Mission Youth: Boon for enhancing skills, promoting youth entrepreneurship

J&K Mission Youth gets PMs’ award for Excellence in Public Administration

SRINAGAR, June 22: Mission Youth, a comprehensive youth development program, launched by Jammu and Kashmir government, has proved boon towards enhancing skills and entrepreneurship among youth of the region.

The initiative has been successful in addressing the socio-economic issues faced by the youth of the UT by providing them a platform to optimally harness their skills in different potential entrepreneurial prospects, thereby contributing towards growth and development of the region.

One of the primary objectives of Mission Youth was to address the issue of unemployment among youth which has been successful in creating employment opportunities by providing requisite training and support for entrepreneurship. Under the initiative, the government has established incubation centres and provided financial assistance to young entrepreneurs to start their own business ventures. This has not only created jobs but also boosted economy of the region.

Muzafar Wani of Ramsoo, Ramban, always dreamt of owning a vehicle as he wanted to secure a respectable livelihood that could fulfill the needs of his family for a better tomorrow. Wani, who was  working as  driver couldn’t bear  expenses of his family including his two daughters with that meagre salary.

“Sometimes I would not get work for many days. Many times I decided to stop my daughters from going to school. I always wanted to educate them but financial constraints always forced me to look another way”, Wani said as he was revealing his struggle of 12 years while working for different vehicle owners on daily basis.

Wani couldn’t save enough money to purchase his own vehicle and the unfulfilled needs of the family had left him in an devastating feeling of frustration and depression. That is when the Mumkin scheme started by  J&K Government through Mission Youth came to the rescue of Wani.

“In October last year, a friend of mine informed me about the ‘Mumkin’ livelihood scheme for unemployed youth and asked me to contact Mission Youth officials, Wani asserted. It was like a dream come true when I was informed about the benefits of the scheme, he said”. An elated Wani said that he is satisfied being the happy owner of Tata Yodha and is earning enough to feed his family and educate his daughters.

In the present financial year, 4482 youth have been facilitated for self-employment under the scheme with a total financial support of 165 crore through scheme banking partner and 16 crore as government contribution towards subsidy. Self-employment avenues created under this scheme have instilled a sense of self- reliance and positivity among youth.

Similarly, Tejaswani scheme is a specially tailored self-employment programme for empowerment of young women of Jammu & Kashmir aimed to promote entrepreneurship among them.

This scheme  helped them in attaining economic independence and improved their social status. All women entrepreneurs covered under the program have  been given Entrepreneurship Development Program trainings through Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI),  for attaining proper market skills and technology  knowhow for making their business viable.

Afshana of Ganderbal always dreamt of securing a respectable livelihood that could fulfill her personal and family’s financial needs. She, before opting for Tajeswani, used to give home tuition to small children in her neighbourhood. However, that was not sufficient  to bear her personal expenses.

“Sometimes I would feel very distraught. I always wanted to serve my family and society but financial constraints always forced me to look another way”, Afshana said as she was recalling her past.

Afshana established a poultry farm with the assistance provided under Tejaswini scheme and now she is providing employment to five more fellow girls.

This financial year, assistance to more than 1588 women entrepreneurs has been provided under the scheme with a resultant employment generation of 3615. Total financial assistance to the tune of ₹ 102 crore has been sanctioned along with an amount of ₹ 12 crore as government contribution towards subsidy.

Likewise, the Mission Youth started Youth Volunteer Program for youth engagement at grassroots level and rolled out a special volunteer program in the name of YOUTH CLUBS. The initiative was approved by the Governing Body of Mission Youth, headed by Lieutenant Governor. The volunteer program was made fully operational on the eve of International Youth Day 2021 and 4500 youth clubs have been constituted under the program across the UT.

More than one lakh youth have been involved in volunteer activities through the program who got opportunity to work through real challenges and make meaningful change in the society. Youth have been enabled to learn new social skills like collaboration and problem solving that are vital to succeed in academics, workplace, and their personal lives.

An amount of ₹ 7.25 crore has been provided as grant in aid for specified activities of the youth clubs in present financial year.

“We always felt alienated from the system but after joining Youth Volunteer Program of Mission Youth, we are feeling part of policy making and governance”, said Aqib from Pulwama.

The youth volunteer members of Pulwama organized a month long drug de-addiction campaign in every Panchayat of the district recently. “We will make Pulwama a drug free district within next few months”, said an enthusiastic Youth volunteer.

Mission Youth has been a game changer for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir. The initiative has provided the youth with the necessary resources and support to enhance their skills and promote entrepreneurship, thereby contributing to the socio-economic development of the region. The success of Mission Youth serves as an inspiration for other states to implement similar initiatives for the development of their youth.

Mission Youth’ has succeeded in turning J-K youth into ambassadors of innovation, peace and development through systematic interventions for youth engagement and outreach under six domains including livelihood generation, education/skill development, financial assistance, counseling/theory, sports and recreation.

Remarkably, tremendous work performed by the Mission Youth during past few years bore fruit when the Mission Youth was awarded with Prime Minister’s award for the Excellence in Public Administration 2022, under the Innovation (State) category on 16th Civil Services Day this year.