Six day Kashmir Lavender Festival and Art Camp inaugurated at
Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Srinagar
Kashmir - 24th June 2014: Six day Kashmir Lavender Festival and Art Camp was inaugurated today at Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Srinagar. The festival which will conclude on 29 th June, 2014 is being organized for the first time in Jammu & Kashmir to showcase and highlight the indigenous rich biodiversity of medicinal and aromatic plants and will especially focus on the frontline aromatic crops like Lavender, Rose, Rosemary etc. for which the institute has already developed end to end technologies and can prove an asset in employment and revenue generation in the state. This will also create new training opportunities for the youth in the value addition of aroma products.
The event was jointly inaugurated by Dr Jyotsna Singh, Director, Dara Shikoh Centre for Arts and Dr Tej Pratap, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST (Kashmir). In her remarks Dr Jyotsna Singh appreciated the unique idea of bringing together Lavender festival and live painting demonstration by the eminent artists from J&K state.
In his key note Dr Ramakant Harlalka, CEO Shankubaba Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai, said that this festival will open new business avenues for the farmers and entrepreneurs and will have positive effect on the economy of the state. He informed the audience that the origin of Lavender festival is in France and now it is being celebrated in Australia, USA and UK. In these countries now even individual farmers organize Lavender festivals in their farms and earn a lot of money. He further said that in Kashmir valley, in addition to Lavender festival in the month of July, festivals dedicated to Tulips, Rose and saffron can also be organized which will depict essence of J&K state in the form of colors, smell and taste.
Dr Tej Pratap in his presidential remarks appreciated the lead taken by IIIM in organizing the first ever Lavender festival in the country. He also said that this event will help developing Kashmir Lavender as an international brand. He further stated that that the event would be of equal interest to the general public and students for getting a firsthand knowledge about these high value crops and the existing opportunities in this area.
Earlier, Dr Ram Vishwakarma, Director CSIR-IIIM while welcoming the guests and invited dignitaries said that this event will help in bringing together entrepreneurs, farmers, general public, tourists, students and industrialists at a single platform. During days to follow, the event will feature self guided free farm tours, regional painters' Art Camp which will include live painting demonstrations of aromatic crops and natural landscape, on the spot painting competition for school children, free demos of end to end technologies of value added aroma products and more.
During the six day event, the visitors to the festival will also be taken to the experimental fields of IIIM in Yarikha (Tangmarg) and Bonera (Pulwama) to actually see the Lavender and Bulgarian rose growing in tens of hectares of land and see the distillation process. In addition regular lectures and video shows will also be organized for the visitors on tips for growing lavender, International Lavender & Rose Festivals, How to make lavender edible, and medicinal and aromatic wealth of Kashmir.
Another attraction of the event is the on-the-spot painting competition for school students in sub junior, Junior & senior category with nature as theme.
The inaugural function ended with formal vote of thanks proposed by Dr Y S Bedi, Head IIIM Branch, Srinagar.