Leh: The first-ever Khelo India Zanskar Winter Sports and Youth Festival 2021, organised by the Department of Youth Services and Sports in collaboration with Department of Tourism, was flagged off on Monday at Nimoo Sangam.
A24-member trekking team comprising MP Ladakh, Chairman LAHDC Leh, Councillor Cha, started the three-day Chadar trek from Nimoo on the opening day. They will be joined by a four-member team of Border Road Organisation (BRO) to inspect the strategic Nimoo-Padum- Darcha road.
The festival will end on January 30. Various activities and adventure sports, including ice skiing, ice skating, ice hockey, Chadar trek, snow biking and archery, local food festival, would be conducted during the 13-day festival.
Earlier, the flag-off ceremony was attended by Member of Parliament (MP), Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal; Chairman, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, Tashi Gyaltsan; Secretary, Youth Services and Sports, Ladakh, Ravinder Kumar; Director, Tourism, Ladakh, Kunzes Angmo; Assistant Director, Tourism, Ladakh, Jigmet Namgyal; Additional Deputy Commissioner, Leh, Sonam Chosjor; Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Leh, Rajiv Pandey; Executive Councillor, LAHDC, Leh, Stanzin Chospel; Councillor, LAHDC, Kargil, Stanzin Lakpa.
Officials from Indian Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Border Road Organisation (BRO), heads of socio-religious organizations, and members of All Ladakh Hotel and Guest Houses Association (ALHGHA), and All Ladakh Tour Operators Association (ALTOA), were also present on the occasion.
Ladakh MP said that the Zanskar Winter Sports and Youth Festival would provide a boost to the tourism and economy of Zanskar. He also expressed hope to see young talented sportspersons from Ladakh playing at the top national and international level in the future.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman, LAHDC, Leh, Tashi Gyaltsan, shared that the objective of the event is to promote Zanskar and Ladakh as a winter tourism destination. He added that the event would help to bring out the hidden talent of youth from the region. The event, according to him, would open Ladakh for tourism throughout the year.
Secretary, Sports, Ravinder Kumar, shared that Zanskar Winter Festival is the first event under the Khelo India that is being conducted at a rural and remote area such as Zanskar. He thanked the Government of India and all the concerned departments for organising the 13-day event.
Director, Tourism, Kunzes Angmo, shared that the new initiative will open new avenues for winter tourism in Ladakh.