Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha said on Monday that Jammu and Kashmir is blessed with the unparalleled wealth of cultural heritage which is mostly unexplored and needs to be showcased to the world.
The LG made these remarks while chairing a meeting to review the functioning of Culture & allied departments including Department of Libraries & Research; Archives, Archaeology and Museums, and J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages here at Civil Secretariat.
“This is the land of Sufis and Saints like Shankaracharya, Nund Reshi, Habba Khatoon, Lal Ded, Devi Rupa Bhawani and there is a need to develop heritage sites at their birthplaces in order to make their life history more accessible to the young generation,” Sinha said, as per an official spokesperson.
Laying special focus on promotion and development of shrines, monuments, and heritage sites to attract more tourist inflow to the UT, the LG, he said directed the department to integrate tourism and cultural promotion plans, besides holding traditional and cultural events on the backdrop of the historic significance of these important places so that the visiting tourists, as well as the locals, can get the first-hand experience of the rich cultural heritage of J&K.
He said that specific directions were passed for the development of Shri Shiv Khori and Baba Banda Singh ji Bahadur Shrines at Reasi.
While taking stock of the future deliverables of the department, Sinha, as per the official spokesperson directed the concerned officials to prepare an annual activity calendar of Culture department so that people are able to know that what’s in the offering for them and can plan accordingly.
He said that the LG suggested a host of measures to showcase the heritage and culture of the UT, and strengthen connect of the people with J&K.
“Increase the visibility of the UT’s culturally and historically important places amongst the people. Publicize the tourism potential shrines and heritage sites to reach out to more tourists, besides highlighting the Places to Visit at all tourist’s arrival points,” the LG said, as per official spokesperson.
“J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages shall organize programmes to celebrate all days of National Importance with the participation of the public,” he added.
According to the official spokesperson, JKAACL was asked to take requisite measures to promote literature, art and culture through Theatre festivals, Music and Dance Programmes, Mushairas, Kavi Sammelan, seminars and literary conferences.
On being informed that the Academy is organizing 03 mega Sufi festivals in J&K, he said, the LG directed for involving Colleges and Universities and roping in local, national and internationally-acclaimed Sufi artists for the same.
He further said that the LG reviewed the working of Libraries & Research department and called for modernization of Public Libraries of the Department and upgrading the same as Digital Libraries.
“Work in convergence with Mission Youth, J&K and Smart City Mission to turn these Libraries into productive learning-cum-career counseling centres, the LG told the officers, as per official spokesperson.
The LG, he said, further asked the department to explore means to provide online access of the repositories of books available with the libraries to the students through online mode.
As per the official spokesperson, Sarmad Hafeez, Administrative Secretary, Culture Department gave a detailed overview of the ongoing projects, besdies the activities to be taken up by the department for the promotion of culture and heritage of the UT.
“It was informed that the Academy has a collection of over 700 manuscripts and miniature paintings on Mysticism, Vedant, Islamiyat, Languages and Literature, History, Mathematics, Palmistry, Politics, Sociology and Music. The Academy also has as many 953 rare and rich collection of paintings of famous painters which are soon going to be put for public display,” he said.
The official spokesperson said that the Academy is also planning to organize film festivals at Srinagar and Jammu in collaboration with Department of Tourism and Information, besides National School of Drama (NSD) is setting up one of its centres at Srinagar.
He further said that the meeting was also informed about the upcoming events and projects like Literature festival at Patnitop, Promotion of border Tourism activities, Cultural activities at heritage sites, Dastaan-goi; School of Folk and Sufiyana Music etc.
Baseer Ahmed Khan, Advisor to the Lt Governor; Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Rahul Pandey, Secretary JKAACL and Director, Archives, Archaeology & Museums, and other senior officers attended the meeting, in person and through virtual mode.
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