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Nov 25, 2023

On 25 th November, 2023 the HELP Foundation in collaboration with Aab-e-
Rawan organized “Harud Festival”. Harud, the autumn season, in Kashmir has
its own significance. It is a golden period of contentment and abundance when
farmers get rewarded of their sweat and toil. The landscape gets transformed
into a mesmerising panorama as leaves turn into vibrant hues of red, orange and
yellow. Harud arrives as a prelude to winter. In order to honour this blessing of
nature “Harud Festival” was organized. Moreover, the objective was also to
acquaint the younger generation with their rich culture and heritage.The chief guests of the event were Ms. Nighat Shafi Pandit, chairperson HELP Foundation and Zareef Ahmad Zareef, a renowned Kashmiri poet and writer.

The event was attended by many dignitaries including Mohammad Shafi
Pandit - the first Muslim IAS officer of Kashmir, Aamina Asad – Chief
Designer at School of Designs, RJ Vijdhan, Khair-un-Nisa – the chairperson
CWC, Mohammad Adil Ahsan – Srinagar Branch Manager SIDBI and well-
known personalities from theatre. The event was extensively covered by the
print and electronic media.The event started in the exploration of “Shehr-e-Khaas” and then the group of around 65 girl students from Eves Garden School and Al-Banaat Educational Institute reached Bait-ul-Meeras (The house of Heritage), Aali Kadal. Here in
Bait-ul-Meeras, they first had a talk show with Zareef Ahmad Zareef, an iconic
revolutionary Kashmiri writer, poet and satirist. He reflected on the season and
brought to light the significance of Autumn in Kashmiri culture. Through his
engaging discourse, he not only celebrated the visual beauty of Autumn but also
illuminated the deeper layers of cultural meaning embedded in this transitional
period. He also familiarized kids with the rich culture of Kashmir.

After that the students of Eves Garden school and Al Banaat Educational
Institute performed traditional and rhythmic dance of Kashmir - “Rouf”. Their
performance was a delightful treat to watch. The event was then enthralled by
the performance of Sufiyana Music Singers. Sufiyana music, devotional folk
songs, with the old charm setting reconnected the audience with the past. The
soul stirring poetry was a treat to the listeners.

On the event, our artisans showcased their exceptional craftsmanship. They
exhibited and demonstrated various crafts of Kashmir like Crewel Aari work,
Staple Aari work, Sozni work, Pashmina Spinning, Pashmina weaving, Carpet
weaving, Pottery, Copper work, Turquoise art, Papier mache and Calligraphy.
The students and the guests interacted with artisans and took the knowledge of
various Kashmiri crafts.

In the concluding section, the kids and dignitaries were felicitated with
certificates. All the guests then visited gallery, which is housing the old
artefacts. They all got a glimpse of the rich culture and heritage of Kashmir. The
event concluded successfully with a greeting,

We care for children, protect their welfare, and prepare them for the future.