Hindustan Times reports, Jammu and Kashmir government has roped in panchayats to nurture sports talent at the grass root level across villages.

In a conflict-ridden state like Jammu and Kashmir stemming youth from being radicalized has become a challenge. The authority is trying to steer the young people towards field to give them a normal life.

Initially, four districts in south Kashmir, Kulgam, Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian will be the emphasized as the crisis of violence is more prominent there. In the last three years, several young men from these areas have joined terrorist organizations.

Saleem ur Rehman, director of Sports Services and Youth said, “Starting from the forests of Guerez to the cold deserts of Ladakh and plains of Samba, the J & K government will equip all the 4,300 panchayats with sports equipment to introduce youth to popular games like cricket, football, carom boards and chess. The orders for equipment have already placed and will be handed over to the respective panchayats soon.

We will be selecting forty youths from every panchayats and the process has already started in south Kashmir. They will be trained by Jammu and Kashmir Services and Sports department coaches to compete at panchayat level and later district, state and national levels.”

Shafiq Mir, the J & K Panchayat Conference Chairman said, “Youths living in villages don’t have any facility available. It is a great initiative. The government should also construct play fields at panchayat levels so that our boys and girls could compete with their counterparts living in cities.”

Jayita Sardar

Aspiring journalist working for sportzbusiness.com and exploring the juncture of sports, business and technology. Interested in sports economy and logistics of sports policy-making.

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