LEH, June 12: Minister for Tourism and Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora today declared the three days Singhey Khababs Sindhu Festival (SKSF) open by hoisting the National Flag which was followed by a brief prayer ceremony performed by all the religious heads seeking blessings for peace to prevail and to ward off the impurities made to the Indus which holds a sacred significance.
Addressing the gathering, Jora said, “celebrating this festival means paying tribute to Sindhu from which has born the most ancient civilization, the Indus Civilization and speaks of the heritage of India and Pakistan”.
Citing the objective of the festival, Jora said that the primary purpose of celebrating this festival is to attract more and more tourists, domestic and foreigners to this region as tourism sector is the main support system for economic growth in Ladakh and the industry has proved highly beneficial in providing job opportunities which in turn has resulted in improved economic conditions of the people in every part of the district.
“We have achieved great success in promoting tourism in Ladakh as we have been able to lengthen the tourist season and have been raising funds from Centre and State for all the three regions of the State in equitable manner and ensure development through tourism in all the possible ways,” asserted Jora. He made an appeal to the guests and tourists to perform their national duty and spread good message among the people about Ladakh which over a time has acquired a significant place in the country.
Amrita Rawat, Minister for Tourism and Culture, Uttrakhand, who was the guest of honour on the occasion, expressed happiness over her wish of attending Sindhu festival.
To further promote tourism in both the States, Amrita Rawat expressed her wish to carry a cultural exchange programme by sending cultural troops from Ladakh to Uttrakhand and vice versa and strengthen the ties between the two States.
“I didn’t find Ladakh so beautiful before and it indeed is the exact example of India as a secular State with people of all the religion participating with equal importance and zeal in the Sindhu festival,” quipped Nasir Aslam Wani, Minister of State Home and Tourism.
Calling tourism the cutting edge for economy he said that the State Govt is trying to bring development in every district in uniform way and each department is playing a significant role in achieving the developmental goals.
“Projects like creation of Golf Course, Trans-Himalayan Culture Centre, Food Craft Institute and other programmes and projects on conservation and promotion of heritage sites are the giant steps taken by Mr Jora in promoting tourism in Ladakh at international level,” asserted CEC Rigzin Spalbar.
During the inaugural function, a CD on Rock Art of Ladakh by Tourism Deptt. was released and as a token of gratitude CEC Rigzin Spalbar presented portraits to all the three ministers. A colourful cultural programme was also presented by different cultural groups and school children on the occasion.
Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Bakula Rinpoche, MLC Norbu Gyaltsan, Former Union Minister P Namgial, ECs, Councilors, DC Leh Tsering Angchok and SP Vivak Gupta.