Focus on the youth
The Lieutenant Governor administration’s decision of establishing Youth Clubs in every Panchayat across Jammu and Kashmir and engage 22,500 youth from 4290 Panchayats in the first phase of the scheme is a welcome step and will go a long way addressing the issues confronting the youth of the Union Territory. The government will be incurring an expenditure of Rs 12 crore for this initiative to make these Clubs the nerve centres for all youth programs; community involvement; IEC, sports and cultural activities. Under the project “Mission Youth”, the government is planning to launch several schemes soon in various sectors aimed at making a greater impact on the youth engagement and livelihood generation programmes in the UT. Equally appreciable is the decision of the government to start two state-of-the-art coaching centres in Jammu and Srinagar to impart coaching for Civil Services and other competitive exams under PARVAAZ, a livelihood generation scheme. The Lieutenant Governor has emphasized the importance of incorporating young generation’s perspective in government policy and ensure their participation and representation at all levels stressing that health, education, economy and employment are some of the key areas where young people can contribute for the sustainable development of the UT.
It is pertinent to mention here that youth are the main strength of each and every society. It is the attitude and behavior of the youth that determines which direction the society is going to move in. Unfortunately from past more than three decades this vital section of the society has been on the receiving end. Sadly the governments, that be, neglected this section and therefore it couldn’t contribute in society building as one would have desired. Given the volatility of the situation here, the youth, particularly those from Kashmir Valley were always seen through the security prism. They were viewed as a “liability” not as an “asset”. On their part, when the youth found themselves pushed to the wall, they turned cynical and skeptical. They failed to contribute what they were capable of contributing. Though tall claims were made about youth engagement but practically nothing was done on the ground. Result being that youth were and still are missing from every sphere of life. They have never been involved in policy making instead all the political parties projected some of their cronies and projected them as youth icons and leaders leaving the majority of youth high and dry.
In this backdrop, the LG administrations decision of involving youth in youth centric and other developmental and social schemes is appreciable. Need is to transform the words into actions. The youth of the UT have bitter experiences of past regimes that would promise moon and stars to them but would practically do nothing. The youth of the UT are enterprising and given a chance would not only earn a respectable livelihood for themselves but would be the job providers but they have been always the victim of red tape. Though several of the youth schemes already existed there but the baboodom has made the execution of these schemes so laborious that at the end, the youth desirous of entering into some venture, end up disheartened. Therefore, the Lt. Governor would have to ensure that whatever schemes are being launched are executed without creating impediments for the youth.