By Syed Showkat
Sports and games are a part and parcel of life. As part of life, the state government launched various initiatives to resonate sports in Jammu & Kashmir. Sports that were affected due to continuing turmoil are rejuvenated by the state and engage the youth. Unfeasible circumstances not only detached our youth from sports but also make them victims and vulnerable.
Youth is the future; their engagement is an investment in the progress and development of any state. Their welfare is possible in a peaceful environment and youth is the pillar of any revolution and change in society. So, without peace human development, happiness and welfare are impossible. A peaceful society has peace-loving citizens. Only in a peaceable environment youth can be engaged in significant and positive contributions to maintaining and promoting peace and security. The youth could play a crucial role in preventing and resolving the problem of violence and act as a vital aspect of sustainability and inclusiveness. This could lead to successful peacekeeping efforts and peace-building measures in the region.
Henceforth, the sole duty of the government is to identify the drive and direct priorities, strategies, and activities for restoring peace and security by ensuring youth inclusiveness without discrimination. The youth of a country are always the greatest hope for a better future for the nation. Talent is available in Kashmir, but what is required is to identify such talent at the right time and provide the necessary support. The government of J&K launched a new sports policy on 3 February 2022. Through this policy, the government has envisioned creating a desired ecosystem enabling youth to scale new heights in different sports activities.
More than 28 lakh youth across JKUT in various sports discipline was engaged under the My Youth, My Pride mission which is overwhelming in 28 major games, including sports events for women, disabled people, and veterans. All this is trying to create a better future for the youth by navigating them clearly from any anti-social activity. The slogan my youth, my pride induces new hopes in the disrupted and affected youth of Kashmir. Nothing good ever comes of violence, said, Martin Lither. The statement further reveals that the establishment of peace in a society can be likened to removing a dam from the river. Human life, like a flowing river, wants to swell forward under its momentum. The pause made you ideal and physically unsound. The peace, pace, and motion in societal affairs are the actual progress and development. Violence struck peace and Peace from this point of view is like an opening of all the doors of life to the fullest possible extent.
Jammu and Kashmir are full of talented youth who need to be prioritized for the promotion of games and sports among the youth. The main objective is to use sports and games to transform the youth into a self-confident, organized, and competent workforce, which could bring behavioral change, social changes, and economic development to the region.
For this change state government has initiated several steps to ensure at least one playfield in every Panchayat which is yet a distant dream. As per Jammu and Kashmir sports council, around 500 athletes have won medals in numerous games at the national level. There has been a colossal revolution in sports infrastructure all over Jammu and Kashmir. Various new stadiums of the international standard have been created, while many others are being built in various districts of the Union Territory.
In the last two years, J&K athletes have proved their mettle. While Arif Khan represented India at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, Sadia Tariq won India a gold medal at the Moscow Wushu Championship. Bilquis Mir, Director of water sports, also became the first Kashmiri woman to be a judge at the Olympics. And in the IPL, Umraan Malik has also made his name by being the fastest bowler in India.
Todays Kashmir resonates with tourism, a booming economy, and most importantly, an emerging giant in the field of sports. In the last few years, the youth of Kashmir have been gaining recognition not just in India but even globally, due to their success in sports. Athletes from Kashmir are winning medals in various games like Wushu, Karate, and Kickboxing and are making Kashmir as well as India proud.
Importantly, lack of small playfields at village level makes our young talented youth at the receiving ends. The peace-loving and sports-loving youth want to see one playground at the Panchayat level and sports types of equipment at the village level as per the promise of the government to encourage the youth and to boost their youthfulness.