STATE TIMES NEWS SRINAGAR: The snowfall on the New Year in the Valley has given tourism a boost, providing economic opportunities around the GuImarg tourist area. To encourage the tourists to visit the picturesque Gulmarg and motivate the local youth, the Winter Youth Festival was organised jointly by the army and J&K Tourism Department. On the occasion, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, General Officer Commanding in Chief, Northern Command, was the Chief Guest and various eminent dignitaries including the Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen A.K Bhatt, the Dagger Division Commander and senior officials from the security forces and the civil administration graced the occasion. The main attractions of the event were Snow Scooter and All Terrain Vehicle Races, Skiing and Snowman Making Competition, which garnered maximum participation and cheering from the crowd. Other attractions included live band performances by local bands, photography competition, stalls by J&K Tourism Department, HAWS, lISM and others. Over 1000 people including locals and tourists flocked the venue. School children from areas around added colour to the festivities by their presence and participation. For the children games like Maradona Kick, Bottle Fishing, Throw a Loop, etc were organised. The winners of various competitions were given attractive prizes by the Chief Guest. Speaking on the occasion, the Northern Army Commander thanked the people of Gulmarg and the youth in particular for making the festival a success and congratulated the organisers for an immaculate conduct. He expressed that such events will benefit the Kashmiri Awaam in all their endeavours especially tourism. The wholehearted participation of the locals in all the competitions is a testimony to the need for peace and harmony and is reflective of the constructive role that the army is playing in spreading goodwill in the pristine Valley.
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