The two days event, Ladakhi Kisan-Jawan-Vigyan Mela held on August 09-10 at Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), Leh organised by DIHAR was the 21st time since inception began on around 10:30am. The inaugural function was attended by an estimate 500 spectators and another few hundred partake in the exhibit as the day proceeds.
The Chief Guest for the event was Dr, Ravi Kumar Gupta, Director of Public Interface, DRDO Headquarter, New Delhi and Prof. Salim Mir, Associate Director, SKUAST; J&K was the guest of honour. Other dignitaries present were: P. Namgyal, former MP and a minister; RD Officers; Brigadier Bhatt, Commandant 153GH; Army Officers; Staffs and Officers from State administration, and the Executive Councillors from LAHDC.
The inaugural function began with the traditional custom of lighting auspicious lamp by the Chief guest and Guest of honour, which was followed by a speech, delivered by Director DIHAR, Guest of Honour and the Chief Guest. The respective guests were shortly presented a memento by Director DIHAR for participating and to grace the event. Around 12pm the Guests formally inaugurated the 21st Ladakhi Kisan-Jawan-Vigyan Mela and took long walk through 'Vegetable Research Unit' farm and the 'Hall of Scientific Excellence' where various flora and fauna of Ladakh, scientifically raised at DIHAR and its products was on put on show for public awareness. The spectators followed the suite. And, of course usual festivity of food stalls, knowledge stalls by different environmental department, game stalls and music enticed more spectators.
In his welcome address, Dr. R.P Srivastvava, a Scientist and Director DIHAR acknowledged the guest and the audiences and welcomed everyone. He said; ''The popularity of the event has grown so much that it has become a calendar event of LAHDC. Every year, the mela is observed on the same day"."The main purpose of this mela is to take the research works carried out at DIHAR’s lab to the field and to bring the farmers, army and the social community on one platform in these two days". Furthermore, "Products from different technical agencies, collaborators and universities from the state, even from few entrepreneurs, which help in overall development of Ladakh, are on display. It's also a good place for interaction amongst them" he added.
He briefed about the achievements of DIHAR and said; "DIHAR, Leh is considered as one the finest laboratories under the DRDO. DRDO’s mandate is not just to provide arms and ammunitions to the Army, but to keep fit the human resources, deployed at remote borders, to encourage and motivate them and also to provide health and food security".
He continued: "15-20 years back only 5-6 kinds of vegetable could grow in the region, technology wasn’t sufficient to grow much of vegetation. Now we can say with pride that with the researches and inventions done at DIHAR, with the help of army and farmers; last year 101 varieties of vegetable were grown in the region and held Limca Book of world record. The vegetable are made available to the Army and the locals".
Prof. Salim Mir, Associate Director, SKUAST, J&K briefed his speech taking about the importance of DIHAR to the Ladakh community. He also spoke about the importance of protected cultivation and micro-irrigation which will change the agricultural prospect in Ladakh. He added that these are the days of 'precision farming' and one shouldn’t blindly cultivate crop.
The chief guest of the event; Dr, Ravi Kumar Gupta, Director of Public Interface, DRDO Headquarter, New Delhi also briefed about DRDO and spoke high of farmers. He added that, "Lal Bhadhur Shastri, former Indian Prime Minister's slogan 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kesan' has gain popularity since the two foundation of Indian society are indeed the Army and the farmer. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former PM of India add a word to the same slogan' 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kesan, Jai Vigyan'; DIHAR is setting the strongest example of this motto".