Old City students walk through their ‘forgotten’ heritage


SRINAGAR: Some 100 students drawn from various government schools Thursday participated in a ‘heritage walk’ organized by M.P. Higher Secondary School, Bagh-e-Dilawar Khan and College of Education, M.A. Road, Srinagar.
Director School Education, Dr Shah Faesal, flagged off the walk before explaining the importance of many places of historical importance in the old city.
“Wish you would know what civilization you belong to,” Dr Faesal addressed a huge gathering of students in the school campus. “The city of Srinagar is just not an ordinary city. A few kilometres from here, you have the tomb of Zain-ul-Abidin at Zaina Kadal and some other royalties like Muhammad Haidar Dughlat, a cousin of Mongol Babar who ruled Kashmir.”
While urging upon the students to realize the importance of the history of the Srinagar city, Dr Faesal told the students to honour historical personalities such as Mir Sayed Ali Hamdani. “Imagine a young Muslim scholar from Central Asia gathering several craftsmen and deciding to travel to Kashmir all the way from Hamdan to change the destiny of people here,” he said. “We’re indebted to people like Shah Hamdan whose contribution to Kashmir has been unparalleled.”
Dr Faesal said while other nations like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan etc held such personalities in the highest esteem, people in Kashmir have long forgotten them. “The currency bills of Uzbekistan have the image of Shah Handan on it,” he said. “Such is the value of people who have had a major hand in shaping the culture of Kashmir.”
Dr. Faesal said he was pained that students from the old city did not fare well as compared to their rural counterparts. “Today, you see people from rural areas occupying the topmost positions while those from the city have settled on menial jobs,” he remarked. “Such a thing cannot be called development at all as it creates imbalances of various kinds.”
Later the students carrying placards in their hands visited many places of historical and religious importance like Naqashband Sahab Khwaja Bazar, Jama Masjid Nowhatta and Koh-i-Maran fort (Hari Parbhat).  
Carrying a public address system, Dr Shafiq Ahmad Shafai, teacher, narrated the importance of each place the students sojourned at.
Narrating the history of his school, Principal, Nayeem Ahmad Fazili, said: “A walk through our heritage highlights our commitment to preserve our ancientness in all its sanctity. A nation, if cut off from the remembrance of its past, is bound to degenerate and ultimately perish.” The aim of the walk, he said, was to sensitize the younger generation about their heritage to inculcate a sense of an understanding of the bygone era where simplicity, sincerity and spirituality were the hallmarks that people lived their life with.
Parveen Pandit, Fazal Elahi and Prof. L.S. Sodhi from the College of Education also walked with the students.


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