SRINAGAR: Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta on Monday urged the officers of the Sports and Culture Department to provide opportunities for every individual to engage in sports or other cultural activities. He emphasised the importance of giving people a chance to channel their creative energies, improve their quality of life, and contribute to their overall well-being.
Dr Mehta made these remarks while chairing a meeting to assess the preparations for the rollout of the LG’s Sports and Cultural Rolling Trophies for the employees of Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting was attended by the Principal Secretary of Finance, Commissioner Secretary of GAD, Secretary of Tourism & Culture, Secretary of Youth Services & Sports, Director of YS&S, and other concerned officers from these departments.
Dr Mehta stressed the need for the active participation of 100 percent of the population in creative activities, providing everyone with an opportunity to showcase their talents and further develop them. He emphasised that everyone deserves happiness and a healthy life, and sports, art, and culture are effective means to achieve both of these lifestyle improvements simultaneously.
He urged the department to involve people in as many sporting and artistic activities as possible, including both men and women, starting from the Panchayat level. This involvement should encompass traditional art and sports activities. He advised the conduct of competitions in various fields, such as cuisine making, wickerwork, paper mache, woodwork, pottery, Bandpather, tug-of-war, wrestling, and other relevant activities for the local community.
Dr Mehta pointed out that before 2019, the participation of people in sports across the Union Territory was minimal, largely confined to urban areas. However, today, the number has surpassed 6.5 million in the UT due to a focused approach on creating the necessary infrastructure and organising sports competitions in each village.
The Chief Secretary emphasised that by similarly prioritising cultural activities at the Panchayat level, participation could rise significantly. He encouraged innovative approaches to engage people and channel the youth’s energy into these activities, helping to prevent drug addiction and contributing to the creation of a “Nasha Mukt” (drug-free) Jammu and Kashmir.
While reviewing the rollout of LG’s Sports and Cultural Rolling Trophies, the Chief Secretary emphasised the inclusion of more art-related activities to provide additional opportunities for employees to unwind from their daily routines. He suggested the possibility of a competition between the Employees’ winning team and the LG Trophy winner from the civil side.
During the meeting, Secretary of Culture Syed Abid Rasheed Shah informed attendees that the department would organise cultural activities in various art forms, including singing, painting, debating, poetry, essay writing, and storytelling. Participation at the district, HoD (Head of Department), divisional, and administrative department levels would be ensured in each competition. The trophy would be awarded to the best administrative department and held by it until the next competition. Cash awards would also be given to the top performers in each competition.
Regarding the LG’s Sports Roller Trophy, Secretary of Youth Services & Sports Sarmad Hafeez stated that competitions in six sporting activities (Cricket, Football, Volleyball, Table Tennis, and Hockey) would be held in both Jammu and Srinagar. He added that 552 matches involving more than 1600 employees would be organized over a period of 100 days.
Additionally, sessions on yoga and mental health are part of this trophy. The meeting also discussed the venues, manpower, budget requirements for the sports competition, and the equipment and gear that would be provided to the participating players. (KNO)