Bilal Ahmad

Meeras day celebrated in Sopore to remember Atiqa Bano

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Sopore: Meeras day was observed in Sopore on Sunday to remember its founder Atiqa Bano.

Various dignitaries including chairperson SPAIN foundation Jaspreet Kour, Mohammad Saleem Beigh of INTACH, Special Secretary Jal Shakti department Dr G N Itoo, president municipal council Sopore Masrat Rasool Kar, renowned poet of valley Ghulam Nabi Aatish, president Adabi Markaz Kamraj Kashmir Mohammad Amin Bhat, Ex deputy director Radio kashmir Dr. Rafeeq Masoodi, social activist from Sopore Javid Ahmad Bhat, Mushtaq Ali Khan, Peerzada Ashiq.

Besides, Poets, writers, teachers, civil society members of Sopore town and other people were present at the occasion.

The Meeras Mahal in Sopore town is a historical Museum which is preserving important cultural and historical symbols of the state’s past.

It was set up by the late Atiqa Bano who was popularly known as ‘Atiqa ji’ or ‘behen ji’. She was a renowned educationist and heritage activist of Kashmir.

Born in 1940, Atiqa Bano joined the education department in 1958 as a teacher. In the 1970s, she also established Majlis-e- Nisa, an organization that worked for the welfare of downtrodden women.

She retired as the director of Libraries and research in J&K in 1999. In later years, she set up a unique museum to preserve the cultural heritage of Kashmir.

She started collecting manuscripts, ornaments, coins, traditional dresses, utensils and other ancient items from families across districts of Jammu and kashmir, which she later preserved in her museum ‘Meeras Mahal’.

To preserve essence of this popular heritage structure, a community interaction was also organised by the Indian national trust for art and cultural heritage (INTACH) in association with Adabi markaz kamraj Kashmir, Majlisun-nisa and the management of Meeras Mahal at Meeras Mahal Museum in Sopore.

Various speakers spoke about the lifestyle of Atiqa Bano and her established museum. The speakers said the items of the museum played a major role in the living conditions of people in Kashmir during the past.

These sculptures give an idea of the lifestyle and growth which has been seen in the valley.

The present manager and curator of Meeras Mahal, Imtiyaz Ahmad Bhat during the event briefed about the importance of the place by highlighting how the future generation is losing touch with its heritage and culture.

Bilal Ahmad

Bilal Ahmad is a reporter and covers city beat and sports, can be contacted [email protected].

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