, to the young prodigies.
Indian Army also distributed assisting equipment to Divyang Jan for their resuscitation and rehabilitation. A total of 20 beneficiaries were distributed which included wheelchairs, crutches & hearing aids.
Later, The Chief Guest felicitated the participants of various cultural performances and young budding talents. Ramban district holds the unique distinction of having people with distinguished literary sense and cultural artists.

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