Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Step in the Right Direction

Kashmiri youth finally realize that there is no future without a broader vision

600 Youth Get Job Letters

Srinagar: The Centrally-sponsored Himayat programme should make merit the criterion for selection of unemployed youth to ensure its success in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said today.

"Merit should be only criterion to select the youth for training under Himayat, keeping political and other influences strictly away from this programme to ensure its success," Omar said addressing a training-cum-placement letters presenting programme under 'Himayat' at JKEDI complex at Pampore.

Himayat is a Centrally-sponsored training-cum-placement programme for unemployed youth in Jammu and Kashmir. Youth are provided short-term training for at least three months, in a range of skills.

Omar said the youth of Jammu and Kashmir are talented enough to prove their mettle and ability at all fronts.

"They only need opportunity and exposure to prove their capacity and capability of rendering meritorious service in any organisation," he said, adding that Himayat is right initiative in this direction.

The state government has flagged skill development and employability enhancement as important aspects to open up employment for the youth, he said.

He said government jobs are not answer to the huge unemployment problem.

"We have to create new avenues for youth and enhance their employability to get easily jobs in private sector," he said, adding that Udaan and Himayat programmes have been launched to achieve this target.

Omar said that during his recent visit to Kolkata, he interacted with the first batch of trainees selected under Udaan for skill upgradation trainings in various trades.

"I was pleased to learn that 96 per cent trainees have been short listed for permanent jobs in private companies on their outstanding merit," he said.

He expressed gratitude to Union Minister Jairam Ramesh for extending support to Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking on the occasion, Ramesh announced enhancement of post-placement support for the youths who have been provided jobs in various companies within and outside the state after receiving training under Himayat programme.

He also announced raising the monthly financial support from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 per person and increasing the stipend period from two months to six months.

Ramesh said the Rural Development Ministry will facilitate accommodation facilities for youth of Jammu and Kashmir outside the state and involve more private companies in the Himayat programme.

Over 950 trainees were provided job placements in the programme held at SKICC in December last year, he said, adding that as many as 600 young boys and girls were handed over job letters today.

He said a target of imparting training to 7,000 youth and facilitating their placement in various companies within the State and outside has been set this year.

Later, Omar and Ramesh handed over the placement letters to the successful passouts of various vocational courses.

(Kashmir Images)

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