Around 200 students drawn from various government and private schools on Wednesday participated in a first-of-its-kind heritage walk in various areas of historic Shaher-e-Khaas.
The event was organized by M.P. Higher Secondary School, Bagh-e-Dilawar Khan and College of Education, M.A. Road, Srinagar.
Walking through congested interiors of Shaher-e-Khaas, the students covered almost four kilometers—visiting many places of historical and religious importance. The enthused students carried placards with slogans like 'Save Heritage, Save Kashmir'.
Starting from Makhdoom Mandav, the students travelled through Khankah-e-Moulla, Shah-i-Masjid popularly known as Pathar Masjid, Ziyarat Hazrat Sheikh Yaqoob Sarfi, Budshah Tomb Zaina Kadal, Jamia Masjid Nowhatta. The heritage walk culminated at Naqashband Sahab (RA) Khwaja Bazar.
Dr Shafiq Ahmad Shafai, a teacher, narrated the importance of these historical places.
Earlier, eminent Kashmiri satirist, poet and historian, Zareef Ahmad Zareef, who was the Chief Guest of the event, in his typical style underscored the importance of these religious and historical places.
"You must understand the uniqueness in the Kashmiri culture that sets it apart from the rest. Ours is a land of sufi saints whose message was subtle, unambiguous and comforting," Zareef told the students.
Reminding the gathering of the glory of the Babademb, Zareef lamented, "our misdemeanours have inflicted an irrevocable damage not only on our social and moral fabric but our ecosystem as well."
"In our times, rains for instance would bring cheer and comfort on the faces of everyone contrary to what is happening today. Even a light drizzle sends shivers down our spine for fear of floods. The floods of the last year somehow spared us but nature wouldn't be as compassionate always," he said.
"The places you intend to visit today are sacred in their nature that have served us to lead us on a path of piety, inclusiveness and tolerant. The teaching of our sufi saints are in concurrence with what our dear Prophet Muhammad (SAW) taught us, hence they must live in our lives as beacons of light," Zareef said.
Narrating the history of his school, Principal, Nayeem Ahmad Fazili, said, "a walk through our heritage highlights our commitment to preserve our ancientness in all its sanctity."
"The objective of the walk was to sensitize the younger generation about their heritage to inculcate a sense of an understanding of the bygone era where simplicity, sincerity and spirituality were the hallmarks that people lived their life with," Fazli said. Fazal Elahi and Prof. L.S. Sodhi from the College of Education also walked along the students.