Gulmarg: The early snowfall this season gave a much needed boost to tourism in J&K especially for locals and tradesmen of Gulmarg where it proved to be a boon. To encourage tourists to come to picturesque Gulmarg, Winter Carnival 2017 was conducted jointly by Army and J&K Tourism Department under the aegis of Dagger Division of Srinagar based Chinar Corps.
The main attractions of the event were Snow Scooter and All Terrain Vehicle Races, Skiing, Snowboarding and Snowman making Competitions which garnered maximum participation and cheering from the crowd. Apart from that, the other attractions included live band performances by local and Army bands, Photography Competition, stalls by J&K Tourism Department, HAWS, IISM etc. The Carnival was inaugurated by Major General R P Kalita by flagging of the ATV race, the first programme of the event. Many other military and civilian dignitaries who attended the function included Major General Gulab Singh Rajat, GOC Designate Dagger Division, Major General Atul Kaushik, Commandant HAWS, Director IISM Tangmarg and CEO GDA. Besides, a huge crowd of local public / tourists flocked the venue and school children from various Army Goodwill Schools from all over the region were also invited to the Carnival. Separate games were organised for the children like Maradona Kick, Bottle Fishing, Throw a Loop, Demolition of Glass Fort etc, which they thoroughly enjoyed. The wholehearted participation of the locals in all the competitions is a testimony to the improving peace and harmony in the area and is reflective of the constructive role that the Army is playing in spreading goodwill in the pristine valley.
At the end of the event the attractive prizes were given to winners of all the competitions by Major General R P Kalita, General Officer Commanding Dagger Division. Speaking on the occasion, GOC thanked the people of Gulmarg and the tourists for making the Winter Carnival 2017 a mega success and congratulated the organisers for the immaculate conduct. He expressed that success of such events proves that the situation in the valley has improved and will benefit the Kashmiri Awaam in all their endeavours especially tourism.
The Carnival was attended by approximately 2500 to 3000 people comprising of locals and tourists. The turnout and reaction of the public was a definite indication of the success of Army’s endeavour to reach out to the masses on the New Year’s eve. The conduct of Winter Carnival 2017- Gulmarg’ strengthened the bond of the Army with the Kashmiri Awam and proved to be a harbinger of amity and concord in the region along with promoting tourism in the valley.