A first-of-its-kind Tribal Winter Festival was held in the Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, an official spokesperson said. Organised by the district administration in collaboration with various departments at Ketson, the festival witnessed huge public participation, he said.
Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Owais Ahmed said the festival highlighted the customs and traditions of tribals and also assured the development of sports infrastructure in the area to engage the local youth.
Addressing the gathering, the deputy commissioner said tribal areas have the potential to attract tourists and boost employment opportunities. He also highlighted the role of various government sponsored, public-oriented schemes for the economic upliftment of people.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Waseem Raja called for public cooperation for promoting tourism in the area. He also urged the public to come forward to register for homestays. The festival witnessed music, dance, and cultural events that left the people enthralled, the spokesperson said.
People from the Kashmiri community, Gujjars and Bakerwals danced together to the beats of dhol (drum) in a unique portrayal of cultural unity in diversity, he said.
The 'gatka' was another attraction performed by two tribal communities portraying the fighting spirit of the Gujjars amid all geographic, social and political odds, he said. A skit highlighting the ills of drug abuse was also presented by school children.
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