SRINAGAR: Eagerly waiting at her stall inside the premises of Central University of Kashmir in Nowgam campus-I where a 2-day food festival kick-started on Monday, Shakira- a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) student was attracting student customers to buy her ‘Yummy Salacious’ food that she prepared at her home a day earlier.
Her cuisine is part of 2-day food festival ‘Darbaar’, aimed at utilizing theoretical skills that the students have been taught in classes during the past days.
“When we talk about the business and entrepreneurship in Kashmir, we tend to focus only on the theoretical framework of things and put little effort on practical aspects,” Shakira, an aspiring women entrepreneur said.
For her, the festival provided an opportunity to boost the entrepreneurship skills and assess where she stands now after being enrolled for more than one year in the university.
Imran Bashir, manager of the entire event said the idea of hosting a festival came to his mind after deliberations with his friends who wanted to give practical shape to skills and abilities acquired while studying the art of business.
“As a student, your main focus remains on attending lectures, preparing assignments or doing other kind of stuff related to syllabus. But, here we made an effort to do out of the box thing and explore what it takes to be an entrepreneur,” Bashir said.
From spicy Hydrabadi Chicken to mouthwatering Shami Kabab, from delicious Biryani to traditional Harrisa, in the fest, jointly organized by the Directorate of Students Welfare (DSW) and the School of Business Studies (SBS), the students had set up different food stalls, showcasing the multicultural cuisine of the valley and the Kashmiri handicrafts.
Nakia Yawar, a food lover, who owns the stall selling Hydrabadi chicken and fried fish, says festival is an initiative to circulate a positive message for aspiring entrepreneurs.
“From the last more than five months, life remained at a standstill. A hopelessness and a sense of negativity prevailed among budding entrepreneurs. And from this fest we wanted to create a sense that risks were part of the profession. If you don’t take them, you won’t succeed,” Nakia said.
Fond of Kashmiri handicrafts, Mehak Nisar intends to give professional touch to her family business that deals in traditional Kashmir handicrafts in Srinagar.
“It is wonderful to sell what you are fond of. Our family business still runs on traditional methods. I want to change the trend and carry it forward in a professional manner,” she said.
On the sidelines of the event, addressing the gathering comprising Deans of different Schools, Heads and Coordinators of various departments, faculty members and students, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir lauded the students and the organizers for holding such a gala event.
“Despite tight content transaction schedule, the students have been successful in organizing the festival,” he said while complimenting the efforts of the students.
He appreciated the students for not skipping their classes in the run up to organizing of the event. “I am highly impressed with the students show and assure them that a mega event like this would be held after the examination,” Mir declared.