All the roads in the old Srinagar today lead to historical Badamvaer where Jashne Aamad-e-Bahaar, organised by J&K Bank, appeared to herald publicly the arrival of spring in Kashmir.
Hundreds of families relished the precious moments of leisure under the shifting shades of almond trees across the park. Thousands thronged the park; young celebrated, kids had fun and elders turned nostalgic while ruminating over the past.
Festooned with the purple and white blossom across its panoramic landscape, the buzz of gleeful kids breathed verve into the sleepy soul of the park.
The hustle of the event radiated across the Srinagar and later in the afternoon people began to turn up from almost all its corners and beyond. Scores of tourists from outside the state could be spotted striking poses before the fountains, flower beds and almond trees in the afternoon.
Notably, J&K Bank has revived and restored the glory of Badamvaer under its Heritage Preservation Programme.
In the morning, Chairman and CEO J&K Bank Mushtaq Ahmad inaugurated the event by unveiling the black-stone, titled ‘Badamvaer in History’, upon which a brief historical overview of the park in English as well as Urdu has been inscribed. Present on the occasion were Executive Presidents, Tafazal Hussain, Sahibzada Ghulam Mohiuddin and Parvez Ahmad, Presidents, Meera Jamwal, Shafat Banday, Vagish Chander, Abdul Rashid, Nayeemullah, Mohammad Syed Wani, R. K. Shah & S. K. Bhat Vice-Presidents and other officials of the Bank.
Speaking on the occasion Chairman said, “Places like Badamvaer rejuvenate our cultural and spiritual collective and this initiative is one of the expressions of our commitment towards the cultural and emotional health of the people of this state. We have tried our best to restore its traditional and cultural essence using quite modern means in the process as well.
“People have their deeper emotional equity invested in J&K Bank and we shall leave no stone unturned to come up to their expectations, always”, he added.
The Chairman also unveiled a poem-in-stone titled Badamvaer that noted poet and humorist, Zareef and Zareef, has dedicated to the place evoking the cultural past of people vividly besides hailing the role of J&K Bank in its rejuvenation. Zareef recited the poem and talked in detail about the popular history of the place.
Hailing the role of Bank in its restoration, he observed, “Only conscientious people can appreciate the profound import of this social responsibility that J&K Bank has undertaken and successfully discharged.”
The attraction of the event was the amphi-theater that resounded with the musical performances followed by thunderous applauses by the renowned Kashmiri singers like Abdul Rashid Hafiz, Mohammad Abdullah Shaksaaz and Gulzar Ahmad Ganie. Chinar Boys Orchestra, a musical band performed some popular Kashmiri songs to the delight of jam-packed audience of men, women and children that ran into hundreds.
Besides the music, boys and girls from Greenland Educational Institute (Hawal), Tibetian Public School (Hawal) and Sane Kids Secondary School (Gojwara) presented few cultural programmes on the stage.
Shortly after the cultural programmes, Chairman J&K Bank announced a donation of 5 computer systems each for the three participating schools.
The aura of fun and festivity continued throughout the day and permeated beyond the confines of Badamvaer into the very heart of old city.
People hailed the J&K Bank initiative and expressed deep sense of belonging and gratitude towards it.
Peer Ghulam Rasool, a teacher by profession said, “Connecting people back to their historical essence and to each other is quite an enterprising task that J&K Bank has shouldered well to its destiny. The institution really deserves applause for such a grounded and responsible organisational behavior.”
More than 30,000 people had already visited the park by 5 p.m. and many more kept streaming in.