“Will miss Mysore Masala Dosa and Idli”
Mysore/Mysuru: All good things must come to an end and so was the case for the Kashmiri students, whose tour of the heritage city, held as part of ‘Kashmiri Youth Exchange Programme’ concluded last evening with a valedictory event at the Youth Hostel premises in Saraswathipuram here.
The Exchange programme, held under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, with the theme, ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat,’ in association with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYK), Mysuru, began on Mar. 6.
Around 132 Kashmiri youth from six districts — Anantnag, Kupwara, Baramulla, Budgam, Srinagar and Pulwama — got an opportunity to witness the art, culture, environment, food habits and lifestyles of the people in Mysuru. They were taken on a tour to the Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hill, the century-old University of Mysore and industrial plant visits in Nanjangud.
Many self help groups like Sri Chamundeshwari Swasahaya Sangha and Annapoorneshwari Swasahaya Sangha, Vijayanagar, had organised a unique event ‘Atithi Satkara’ wherein these Kashmiri students were taken on visit to the houses in Vijayanagar 3rd Stage. The students interacted with the residents there, got to taste local cuisines and enjoyed playing games and other cultural events including Antakshari and then eating contests too.
Addressing the youth at the valedictory event, Mysuru DC Abhiram G. Sankar said, “Every region in the country has its own diverse culture, language, food habits, etc. Your visit to Mysuru city has broadened your horizons, a very good initiative by the Ministry. This diversity is what makes India unique.”
City Police Commissioner Dr. Chandragupta, speaking on the occasion, reminisced his visit to Kashmir as a student at a similar student exchange programme. In his message to the students, he said, “You might become an engineer, doctor or a scientist, but your first duty is to become a responsible citizen. What is it that you can do to contribute to the nation’s development is a thought which should always keep tickling your mind.” Such programmes give exposure to students across the nation to understand the diversity of the country, the Commissioner said.
Some of the Kashmiri students — Akib Nazir of Budgam and Srinagar’s Najma Bashir and Hussain — shared their experiences with the audience at the event. They said, ‘If the State Government allows us, we will stay in Mysuru itself. We loved the environment, culture and the tourist spots here. Mysureans are lucky, they live amidst such serene environment, great weather and rich culture. We loved the traditional welcome accorded to us on the first day, especially with folk arts like Dollu Kunitha and Veeragaase. The industrial set-ups here are noteworthy. Hope such industries come up in our State too. The warm and welcoming nature of the localites overwhelmed us. We loved eating Idli and Mysore Masala Dosa. We will definitely miss that when we go back to Kashmir,’ the students said with a smile and asked the audience and the dignitaries to come visit Kashmir soon.
The Kashmiri students were presented mementoes along with certificates, the royal Mysore Peta and a shawl at the valedictory. NYKS Assistant Director D. Dayanand, Jain George, NYK State Director Atul J. Nikam, NYK District Youth Coordinator S. Siddaramappa, Sai Gurukul President N. Santosh and others were present.