Press Trust of india

CRPF holds cultural event at Lal Chowk

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Srinagar: City centre Lal Chowk, which has all along been a hub of political activities of the region, is now becoming a pivot for tourism and cultural activities.

As the CRPF band played various tunes as part of the rehearsal for an event that will be held on Tuesday, tourists and locals assembled in large numbers around the popular landmark that is fast becoming an open-air theatre in Srinagar.

“This is a memorable moment for us, for India that we are witnessing this event here at Lal Chowk, flying the tricolour. We are celebrating Gandhi Jayanti,” Dolly, a tourist from Delhi, said as she watched the rehearsal of women motorcyclists who will be flagged off on an expedition to Kevadia in Gujarat tomorrow.

A group of CRPF women also practised self-defence techniques in hand-to-hand combat at the newly-refurbished public area around the iconic clock tower, locally known as ‘Ghanta Ghar’.

Dolly said it was a very good initiative and should be taken forward to empower women.

“They are being trained well in Karate… it builds confidence in us. We talk about women and men being equal, which is visible here in J&K,” she said. 

Another tourist from Delhi, Mukesh Jain said he never expected to see such a programme at Lal Chowk.

“This is for the first time I am here at Lal Chowk and witnessing this… I never thought I could see this here,” he added.

Ayushi Jain said it was a great experience for her on her first visit to Kashmir.

“Good thing here is to see that the army has given chances to girls … they are performing very well and a great example of women empowerment,” she said

Srinagar CRPF Inspector General Ajay Yadav said Kashmir was undergoing transformation.

“This is new Kashmir, badalta Kashmir, peaceful Kashmir. No doubt, this is a new beginning heralding a new era,” he said.

Yadav said 150 women warriors, part of a motorcycle expedition, will be flagged off from Srinagar, Kanyakumari and Shillong simultaneously on Tuesday. 

“You have seen the rehearsals and tomorrow the women’s bike expedition will start from Srinagar and culminate at Kevadia, Ektanagar (Gujarat) on October 31,” he said.

Yadav said while 50 women will start from Srinagar, an equal number will start from Shillong and Kanyakumari to travel more than 10,000 km to reach Kevaida on October 31.

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