Anantnag: To ensure Swacch and Sugam Amarnath Yatra, several initiatives, namely Yatra Mitra, Kooda Do, River Cleaning, and Free Sanitary Pads Distribution, were launched on Thursday at Panchtarni.
Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary IAS, Secretary Tribal Affairs Department, CEO Mission Youth and Yatra Incharge Pahalgam Axis and Dr Piyush Singla IAS, Deputy Commissioner Anantnag launched the initiatives.
At the outset, Thakur Sher Singh JKAS, Camp Director Panchtarni, apprised the Visitng Officers about the various initiatives taken by the Team - Panchtarni for cleanliness and sanitation of the campus, safe disposal of solid waste, protection of Environment and effective management of the Yatra.
The programme was started with the participants taking the Panchtarni Pledge on the banks of Panchtarni River.
“WE HEREBY TAKE THE PANCHTARNI PLEDGE TO MAKE THE PANCH TATTVA - AIR, WATER, EARTH, FIRE & SPACE AT PANCHTARNI POLLUTION FREE.”
"Panchtarni, an eponymous meadow and valley, lies on the banks of Panchtarni River, and is surrounded by magnificent mountains. It derives its name from the confluence of five glacial tributaries believed to have originated from the matted hair of Bhagwan Shiv. The participants pledged to make the five elements of this picturesque place pollution free," said Thakur Sher Singh.
This was followed by cleaning of the river by almost 300 persons including the officers, officials both from security and civil, sanitation workers from Everest Pro, Quickmen Services, Bhutani International, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board and SWAAHA.
Kooda Do campaign followed next, under which garbage or kooda was collected from different establishments at Panchtarni, such as Langar tents, Shops, etc.
The third initiative of the day was free distribution of sanitary napkins among the female yatris and workers. The noble initiative, being first of its kind in the Amarnath Yatra, aimed to create sensitisation about periods, and menstrual health and hygiene.
Towards the end of the day, the officials held Bada Khana with sanitary workers alongwith an interaction with Yatra Mitras, the young local volunteers.
Yatra Mitras, and Sanitation Workers felt elevated, motivated and enthusiastic with the presence of visiting officers.
Both, Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary and Dr. Piyush Singla appreciated the efforts, dedication and motivation of Team-Panchtarni for setting new benchmark in cleanliness and sanitation, management of yatra, handling disaster and taking new initiatives which has made Yatra more Saral and Sugam.
Others present on the occasion were Jatinder Gupta CO 49BN, Yatra Officer SP Surinder Choudhary, Addl. Camp Directors Sanjay Gupta, Deepak Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Nodal Officer Sanitation Jahid Azad, Magistrate Manzoor Wani, Maj Vipin COY, 2IC ITBP Rana, Commander 2/11 GR, Cap Khurana CRPF, SHO Panjtarni Nazir Ahmed, officers from NDRF, SDRF and other civil departments.