WUSAN, AUGUST 3: Calling upon the youth to become ambassadors of the state, Minister for Public Works Naeem Akhtar said that youth should highlight the positive stories of the state and work to change the negative perception created by some vested interests.
The Minister was speaking at the prize distribution ceremony of Kashmir Rafting Marathon which was jointly organized by the Department of Tourism Kashmir and Adventure Tour Operators Association of Kashmir (ATOAK) here at Wussan, Ganderbal.
While expressing happiness over the successful conclusion of rafting championship, the Minister said that it is the youth who can turn the fortunes of the state. He said that every youth should contribute towards the nation building in a positive way.
“Tourists are our ambassadors but these days their arrivals is low, so it is you (youth) who have to take charge and become the goodwill ambassadors. You have to show to the world what we are capable of and create new impression about Kashmir,” said the Minister while addressing the participants of the Rafting Marathon at prize distribution ceremony. He said that one shouldn’t expect outsiders to come to state’s rescue but people themselves have to stand up.
He complimented the youth for organizing and participating in such an event and urged them to continue such work.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Tourism, M H Malik while complementing the teams for their participation in the event said Ganderbal has a huge potential for adventure tourism.
He said there will be separate calendar of activities for adventure activities from next year.
Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah said the department is vigorously promoting adventure sports in Kashmir. He said that adventure tourism also provides opportunity for entrepreneurs. He said that the rafting championship is a part of series of department’s programs to promote adventure sports and also remove the negative perception about Kashmir.
He said the department would also organize Gurez, Bangus, Saffron, Kargil festivals to attract travelers.
Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Dr Piyush Singhla who also spoke on the occasion said tourism is the game changer for Kashmir. He said the district Ganderbal has huge tourism potential especially in adventure sports. He also assured all possible help from the district administration for such activities.
Earlier, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah flagged off the 5 kilometer race at 11 am at Wusan Rafting Point which culminated at Wayil Bridge.
A total of eleven teams participated in the event, J&K Civil Defense finished first while as ATOAK bagged second and Living Kashmir Club finished fourth.
The other teams who participated in the event include J&K Ski and Mountaineering Association Srinagar, Tourism Department Kashmir, J&K Mountaineering and Hiking Club, Kashmir University, Islamia College of Science and Commerce, Kashmir Rafting Operators Association, Central University of Kashmir Ganderbal, Kashmir University South Campus and Glacier Mountaineering Club Anantnag