Come winter most of the people from Gurez and Tulail valleys of Bandipora move towards other parts of the state to avoid winter vagaries while many put up there to enjoy the serene silence of snow. Now youth have turned to ice cricket from last three years to overcome the weather violence.
Known for the harsh winters, Gurez has not only succeeded in attracting its own inhabitants but have now caught the attention of outsiders after youngsters have initiated the ice cricket in the area.
Muhammad Abass Mapnoo who is organizing the Ice cricket tourney told Rising Kashmir that the Ice cricket helps people to avoid the winter vagaries.
“Youngsters from nearby hamlets gather for playing Ice Cricket but it has become the reason of attraction for people,” Mapnoo said.
Earlier the winter for the people of Gurez used to be the season of artistic production now a bane not only for the government but for people too.
However, from last three year, the winter comes with an opportunity of playing games and sports besides lacking proper sports facilities.
Gurez and Tulail valleys receive over 8 feet to 12 feet snow during the routine winters. Snow with freezing weather conditions turn vast open areas into big play fields and youngsters show their faces to start laying turf to play many games especially cricket.
For youngsters summer in Gurez or Tulail is always busy. In case they get any relief from daily work, they don’t have proper sports fields to play outdoor games like cricket or football.
Government has constructed small playfields attached with various schools however the area lacks proper public sports stadium though one such mini stadium is under construction.
There are seven play grounds in Izmarg,Dawar, Dawar(BHSS), Budugam, Baduaab and Purana Tulail but all these playgrounds are fenced and can be used only during the school day in summer.
Meanwhile, District Youth Services and Sports Department have submitted a proposal for construction of seven open play fields earlier in 2018.
"We lay turf on frozen snow and play cricket,” said Tariq Ahmed who was preparing turf on snow in Dawar.
Tariq said that there is no proper playfield in Gurez that can cater to the needs of young people.
With total population of over 37,992 (2011 census) 22,978 are males while 15,014 are females. Among the total 5,026 families, there are over 6085 children aged (0-6 years) amounts 16% of the total population area have more than 10000 youth between 10-35 years of age. Many youths in conversation with Rising Kashmir rued lack of basic sports.
They said that government is making promises about the construction of stadium and improvement of other sports facilities but of no avail.
“We are waiting for the full-fledged stadium, met many officers and ministers earlier nobody cares to expect false promises,” said Mushtaq Ahmed a local resident.
Pertinently in Gurez and Tulail valley nearly population of over 38000 civilians and 60000 troopers are living alongside each other, that too in absence of proper basic facilities. The area remains cut off from rest of the valley as the only connecting 86 Kilometre Bandipora-Gurez road remains closed from December to April. Though administration during the current year had a strong fight with nature to keep the road open but have so far failed to beat the nature besides pressing heavy sophisticated and modern machinery to service to keep the road open.