Union home minister Amit Shah’s ‘Mission Youth’ for Jammu and Kashmir has resulted in the creation of more than 4,200 youth clubs with the highest number of them coming up in Anantnag, Baramulla, Kupwara, Rajouri and Jammu. While announcing the Centre’s outreach programme during his three-day visit last month, he “extended the hand of friendship to Kashmiri youths”.

This is not the first time that the Centre is trying to engage with the youth. “In the past, several attempts have been made by both the Centre and state government to wean away youths from the path of violence by organising events, tournaments and football leagues. However, local boys joining militancy still remains a serious concern and requires more hard work and efforts from the administration,” a senior government official said. The Centre plans to create 4,500 youth clubs.

The new plan unveiled by Shah will have clubs for every panchayat and urban wards and they will be provided with a financial assistance of ₹25,000. These clubs will be managed by the district administration which has so far provided buildings to more than 160 such clubs. “The members will be below or up to the age of 35 and will be responsible for spreading awareness among youngsters, counter false propaganda being peddled by Pakistan and their sympathisers in the Valley,” another official added ..

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