Include mountaineering as a subject in curriclum: Azad

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Srinagar, May 15 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad highlighted the need for introducing mountaineering as a subject in curriculum to create interest among the younger generation about nature's gift.

Addressing the inaugural 3-day function of year-long golden jubilee celebrations of Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) here, today Mr Azad said Jammu and Kashmir has the best mountains of the world and introduction of mountaineering in curriculum would help in better appreciation of mountains and sensitise the younger generation about environment conservation.

He felt that this should have been in focus much earlier. He said the presence of huge mountains could place the youth of the State in better stead to give lead in mountaineering.

Mr Azad said the State offered much potential for promotion of adventure sports that needs to be optimally tapped for generating greater avenues of employment and activating economy.

He said Jammu and Kashmir had the rare combination of places both for adventure and leisure tourism.

Snow clad mountains not only add to the scenic splendour and help keep the climate soothing in summers but also serve as our protectors, he said.

''We should be proud of our mountains and there was need to explore these,'' he added.

The Chief Minister congratulated the IMF and its functionaries for choosing Kashmir as the venue for holding its golden jubilee inaugural function and suggested for organizing the concluding function here as well.

He also thanked the IMF for setting up of its centre at Leh and urged for creating such a facility at Srinagar also.

He said this would attract mountaineers from within Jammu and Kashmir and neighbouring states.

He also asked the concerned authorities to revive the store facility to provide state-of-the-art mountaineering equipment.

Referring to the efforts being made for revival of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Minister said the State was participating in several travel marts all over to woo domestic and foreign tourists.

Underlining the need for creating new attractions to prolong their stay in the State, he said, promotion of mountaineering related activities could be one of such attractions.

The Chief Minister launched posters in English and Urdu on saving Himalayas besides inaugurating a photo exhibition on the subject.

A power point presentation on the activities of IMF was also made on the occasion.

UNI BAS RKM US1759

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