Ch. Sham, Priya highlight efforts to preserve, promote rich heritage of Basohli
KATHUA, JAN 13: Culture plays an important role in the development of any nation. It represents a set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices. Culture and creativity manifest themselves in almost all economic, social and other activities. A country as diverse as India is symbolized by the plurality of its culture, Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Nirmal Singh said this during ‘Swami Vivekananda Jayanti Celebrations’ at Basohli.
Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sham Lal Choudhary and Minister of State for Education, Tourism and Culture Priya Sethi were also present on the occasion. The function was organized by Vishwasthali — a Basholi-based NGO working to revive the dying Basohli art.
As many as 200 students from different schools of Pathankot, Jammu, Kathua, Samba and Udhampur participated in different events organized to mark Vivekananda Jayanti celebrations.
At the outset, Dr. Singh launched ‘Basohli Anthem’, a Tele-film to promote art, culture and heritage of Basohli besides attracting tourists. Speaking on the occasion, he said that it is a first of its kind initiative in Jammu region commenced in collaboration with Tourism department to promote world famous Basohli Paintings, Basholi Pashmina shawl and tourist attractions viz. Atal Setu and Ranjit Sagar Dam.
He also lauded the efforts of Vishwasthali to revive the indigenous art of Basholi and popularise it in the international market. He said Kashmir and Basholi (in Jammu province) are the only places in the country where pashmina shawls are manufactured on looms and further stated that concerted efforts are underway to conserve and revive the world famous Basohli paintings besides reviving pristine glory of historical Basohli town.
To increase the tourist foot fall in the region, DyCM announced that DPR for converting Lakhanpur-Dunnera road to National Highway has been prepared and will soon be submitted with the concerned department for early approval.
Invoking the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, Dr. Singh said Vivekananda’s teachings have left tremendous impacts towards the enrichment of Indian socio-cultural traditions besides bringing spiritual reawakening among the Indians in the 19th century and is popularly known as the “Intellectual Monk of India” among the youth.
Speaking on the occasion, Sham Lal Choudhary highlighted the main events from the life of Swami Vivekananda and asked the youths to follow the teachings of the great spiritual leader. The Minister lauded the organizers for commemorating the birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda in the beautiful land of Basohli and said that the government will make every possible effort for the development and prosperity of the region.
Appealing youth to follow the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, Sham said that Vivekananda created history by his soul-stirring address at World Parliament of Religions in Chicago that still continues to inspire many a millions especially youth.
During her address, Priya Sethi appreciated the founder of Vishwasthali for organizing an impressive event to mark the 155th Birth anniversary of the social reformer, philosopher and great thinker Swami Vivekananda.
Priya stressed that the Younger generation must be taught the teachings of Swami Vivekananda to impart them moral values and enlightenment as it’s the youth that can bring the revolutionary change.
The Minister called for collective efforts to restore, preserve and promote the rich heritage of Basohli. She said recently, Bike expedition rallies and activities were organized by the tourism department to explore the virgin tourist destinations of Basohli and other tourism potential areas of J&K.
She expressed her desire to give worldwide recognition to the paintings, shawls and other local art work of Basohli by associating them with the renowned and established brands.
“Basohli Anthem will be showcased in various ITM’s to promote the picturesque beauty of the region”, the Minister assured. She further stressed on the need to develop lodging, food and other facilities for the tourists and called for transforming 50 houses into “At Home” services for providing natural environment to the tourists.
SSP Kathua, Suleman Choudhary; ADC Basohli, Sanjay Gupta; OSD with DyCM, Shakti Pathak; President of Vishwasthali NGO, Jagdish Brahmi; EO MC Basohli and prominent citizens in large numbers were present during the celebrations.