Though the Department of Tourism is still working on the rural tourism project for Fazilka,the Graduates Welfare Association of Fazilka (GWAF),an NGO,has been making an independent effort for the past six years to boost rural tourism in the district. The four-day Heritage Festival of Fazilka concluded,on Sunday,and registered close to 5,000 people each day. This was the first heritage festival,after Fazilka attained district status.
Jhoomar,a traditional dance,was the main attraction of the festival apart from the performance by Ibadat – the Fazilka rock band. Food stalls of border area were the main source of income to sustain the festival,which was organised at the Sanjay Gandhi memorial park.
Navdeep Asija,secretary administration of GWAF said,We want to promote the uniqueness of our district. We are making our own efforts to boost tourism,till the time the government takes similar steps. Many NRIs also came to be part of the festival. Vinod Gupta,an NRI from Chicago,gave a donation of $ 250 to GWAF for women empowerment projects.
A stall of old newspapers was also set up in which newspapers published before independence were displayed. Urdu newspaper collection,old coins,art and craft items were also part of the show.
The platform was also used to honour local achievers like Manveen Kaur,an archery expert,Sukhwinder Kaur,multiple winner in wrestling tournaments and Sandhya,who was promoted to rank of Captain in the Army. The main aim of our heritage festival is to promote Fazilkas rich culture and heritage worldwide, said Asija.
The Fazilka heritage festival helped Fazilka establish the countrys first car-free zone and launched Fazilka Ecocab-Nano.