KL NEWS NETWORK
The Narendra Modi government is chalking out a comprehensive plan to engage Kashmiri youth with sports activities in a bid to keep them away from the spectre of “radicalization”, the reports claim.
The move comes on the heels when the security grid is apprehensive about the ‘growing popularity’ of ISIS in the valley and increased publicity by Burhan Muzzafar Wani, a Hizb militant from South Kashmir, on social media to lure young boys.
According to reports, Home Minister Rajnath Singh recently chaired a meeting where he is understood to have directed the Union Sports Ministry to prepare a “comprehensive plan to engage the young people of Kashmir in sports”. Sources said that cricket and football have been identified as the two most popular sports in the state.
Pertinently, a Parliamentary delegation during the summer unrest of 2010 had proposed an initiative to encourage sports activities among Kashmiri youth.
“Sports would be a good way to positively motivate the youth. In our first budget, Rs 200 crore was allocated to Jammu and Kashmir. This shows the Centre’s special interest in Kashmir,” Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told NDTV.
The ministry plans to upgrade the different stadia and training facilities in the state. It will also organise talent hunts and competitions in the state identify local talent. The ministry will also provide exposure to players from the state by sponsoring them to participate in sporting events at national level. “This will help these youngsters from Kashmir explore the rest of their country and will help in integrating,” a senior government official said.