Kashmir Valley is not only known for its breathtaking tourist spots and idyllic beauty, it is the people who accord warm welcome to the tourists and go an extra mile to make hosts comfortable during their stay. In recognition of efforts of many such people, the tourism department held a function to felicitate 13 tourism icons who due to their honest acts lived up to the Valley’s famed hospitality.
The function was held to felicitate the contribution of the stakeholders associated with the tourism industry who exhibited exemplary honesty, dedication and commitment in their trade and in the service of tourists.
Director Tourism Dr.G.N. Itoo told Rising Kashmir that the event was an effort to increase the morale of the people associated with the industry and encourage them. “People of Kashmir have time and again reflected the acts of generosity and welcome. To recognize such efforts, the department shall organize such events on a yearly basis,” Dr. Itoo said.
Here is a brief profile of 13 individuals who due to their acts of honesty earned goodwill and a place in hearts.
Back in November 2017, Late Mohammad Sharief Chachi from Qazipora Tangmarg used to work as a tourist guide and was accompanying a Malaysian group for sightseeing in Gulmarg. The group lost a bag filled with Rs 40 lakh cash, but the honesty displayed by Late Chachi and his colleagues who helped in searching the returning it to the Malaysian group has earned accolades.
On behalf of Late Mohammad Sharief Chachi his son Hilal Ahmed received a certificate, a memento and a shawl, while Ghulam Rasool Mir, then president of Tour and Guide Association Gulmarg and Tangmarg was also awarded for his honest act.
Reyaz Ahmed Deedar from Ferozepora Tangmarg was complimented for playing a major role in rescuing a tourist who fell unconscious while on way back from frozen lake in the year 2021.
Mohammad Rafiq Sheikh from Mahyou Tangmarg was felicitated for returning cash and gold worth Rs 15 lakh and four mobile phones to a tourist in 2015.
Firdous Ahmad Mir from Shutakari Sonamarg was awarded for returning valuable items along with a bag to a tourist, while Irshad Ahmed Bhat from the same place was also awarded for returning a mobile phone to a tourist.
Rafi Ahmed Wani from Mondlana Pahalgam and Afroze Ahmed Mir were honored for returning jewelry to a tourist.
Showkat Ahmed Lone from pahalgam was hailed for returning a lost bag to a tourist.
Nisar Ahmed from Natipora Srinagar was awarded for returning cash of Rs 3 lakh to a tourist at Srinagar International Airport.
Mohammad Ashraf Dar from Srinagar was awarded for returning cash of Rs 1.80 lakh to a tourist.
Mohammad Iqbal Ganie from Humhama Budgam was felicitated for returning cash of Rs 1.96 lakh to a tourist.
Mohammad Shafi from Bemina Srinagar was awarded for returning Rs 45,000 to a tourist.
Zubair Ahmed Bhat from Kralpora Srinagar was praised for returning a cell phone which was worth one lac.