Press Trust of india

NIFT gives Budgam walls facelift with paintings depicting local aesthetics

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Budgam: National Institute of Fashion Technology-Srinagar has undertaken a two-pronged mission to beautify the walls and buildings in Budgam and promote the district’s arts and crafts through wall paintings.

“As the premier design institute of the country, NIFT has taken the initiative to beautify Kashmir, especially the outskirts. In Srinagar, we have seen many wall paintings, but in Budgam, we have not seen any,” Gulistan, Assistant Professor in Fashion designing at NIFT, said.

“We have two motives — beautifying the walls of district Budgam and promoting the crafts of Kashmir which have been neglected by the younger generation,” she said.

The faculty member said under its initiative, the NIFT is going to beautify walls in Budgam as the institution is located here.

“So we have started from this college in Budgam. In this artwork, we have shown different crafts of Kashmir. We wanted people, especially the younger generation, to continue these crafts because these crafts are dying. We need to promote it, it is our duty to keep it alive,” said Gulistan, referring to a painting on one of the walls of the institute.

“The next painting will depict the beauty of Kashmir, different seasons of Kashmir. As you know tulips grow in April, Chinar leaves fall during autumn. So we have shown Kashmiri women during the fall season to promote women empowerment,” she added.

Students who are working on these wall paintings are equally excited about the project.

“I come from Srinagar, the main city. We can see the flyover and the walls are beautified and painted over there (in Srinagar). Since our college is in Budgam, we went to this government college and we beautified these walls. The theme is Kashmir — as you can see, we have women in Kashmiri garments, Chinar leaves, Dal Lake, tulip garden, all those things,” Maria, a Kashmiri student at NIFT, said.

Maria said it is very important that the surroundings which the students are in have an aesthetic.

“Students here should feel like they are in a beautiful place. It should look beautiful from outside as well. Kashmir is heaven on earth, paradise on earth. So why not beautify it more!” she said.

Neel Jina, a NIFT student from Kerala, said he is excited about knowing the local culture and traditions as he goes about painting walls.

“This is my first year. Looking at Budgam, it seems pale… we have to make it colourful. As a design student, I think it is our responsibility to make our places look good. I come from Kerala which is at the other end of the country. It is so exciting to see the culture and main attractions of Kashmir.

“For the newcomers, we would like to introduce the local crafts and whatever is traditional in Kashmir to them. Traditions should be preserved… we are on a mission to make it a great success,” Jina said.

Residents of Budgam appreciated the effort and said these projects need to be taken to all towns and tehsil headquarters of the district.

“I was passing through this area… It is a nice step but it should not be limited to Budgam town. There are other tehsils like Magam, Beerwah, Chadoora, and Chrar-e-Sharief. It should be done in every town and tehsil of the district. I liked it very much. It is very beautiful,” Abid Banda, a resident of Beerwah Tehsil, said.


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