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National Mission on Himalayan Studies and JU celebrates ‘Bharat Ka Amrit Mahotsav'and ‘Capacity Building Workshop'

KARGIL: A team of researchers from the Department of Botany, University of Jammu celebrated ‘Bharat Ka Amrit Mahotsav' at Govt Degree College Drass, Kargil(UT of Ladakh) under the National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS) project "Database Development onDiversity and indigenous knowledge on mushrooms towards their cultivation and conservation in Trans Himalayan District of Kargil".

To mark the glorious 75 years of India's independence, an on-the-spot painting competition on the theme "Indigenous Mushrooms and food security" was organized in the first session in which more than 60 students of the Degree College, Drass and the Higher Secondary School, Drass participated.

The Principal Investigator of the Project and Professor of Botany at the University of Jammu, Dr. Yash Pal Sharma outlined the rationale of celebrating 'Bharat ka Amrit Mahotsav' and described the various achievements of India in the field of Education, Science and Technology, Atmnirbhar Bharat, Digital India, Sports etc.

As said by the Prime Minister of India from the ramparts of the historical Red Fort on India's 75th Independence Day on 15th August 2021,"Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayaas is imperativein realizing the accomplishment of the nation's goals and uplifting the socio-economic standards of the country, Addressing the gathering of the members of the civil society, senior citizens, retired officials and young students at Drass, the second-coldest inhabited place in the world and the epicenter of the Kargil War in 1999,Prof Sharma underscored that how the energetic youth of the young India is engaged in employing every opportunity in realizing the vision of great visionaries, scientists and leaders in the progress and the development of the nation.

On the occasion, prominent citizens including Haji Ismail Sahib (Retd. KAS officer), Prof (Dr.) Haji Mohd. Saleem Mir (Retd. Principal Scientist, SKUAST-K), Haji Fayaz Ahmad Kari (Retd. Pricipal DIET, Kargil), Haji Khurshid Ahmad Principal Higher Secondary School, Drass, Mrs. Najma Banoo, BDC, Chairperson, Drass, Mohd Amin, International Sportsperson and Polo expert, Homli from Delhi, Faculty of the GDC, Drass and GHSS, Drass etc also shared their experience on the India's Independence and glory as well as valourous contributions of the Civil Society of Drass during the Kargil war in the year 1999.

In the painting competition, Khairon Nissa, Sajida Banoo and Tajiron Banoo of the Govt. Degree College, Drass bagged the First, Second and third prize respectively while Mod Ayaz, Saida Banoo and Anayat Ali of Govt. Higher Secondary School, Drass were adjudged First, Second and Third in the competition. Keeping in view the Digital India initiatives, interestingly, for the first time Digital Certificates on behalf of the Director Incharge, G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and the Nodal officer NMHS, Er. Kireet Kumar,were presented to the participants along with the prizes.

In the afternoon a session on the capacity building workshop and training on the ‘diversity and indigenous knowledge on mushrooms towards their cultivation and conservation in Trans Himalayan District of Kargil was organized.

The workshop was attended by the stakeholders who wish to begin their own entrepreneurial venture in mushroom cultivation and their value-added products. Prof Yash Pal Sharma, Dr. Tahir Mehmood and Mr Syed Azhar Hasmi, research fellows gave a detailed overviewthe Diversity and importance of wild mushroom resources and their socio-economic potential in the Himalayan UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

With an ever-increasing population and growing incidence of malnutrition, the wild edible mushrooms can be an alternative source of food security and alleviating nutritional deficiencies prevailing in the population besides extending several health benefits. 

Therefore, there is an ardent need for domestication and cultivation of wild edible mushrooms available in local domains of Kargil. Prof (Dr.) Haji Mohd. Saleem Mir, (retd. Principal Scientist) SKUAST- Kashmir also addressed the participants while Najma Banoo, Chairperson, BDC, Drass informed that she would involve and help create awareness amongst the inhabitants of local panchayats in initiating their startups in mushroom cultivation.

Earlier, Dr. Amjad Ali, The Principal, GDC Drass extended a warm welcome to the visiting team of the Project and expressed his gratitude to the research team of the University of Jammu, NMHS and MoEF&CC led by Prof Yash Pal Sharma, for organizing such awareness programs at GDC Drass, Kargil

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