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Watch: ‘Pedal for Peace’ cyclothon in Kashmir for G20 delegates

Cyclothon celebrated the arrival of foreign delegates associated with G20 event which will significantly boost Kashmir's tourism sector on a global level

The picturesque district of Ganderbal witnessed a grand welcome to the historic G20 event in Kashmir, with the “Pedal for Peace” cyclothon organized by the social voluntary organization ‘Voice for Peace and Justice’.

More than 500 athletes from across the valley participated in the event, expressing their desire for peace and development in Kashmir. As the G20 delegates arrived in Kashmir for the Y-20 event, the focus on promoting Kashmir’s traditional handicrafts and tourism sector at the global level became prominent. The new generation of Kashmiri youth is eager for more employment resources to be created in the region and sports to be promoted and nurtured so that their talents can be showcased at the international level.

“The aim of organizing this Cyclothon was actually to celebrate the arrival of foreign delegates associated with G20. This international event will significantly boost the local traditional art of handicraft, carpet, and shawl weaving and enhance Kashmir’s tourism sector on a global level, which, in turn, will create new sources of employment in violence-hit Kashmir,” said Farooq Ganderbali, the patron of Voice for Peace and Justice.

The cycle race, which covered the Lar to Sher-i-Kashmir Park Manigam route on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway Bypass passing through Sambal-Manigam areas of the Ganderbal district, was divided into three categories: senior and junior men and open age categories for women.

The opening and presentation ceremony was attended by world-renowned cyclist Dr Mohammad Akbar Khan, who encouraged all participants and awarded cycles, trophies, cash prizes, and certificates among the first, second, and third positions in all three categories.

“The Kashmiri youth, who were once exploited in the name of religion and freedom, were made scapegoats and misled to be laid in graveyards. Whereas now is the time where our talented youth would shine in Asia, Olympic, and other world championships,” added Farooq Ganderbali.

The organizers also assured to provide athletes with better opportunities in the sports field in the near future, taking another step towards promoting sports in the region.

The cyclothon organized by VoPJ was to welcome the G20 meeting in Srinagar, which could be seen as a gesture of support for the forum’s efforts towards sustainable economic growth and development in Jammu and Kashmir. With India holding the presidency of the G20 till November 2023, the event is seen as an opportunity for the region to showcase its potential and promote peace and prosperity.