Army extends support to 50 Kupwara families for sustainable livelihood

Srinagar October 22 (KNS): Indian Army, TYCIA Foundation and SIDBI in joint collaboration have initiated Project Jazba with an aim of a holistic development of local communities, promoting sustainable tourism, boost the economic growth, cultural preservation and  empowerment of families across the region. The collaborative efforts of the Indian Army and other stake holders have culminated in a project designed to uplift 50 families by providing them sustainable livelihood opportunities mainly in the tourism sector.  Under Project Jazba each beneficiary has been provided with a support of upto Rs 40,000/- by SIDBI aimed at uplifting the marginalised sections of society and establish a means of livelihood.

Of the 50 families, nine families have been facilitated with fully furnished homestays. These comfortable and culturally authentic accommodations will offer tourists a chance to experience the local way of life up close. The families will receive training in hospitality and customer service to ensure a pleasant stay for visitors. One family has been earmarked and trained for community kitchen to cater for the requirements of guests staying in these accn. This family will be trained in various delicacies retaining the flavor of Kashmir. Three families have been supported in establishing roadside cafeterias. These cafeterias will serve local and traditional cuisine, allowing travelers to indulge in authentic flavors while taking a break during their journeys.

 In addition, four families have been equipped with horses, enabling them to offer guided horseback tours to tourists. These tours provide a unique opportunity for visitors to explore the picturesque landscapes of Kashmir while enjoying a traditional mode of transportation. One family has received support to setup a beauty parlor, catering to the grooming and beauty needs of tourists. Also, two families have been empowered to run petty shops, offering local products and souvenirs. Six families have been provided with musical equipment, allowing them to perform traditional music and cultural performances for tourists. Four of them have been equipped with All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) which would be utilised to conduct guided tours across challenging terrain to tourists. Provision of cows & sheep to five families will assist them in Dairy & Wool production and thereby earn livelihood.

 Three households have been facilitated with kids play station to entertain and engage the children by enhancing the overall family tourism experience while one family has been provided with a zorbing ball, where visitors can roll down slopes while enclosed in a giant inflatable ball. This project reaffirms commitment of Indian Army to uplift local communities by offering sustainable livelihood opportunities and promoting the cultural and natural heritage of the region. All the locals heaped praise on the efforts of Indian Army in facilitating them earn their livelihood thereby contributing towards nation bldg.(KNS)

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