Srinagar, July 21: Government has constituted ‘district level task forces’ for engagement of youth in sports to stop them from ‘diverting’ towards other activities.
The task forces have been constituted for promoting youth engagement and sports activities to chalk out modalities and prepare a roadmap for finalising the programme pertaining to sports and youth engagement policy.
An official document of the office of Divisional Commissioner office reveals that task forces would identify the gaps with regard to sports, culture, and infrastructure.
They have to “prepare calendar of the activities for purpose of youth engagement/sports that could bring out a change on the ground to make them useful instruments of change and also to ensure furtherance of sports/cultural activities”.
The task force shall comprise of officials from youth services and sports, education, sports council, rural development, police, BSF, and Army.
They have been asked that they shall also keep scope for inclusion of cultural activities, career counseling, personality development, drug de-addiction programmes, advocacy campaigns against social evils.
The documents say that district development commissioner Srinagar has recommended that “special focus needs to be placed on the down town where majority of the population lives, which has been adversely affected in the present turmoil”.
“Special allocation of funds be made for development of different facilities like gymnasiums, entertainment halls, career counseling centres to have a salutary effect on the downtown youth,” the DC Srinagar as per documents has recommended.
Similarly, district development commissioner Ganderbal has recommended that a “comprehensive plan” needs to be formulated for the tribal areas of the district and stone pelters need to be engaged in sports activities, to bring in them a “positive behavioral change”.
Dineshwar Sharma, the Centre’s special representative to Jammu and Kashmir has also stressed on the “need to engage in dialogue, especially with Kashmiri youths who continue to feel alienated”.
The documents pointed out non-availability of funds for building of sports infrastructure. In Shopian district, there exists one stadium and there is “meager infrastructure” available, it adds.
Jammu and Kashmir has only 137 playfields against the requirement of 2500 for a population of over Rs 1.2 crore.
An official of JK Youth Services and Sports said that lack of play fields have been affecting the performance of players. “The existing play fields are in bad shape. Only few grounds have drainage system in place,” the official said.
Secretary, JK Youth Services and Sports, Javed Khan, said that government was taking measures to develop sports infrastructure. “Around Rs 20 crore are being spent on sports activities in the current year. Besides Rs 10 lakh will be provided to each block for sports activities,” Khan said.