Srinagar, June 02: Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta on Friday took stock of the arrangements for the ‘Vitasta' Cultural Festival to be organized here by the Ministry of Culture, GoI in the last week of this month.
Those who were present included ACS, Home; Principal Secretary, Education; ADGP, Security; Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; Secretary, Tourism; Commissioner, SMC; Director Tourism, Kashmir; Director Colleges; VC, LCMA; Secretary, Academy of Art, Culture & Languages besides others.
Officers from Ministry of Culture, GoI also participated in the meeting through video conferencing.
Dr Mehta maintained that the festival would be one of the events that is going to play a major role in promoting tourism and showcasing our rich cultural values. He made out that the festival is not only an opportunity to showcase our culture and crafts but to exhibit our talent and immense diversity before the world.
The Chief Secretary stressed on including crafts and cuisine from every part of J&K. He urged the concerned nodal Department here to ensure that all the areas should find their representation in this mega cultural event. He also impressed upon them to give opportunity to students of Colleges and Universities to display their skills during the festival.
He also advised them to hold events related to this festival all across the Srinagar City so that more people get opportunity to participate in it. He stated that the events should be organized all areas, heritage destinations and enroute the places on River Jhelum (Vitasta). He observed that the theme of the festival deserves to be depicted amid natural settings to enhance their appeal for the audience. He also advised utilizing the breath-taking locales of Dal Lake, Char Chinar, Panch Chinar, Old Museum, Jhelum Riverfront and others for making the festival vibrant and more interesting.
The Chief Secretary was informed by the Director, North Zone, Cultural Center Patiala that earlier two rounds of the festival had been organized in the cities of Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and Pune (Maharashtra) and the final round is going to be held here on a larger scale.
It was further revealed that the festival is scheduled for the last week of this month with participation of some 1850 local folk artists and around 100 experts from rest of India. It was also given out that the festival has multiple themes based on our rich culture, craft, cuisines and heritage.
It was said that camps on Calligraphy, Painting, Kashmir Buddhism, Exhibition by ASI, Art installation, Vitasta Opera, craft display and cultural quiz shall be some of the highlights of this multi-day festival.