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Secretary Tourism inaugurates first ever Bird Festival at Pahalgam

PAHALGAM: Secretary, Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez today inaugurated a first of its kind Bird Festival 2022 here today.

The Bird Festival is being organised by the J&K Tourism Department in collaboration with Sanctuary Nature Foundation.

Addressing the large gathering of nature lovers and bird enthusiasts, Sarmad Hafeez said that the partnership of the department with the Sanctuary Nature Foundation will not only help in promoting tourism here but will also bring to fore those aspects of the tourism sector which are yet to be explored.

The Tourism Secretary further highlighted that Kashmir valley is rich in Biodiversity and this festival will certainly play a key role in traversing this incredible Biodiversity and making it one of the favourite destinations for Bird lovers as well as nature enthusiasts.

Sarmad Hafeez, while addressing the bird lovers particularly, called upon them to take as much advantage of this festival as possible and assured them that the department will provide them all possible assistance at each and every point while exploring the rich flora of Kashmir valley.

The inaugural ceremony of the six day Bird Festival was attended by a large number of nature enthusiasts and bird lovers from across the country as well as Jammu and Kashmir.

As part of the inaugural function, a Photo Gallery exhibition, Painting session, MOU Signing, and Logo Unveiling were held at Pahalgam Convention Center. Students from various schools in Pahalgam participated in the artwork and painting. They also enjoyed learning about the different bird species.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Tourism Department and the Sanctuary Nature Foundation. The Logo of the bird fest was also unveiled in presence of the team members of SNF, Local school students, Local stakeholders, and various other aligned departments.

Later, on the sidelines of the inaugural function, Secretary Tourism also held a brief interaction with the media persons.

During the interaction, the Tourism Secretary informed about the significance of this festival. He also gave brief highlights of this six day festival.

As part of the festival, a photo exhibition was held at the Tourist Reception Centre early this week by the Department of Tourism with over 300 school students attending it. The exhibition presented rare as well as common bird species from Jammu & Kashmir.

Some of the birds that were represented in the exhibition included the Tawny Owl, Ibisbill, Kashmir Flycatcher, Barn Owl, and Kalij Pheasant. The students were curious and eager to learn about the birds, along with their Kashmiri names. A quiz competition was also organised, wherein around 50 students took part.

The J&K Bird Festival, 2022 is the first of its kind to link local biodiversity with citizens by organising activities like run for birds, nature photography, capacity building, painting, photo galleries and workshops.

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