The Union Minister was speaking at the inaugural function of 2-day Kashmir Youth Festival (Together for peace) at SKICC today.
The function was jointly organized by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan in collaboration with National Service Scheme and Department of Youth Services and Sports in which 600 youth from these organizations are participating.
Makan said the Union Government is committed to upgrade the sports infrastructure in J&K to popularize sports in the state and promote the sports talent in the new generation. He said that sports need to be universalized and promoted as culture so that the youth get trained and bring laurels to the state as well as the country.
The Minister said the central government is extending every possible assistance to the State for creation of sport infrastructure and promotion of sports activities, adding that sanction of archery centres, synthetic football playfields, skiing, promotion of water and adventure sports are steps in that direction.
Makan said the youth exchange programmes provide an opportunity of interaction among participants to understand the rich diverse culture of the country. He said besides strengthening communal harmony, these festivals also foster national integration and development. He said last year1800 youth from J&K state visited other states of the country and got opportunity of interaction and cultural exchange.
Referring to Skill Development Scheme, he said 50 crore youth across the country would be trained by 2022 under the scheme to hone their skills and increase employability for themselves in the country as well as abroad.
Minister for Youth Services and Sports R S Chib said the central government is keen to develop sports culture in the State, adding organization of the 2-day festival is a step in that direction. He said it is the fifth visit of Union Sports Minister to J&K to personally monitor the youth related activities in the state.
The Minister said the festival would provide an opportunity of interaction to the participants with one another and prominent personalities like Shabana Azmi, Nayeema Mehjoor, Radha Kumar.
Chib extended his gratitude to union Government for liberal funding for improving sports infrastructure and engaging the youth of the state in constructive activities.
Commissioner Secretary, YSS B. A Runiyal highlighted the activities of the department and said that various youth related activities were organized in the state. He said last year over Rs. 22 crore were spent for creation of sports infrastructure in the state.
Joint Secretary, Youth Affairs and Director General NYK Rakesh Mohan said the festival was a part of regular feature of NYK.
Joint Secretary, Youth Affairs and Director NSS Ms. Sarada Ali Khan presented vote of thanks.
Among others, Director Information Kh. Renzushah, Director Youth Services and Sports (YSS) S. Jaipal Singh, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo,