Mission Lal Ded In Kashmir

Mission Lal Ded In Kashmir

5 May 2012
DNA
Ishfaq ul Hassan

Srinagar: Revered poetess Lal Ded, who penned the popular Kashmiri song Bhumroo Bhumroo, is quite likely to be resurrected in the minds of Kashmiris, thanks to an initiative undertaken by the Omar government. The government is converting the Lal Ded Memorial School of Dina Nath Nadeem, named after the poetess, into a heritage monument. The poem went on to form the essence of the hit song Bhumbroo Bhumbroo from the Hrithik Roshan starrer-Mission Kashmir. Situated on the banks of Jhelum, Lal Ded Memorial School of Dina Nath Nadeem is expected to be the biggest draw for tourists in Srinagar city. The government has organised a river cruise in Jhelum for tourists who will be taken around historic places like Budshah graveyard and the shrine of Hazrat Shah Hamdan, besides the School. An Inland River Water Transport project has also commenced on a trial basis in Jhelum, from Zero Bridge to Chattabal, to reduce traffic in the city. “Lal Ded School will be converted into Lal Ded center of art and culture where history, crafts and culture of Srinagar will be displayed”, says Mohammad Saleem Beg, President of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Kashmir. Lal Ded School was established by Dina Nath Nadim in 1947. But in 2008, a portion of the building was demolished to make way for a shopping complex. “We stepped in and saved it from further destruction. We fought back and it got acquired by the tourism department. Now, it will house the artifacts and write-ups. It will be an organic institution. The center will also have photo gallery,” says Beg. The hallmark of the centre is Nadim’s works, which will be on display. “Where Nadim’s works will be displayed, it will have her name at the top. Plus, various facets of crafts will also be displayed at the centre,” says Beg. Divisional Commmisioner Kashmir Asghar Samoon says the next step would be to arrange for water transport from Pantha Chowk to Chattabal and later, from Khanabal to Khadniyaar. “Soon a Shikara (small boat) marathon would be organised from Pantha Chowk to Chattabal and new initiatives like floating restaurants and cargo boast would be deployed”, he says.