Srinagar, Dec 28: A 27-year-old man from the small village of border town Kupwara has taken up the task of promoting the lesser-known destinations of his town through his lens .
Roshan Shehab has been doing this work for the last five years and has received a positive response from the general public. He has brought many hidden landscapes into the limelight, like Ring Bala Machil, MonbalMawer, PoshnarHandwara, Bangus Valley and Sadhna Top.
Speaking to Rising Kashmir, Shehab said, “Generally speaking, photography enhances the aesthetic value of nature and adds exhilarating experiences for visitors.”
He went to all the faraway destinations, capturing photos and videos and posting them on social media platforms around the year. He has exhibited his work in different national and state-level exhibitions and has won many photography competitions so far.
The young explorer said, "He is looking forward to exploring and working for the development of tourism in different parts of North Kashmir in the future."
Shehab did his schooling in Srinagar and pursued his honours and master's degrees in English literature from Aligarh Muslim University. He started his journey in photography with a mobile camera and being a member of the University Fine Art Club at AMU inspired him to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in different activities, including national and university-level exhibitions. He exhibited his work there, took part in photography competitions, and went on several photo walks.
Returning from AMU, he did the Foundation Course in Photography with FTII Pune. His photography and writing skills motivated him to work for the development and promotion of Kupwara tourism voluntarily.
"Our youth should explore their native places and find out the hidden treasure in them; this is tiring but peaceful; this looks hard but beautiful." There are many avenues in the tourism industry that can help them earn their livelihood. "They can choose their career as professional photographers, trekkers, hikers, travel guides, content writers, vloggers, hoteliers, and social media influencers and earn their livelihood easily."
While returning from the university, he felt concerned about the sleeping tourism sector in his home district. Later, he started exploring many places and realised this border district has immense tourism potential, but there is a lack of tourism infrastructure and awareness, which discourages tourists from visiting here.
He said that "I created a group on social media, namely "Kupwara Photography Club," in 2019 and started posting photographs from different parts of Kupwara on it and worked for tourism promotion passionately." It was not a very welcome step, because people weren’t expecting a camera in my hands, and using it for tourism promotion was something different.
Kupwara Photography Club has more than 60,000 members, and there are many young and senior photographers actively posting on it. They hold regular meetings with civil society, respectable citizens, and district administration to discuss potential development and different avenues for tourism growth.
The Kupwara Photography Club is also publishing a yearly calendar in which they are pasting photographs of 12 offbeat destinations from the border district's tourist attractions.
The aim of publishing these calendars is to promote tourism via the calendar, and the group has been publishing calendars for the last three years.