STATE TIMES NEWS
UDHAMPUR: The 15th Annual Maha Shivratri-cum-Rural Awareness Mela was organised on Tuesday at Khoon village of Majalta in Udhampur District with huge congregation assembling in the spiritual ambience of Khooneshwar Aap Sambu Temple.
The high profile Mela was organised by Destitute and Handicapped Welfare Association (DAHWA), a reputed NGO of the Jammu and Kashmir State, in collaboration with district administration Udhampur, Information Department and Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL).
The participants, in thousands, paid obeisance at the historic ancient temple to seek blessings of Lord Shiva.
Lauding the enthusiasm among the participants in the annual feature, Chairman of DAHWA and founder of Mela, Surat Singh Sumbria, said the holding of Mela aims at generating awareness among the rural masses about the governmental schemes meant for their socio-economic emancipation.
Sumbria expressed gratitude to Deputy Commissioner Udhampur for extending cooperation in making this festival a real success. He urged upon the government to observe this annual Maha Shivratri festival officially in view of its popularity and importance for the area. He said that it will go a long way in satiating the religious aspirations of the devotees, as infrastructural development will give rise to the influx of pilgrim tourists giving a big fillip to economic activity in the area.
Greeting the people, the officers present on the occasion, appreciated the efforts of DAHWA for organising this annual festival and said such events help in generating awareness and seeking involvement of village community in various initiatives designed by the government for their welfare.
They especially made a mention of various schemes being launched by the State and Central government like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Ujjwala, insurance schemes, medical facilities to children and women, saying these have potential to lay foundation of healthy and harmonious society. They also stressed the need for educating people about ill-effects of drug abuse and other social evils.
Other opinion leaders and government functionaries, who spoke on the occasion, lauded the role of DAHWA for holding this event which greatly helps the rural masses get information about the government programmes and policies besides promoting the spot in the tourism map. They said that through this Mela DAHWA is also helping in preservation of our incredible cultural heritage through presentation of traditional cultural programmes.
Naib Tehsildar Deot Majalta, Kasturi Lal Sharma, who inaugurated the Mela, said that such events will promote religious tourism and boost the economy of the area.
The Government Departments of the district including Health, Agriculture, District Industries & Commerce (DIC), Horticulture, Sericulture, Rural Development, Animal & Sheep Husbandry, established their stalls which aimed at creating awareness about government schemes among rural people. They also distributed literature on schemes of their respective departments.
District administration made elaborate arrangements like Sanitation, Electricity, Water, Security, Medicines, etc.
On the occasion, a scintillating cultural programmes like folk music, folk dances and Dogri songs was presented by the Information Department Udhampur, artists of JKAACL Jammu besides local artists gave performance based on Shiv Parvati theme Bhajans devoted to Lord Shiva. Officers and representatives of various departments highlighted their services and schemes with focus on programmes.
Deputy Secretary, J&K Academy of Art Culture and Languages, Dr.Rattan Basotra, Block Development Officer, Khoon Rajinder Kumar, Senior officers of the district, Sarpanchs, Panchs, prominent citizens and large number of devotees were also present on the occasion.
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