SRINAGAR: The first page of Greater Kashmir of 3rd March had two interesting news items on the top half of the page. While one article was about the presence of 6 lakh jobless youth in J&K, the other was about the Skill Development Programme, ‘ATHROUT’ (Helping Hands) at Bandipora where General Syed Ata Hasnain was present for interacting with the youth.
We are all aware of the limited availability of Government jobs in Kashmir, the unusually large number of Government employees, resulting in heavy salary burden on the exchequer which ultimately leads to lack of funds for development work. The State is compelled to look back every time towards the Centre for funds.
Lack of private sector opportunities has also aggravated the unemployment situation. Moreover the ground situation in Kashmir has also changed for the better. While the state of uncertainty and turmoil appears to be a thing of the past, more and more youth are now looking for better opportunities and are ready to skill equip themselves to exploit the avenues available for employment outside the valley.
With this in view, the most appropriate solution appears to lie in the model of integrated participation of the Army, Civil Administration and private participation as demonstrated during the conduct Skill Development Programme ‘ATHROUT’ at Bandipora. The integration of all agencies has resulted in a unique synergy, which has ensured smooth conduct and participative feeling amongst all stakeholders. This example needs to be emulated and proliferation of such programmes throughout J&K is the need of the hour. Then only can we tackle the high unemployment rate prevalent in the State.