Srinagar: To celebrate International Mountain Day, Indian Mountain running Association organised a mountain running event on Shankar Acharya Mountain hills in Srinagar today. The Veteran Athletes of Kashmir valley also participated in the run. The run was flagged off by Secretary General India Mountain Running Association (IMRA) Rifat Abdullah who also participated in the event to celebrate International Mountain Day. Some students and tourists also participated in the event. Veteran Athletes, Students and Tourists were holding placards in their hand to send a message that mountains play an important role in the overall beauty of Kashmir valley. The participants appealed that mountains should be saved and its defacement must be avoided. Notably, many mountains have been defaced in Kashmir valley and they have turned into stone queries. Addressing the participants, Rifat Abdullah who is also member of J&K State Sports council and former National Athlete said that Kashmir is called paradise on earth because of its beauty and mountains also contribute in making the place a best tourist destination in the world. “”we must promote Eco tourism, Mountain Running, trekking, hiking, mountain climbing, mountain biking and mountaineering to send a message that mountains are important for us” Rifat added. Veteran National Athletes who have made their mark in Athletes were of the opinion that many events must be organised annually on mountains to spread a message for its preservation. Gulzar Ahmad Khan, Tejinder Singh, Sonu Singh, Asif Vakeel, Rouf Ahmad, Mukhtar Ahmad and Mushtaq Ahmad were among the vetran athletes who participated in the event.
This year, the celebration of this Day aims to highlight Mountain Cultures. Mountains host communities with ancient cultures and traditions, and are places of religious worship, pilgrimage and rituals all over the world. The concept of traditional heritage, culture and spirituality is intrinsically linked with peoples’ livelihoods in the mountains, where it is often traditional lifestyles that determine the way people make a living and subsist.
A large proportion of the world’s minority populations live in mountain areas. While most of these consist of small numbers of people, some large groups exist, such as the Quechua in the Andes, the Amhara people in Ethiopia, and the Tibetans and Yi in China. Isolation, created by the rugged topographic barriers, has helped create and maintain many diverse cultures relatively intact. Unfortunately, the stability of mountain populations, each with different values and belief systems, is threatened by migration, urbanization and conflict.
Mountain peoples have long held vital roles in the management of their ecosystems. Over the centuries, they have developed remarkable land-use systems, climate change adaptation approaches, traditional diets and mountain products