Kishtwar district nestled in the Himalayas is an epitome of peace and tranquility in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The region is known for its scenic beauty, amplified by the Chenab river which meanders its way through the picturesque Chenab valley. Indian Army has been a major contributor in maintaining peace in the region through its presence and various initiatives that promote secular ethos, sense of brotherhood and concept of peaceful co-existence beyond caste, creed or religion. In continuing with the same spirit, the Army organised Cultural Fest : 2018 for the locals of Kishtwar on April 2, 2018.
The festival was organised on a grand scale under the theme Unity in Diversity at the historic Chowgan ground. The objective of the festival was to foster a sense of brotherhood, communal harmony, unity and pride in the hearts and minds of the people of the region. The event saw an amalgamation of varied cultural programmes showcasing the culture of different regions of India. A number of food stalls, variety entertainment programmes and games stalls also formed part of the event for people of all age groups to rejoice and cherish. The audiences were especially enthralled by the live Sand Art Show and Magic Show which induced cheers all around Chowgan. Information stalls of JKEDI, Traffic Department and Social Welfare Department were also setup to spread awareness in the local population.
The highlight of the festival, the cultural programme, included a variety of events like Yoga display, Padri, kashmiri and local folk song and dance by local school students of Kishtwar. A unique experience for the crowd was the ghazal and song display by local artists of Kishtwar in conjunction with Band of Bhaderwah. The Hindi, Punjabi, Dogri, Kashmiri and Bollywood song display by local artist Sonali Dogra also captivated the audience.
The mega event was inaugurated by Brig Rohan Anand, Commander, 9 Sect RR and attended by Officer representatives and various dignitaries from the civil administration including the DC, Addl DC, SSP and CMO of Kishtwar. The youth and spectators acknowledged that the fest was an enlightening and enriching experience that has surely changed their perspective towards contributing to a peaceful and harmonious tomorrow. More than 12,000 people from all sections of society flooded the Chowgan ground and cheered the participants throughout the mega event.
Representatives of Indian Army thanked the civil administration & local populace for their whole hearted support and enthusiastic participation in making the event a grand success. The local population on the other hand thanked the Indian Army for organising such an event which provided an opportunity to the local populace to experience the rich cultural diversity and varied traditions of other parts of the country.
- Brig Rohan Anand and Manoj Tuli