First Lavender Festival of India concludes in Kashmir valley

Srinagar: A valedictory function was organized at the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Srinagar to mark the completion of a six day Kashmir Lavender Festival and Art Camp which was inaugurated on 24th June, 2014. Dr. O. P. Sharma, Chief Conservator Forest, Eco-Tourism was the Chief Guest and Dr. Shah Faesal, Deputy Commissioner, Bandipora, was the Guest of Honour on the occasion.

Kashmir Lavender Festival and Art Camp was the first of its kind organised in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. The festival showcased and highlighted indigenous rich biodiversity of medicinal and aromatic plants with focus on the frontline aromatic crops like Lavender, Rose, and Rosemary etc. for which the institute has already developed end to end technologies and can prove to be an asset for employment and revenue generation in the State.

Dr. O. P. Sharma, in his valedictory address highlighted the importance of holding such events for the benefit of farmers, entrepreneurs and public at large. He welcomed the idea of IIIM to make this event an annual affair.

Dr. Shah Faesal visited the Art camp/painting gallery and appreciated the paintings made by artists and children of different schools. He also visited different stalls & interacted with local entrepreneurs. Dr. Faesal congratulated IIIM for this initiative and said that cultivation of this high value crop will go a long way in contributing to the economy of the State besides creating job opportunities.

On the occasion, Tasaduq Jeelani, Director Information J&K was presented the award of honour by Dr. Y.S. Bedi, Head, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Branch Srinagar for his outstanding contribution for wider publicity of the festival through electronic and print media and help making the festival a success, the award was received by Dr. Farukh Paul, Information Officer on his behalf.

National Welfare Forum (NGO) was also given the award of honour for their excellent performance as the event manager for the festival.

Earlier, Dr Y. S. Bedi, Head, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Branch Srinagar welcomed the dignitaries and presented an overview of various activities conducted during  six day lavender festival, that included live demonstration of paintings  of folk, realistic, semi-realistic, abstract and conceptual art using different media; on the spot painting competition by students, video shows, lectures on Lavender and self-guided tours of lavender fields, and display & demonstration of innovative value added aroma products. 

During the valedictory function prizes and certificates were also distributed among the winners of the painting competition, while mementos were presented to the artists, entrepreneurs and departments for their active participation in the exhibition. Mrs. Nusrat Jahan Ara, CEO of Himalayan Agro Farms was adjudged the best entrepreneur for value addition of Aroma.

The valedictory function ended with a formal vote of thanks by Dr. Qazi Parvaiz Hassan, Scientist IIIM Branch, Srinagar.