Srinagar: Neha Austin, a first-year student of Fashion Communication at National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Srinagar, says that when students of fashion mix up with different cultures, they end up learning a lot of things from each other.
“It was a nice experience to compete in a friendly manner with local students and students from different places enrolled at NIFT,” she said at the culmination of the two-day youth festival organised at the NIFT on Thursday.
The campus was abuzz with the vibrant hub of youth engagement through its diverse range of sports and cultural activities. NIFT Srinagar, which has pan India students enrolled at the campus, attracted students from 10 other schools, colleges, and universities, resulting in a fascinating intermixing of different cultures.
The youth festival organised ahead of the 3rd Tourism Group Meeting of G20 to be hosted by India in Srinagar brought together students from NIFT Srinagar and 10 different participating institutions, offering them an opportunity to display their skills and creativity across a range of cultural, literary, and sports activities.
The festival, organised with the aim of providing a platform for young talent, commenced with great enthusiasm. The vibrant atmosphere resonated with cheers, applause, and the participation of students eager to exhibit their prowess in a diverse array of disciplines.
“Through involvement in various programmes, students have been exposed to the rich tapestry of cultures across India, enabling them to learn and grow together,” said Rashid Aijaz, a student from the Physical Education Department of the Central University of Kashmir (CUK) who was participating in basketball championship with his team.
“We came here with a motive to win but after reaching here and interacting with other students, we learned so many things from the students from other states,” he said.
The engagement of local students in these events has been particularly valuable who expressed their gratitude for the exposure they have gained by participating in the diverse range of activities at NIFT Srinagar.
“Not only boys but the participation of girls from different schools and universities has proven that girls can also excel in all the fields apart from academics if they are provided a better platform,” Aijaz said.
The campus witnessed an array of sports competitions where students from different institutions showcased their skills and sportsmanship.
“These events have not only fostered healthy competition but also served as a platform for fostering friendships and cultural exchange,” said Afreen, a class 10th student of Life School, Chrar-e-Shareef.
“We rarely get the opportunity to showcase our sports talent as our activities remain confined to the campus itself. But the two-day youth festival of NIFT gave us exposure and we interacted with university students and students of different states enrolled at the NIFT Srinagar campus,” she said.
In addition to sports, NIFT Srinagar organised a plethora of cultural activities like music and dance performances, and quiz competitions. Director NIFT Srinagar Dr Javid Ahmad Wani said apart from teachers, students have a lot to learn and share with each other.
"If this is done through extra-curricular activities with a conducive environment, the learning outcomes are amazing. This is what NIFT is trying to do here," he said.
“The inclusive nature of these events has helped students break barriers and forge connections, leading to a holistic learning experience beyond the classroom,” said Faiqa, another school student.