Baramulla (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 7 (ANI): To motivate and inspire the youth of Kashmir, the Dagger Division of the Indian Army organised a one-day cultural event namely "Umeed Ki Sehar" at the border area of Uri in Baramulla district of North Kashmir that witnessed the participation of Bollywood celebrities Vicky Kaushal and Sonal Chauhan.
Speaking to ANI, actor Vicky Kaushal said, "Very happy to come to Kashmir, to Uri. I did a film on Uri but never got an opportunity to visit the place. This is my first visit to Uri. I have waited for this opportunity for long and I am very thankful to Vats sir, to the Indian Army. In the future as well, I will keep on searching for reasons to visit the place."
The actor further said, "It was lovely to see the camaraderie between the people and the Army. Received a lot of warmth and the performances by school students really made my heart smile. Whenever you meet the Army, you get to hear a lot of fascinating stories. I always look forward to hearing such stories. I also look forward to come to Kashmir again for the shoot of an upcoming film next year."
"I got an opportunity to visit Uri and be a part of this wonderful cultural festival organised by the Indian Army today. The best thing is that me and Vicky are the first among actors to visit Uri. I am feeling very proud. I would like to thank the Indian Army for this wonderful opportunity. I am taking some very special memories with me from this place and I shall definitely tell everybody how beautiful the place is. I would also request people to visit Kashmir to witness its beauty," actress Sonal Chauhan also told ANI.
Varinder Vats, General Officer Commanding (GOC), Dagger Division, Major General, said, "A few days ago a festival was organised in Baramulla, then in Gulmarg. The people of Uri requested to organise a similar festival here as well. The people here have a very deep relation with the Indian Army. Many people say that the talented youth of Uri remains deprived of a platform because all big events are organised in main cities.
"This time when we organised this festival, we reached out to our friends in the Indian film industry, and they very thankfully consented to come to Uri to motivate the youth. We saw very enthusiastic participation from the locals. The presence of two of our guests, Vicky Kaushal and Sonal Chauhan also inspired the younger generation."
Vats further stated that after such robust participation of the youth, more such events will be organised in remote areas of Kashmir and the youngsters will continue to get inspired towards positivity.
A visitor who had come to attend the festival said, "I am from Kashmir but I have visited Uri for the first time. Such events keep on happening in Srinagar but such a festival taking place in Uri is a big thing. Organising such events sends a very positive message to the youth of Kashmir that the Indian Army is providing them with a platform to showcase their talent and they are open to many opportunities and can achieve their goals."
Another Uri resident said that more such programs should be organised so that the youth of Kashmir gets encouraged to showcase their talent. (ANI)