Youth & Kashmir

In the last decade, the youth generation in Indian-administered Kashmir has emerged as a significant political actor in the movement for Kashmiri self-determination—or what is locally known as Tehreek. Comprising over 30 percent of the total population, Kashmiri youth (15-30 years old) are the main driving force behind the recent anti-India mobilizations (2008, 2010, 2016) in Kashmir, and as such are viewed by the Indian state as a major security challenge. The state frequently reports that these youths readily mobilize in anti-India protests and often clash with Indian security forces by throwing stones at them, especially during the gunfights between government forces and the local rebels.

Sindh to form youth development committees in all districts

KARACHI: The Sindh government has started working to establish youth development committees at district level all over the province to engage youth in constructive and productive activities to enhance their skills and promote their talent.

This was announced by government officials during a two-day training workshop on Sindh held by Bargad, a national level organisation working on youth development, and OXFAM in collaboration with Sindh’s sports and youth affairs department here at a local hotel on Saturday.

The workshop “Sindh Youth Policy (SYP) 2018 – Formulation to Implementation: Agenda for Youth” was meant to support implementation of the newly enacted SYP 2018. Thirty representatives of youth groups from across Sindh including youth from Empower Youth for Work (EYW) project in Jamshoro attended the workshop.

Caretaker Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Dr Junaid Shah, Sports and Youth Affairs Administrative Secretary Dr Niaz Ali and Bargad Executive Director Sabiha Shaheen were among the notable speakers.

Sports minister in his interactive discussion with youth representatives said that the province has formally adopted a youth policy and upcoming governments are bound to invest more on youth.

He encouraged the youth to be in touch with government officials, elected leaders and ministers to promote youth development in the province.

Sports and Youth Affairs Department secretary said that the provisions of youth policy should be implemented as it has been announced. The Sindh government is particularly interested to uplift girls in its youth development initiatives, he said.

Sabiha Shaheen thanked the government of Sindh, OXFAM in Pakistan and youth groups for implementing the SYP 2018 right after its approval in May 2018. She said that the workshop was a first major step to link youth groups with youth affairs department.

During this two days activity,  the youth representatives got orientation about the contents and process of SYP  2018 and learnt about working of governance structures in Sindh and as to how the SYP 2018 would proceed ahead to fulfill its pledged initiatives.

They designed an implementation plan and advocacy projects for implementation of the SYP 2018. They particularly worked on youth employment and health rights issues in Sindh. These plans and projects will be submitted to sports and youth affairs department.

The youth representatives resolved that link between youth of Sindh and the sports and youth affairs department was an imperative for success of the youth policy, demanding an early and efficient implementation and mass awareness about contents and government promises made in the newly enacted SYP 2018.

Sindh Youth Policy officially launched

KARACHI: Sindh’s first ever youth policy officially launched in presence of hundreds of youth participants including provincial minister, government officials, international donors and members of the civil society here in a local hotel on Friday evening.

The much-awaited policy drew technical support from Bargad and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), while Oxfam, RHRN and Civil Society Programme (CSSP) and a number of other civil society and youth organizations, government bodies spurred the process.

Speaking at the Event, chief guest Youth Minister Abid Hussain Bhayo said that the government of Sindh is cognizant of the sheer number of young people in Sindh and is working towards radical changes that would transform their potential into a driver of growth for the province.

He announced that under the Sindh Youth Policy, a Youth Development Commission and a Youth Venture Capital Fund will be established by the government. “Student Unions will be revived and remodeled to promote pro-peace, women-friendly and student-centered activities on campus. Five percent seats will also be reserved for young people in local bodies,” he said.

The minister further told the audience, that under the policy, youth will be engaged in decision-making at the municipal and provincial levels while community-service and volunteerism will be promoted. “Through youth-led campaigns, inter-faith harmony will be encouraged,” he added.

Youth Affairs Department Secretary Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi announced the establishment of the Government of Sindh e-Rozgar scheme, which will provide job opportunities to youth without formal education and said the Sindh Youth Policy is result of a province-wide consultative process involving multiple stakeholders and most importantly youth. “Efforts will be made to encourage youth entrepreneurship through trainings at incubation centers, market linkages and partnership with educational institutions,” he added.

Bargad Executive Director Sabiha Shaheen congratulated Sindhi youth for being given a comprehensive framework aimed at their social, economic and political empowerment. “From 2012 to 2015, over 5000 youth participated in the consultative process. The policy, devised in light of suggestions and needs of Sindh’s youth includes a clear roadmap, time-bound strategies, quantified targets and potential partners,” she said.

Oxfam Country Director Mohammed Qazilbash said that harnessing the energy and strength of young women and men to become active citizens is core to Oxfam’s goal of transformational change. “Young people in Sindh face multiple forms of inequality and grapple with challenges inherited from previous generations. This policy ensures youth have the necessary skills and opportunities to define the future for themselves and their province,” he said.

Dr. Kaiser Bengali, Economist and Dean SZABIST shared, “It is important to know where we want to go. For this it is important to know which us to take. A policy tells us which bus to take and where we want to go. Sindh Government and Bargad deserve credit for formulating the Sindh Youth Policy.”

RHRN National Coordinator Faisal Shabbir applauded the Sindh Youth Policy for envisioning, supporting and enabling a positive policy environment for adolescents. “I hope the policy will make way for provision of adolescent and youth friendly health services in primary health care system and will initiate youth-led campaigns to promote youth health and their rights,” he said.

Noor Muhammad Bajeer, Chief Executive Officer of Civil Society Program (CSSP) expressed hope that the Policy will bridge the urban-rural divide by initiation of collective youth actions of the youth of Sindh and has opened many avenues for youth of far flung areas of the province. He appreciated that the government plans to promote active citizenship, volunteerism and respect for rule of law among youth.

A youth representative Abdul Bari said that the spirit of the formulative phase of the Policy will be sustained and an alliance of government, private sector and civil society organizations will put the youth at the centre of the policy implementation in Sindh.

A woman youth representative welcomed move by the government to appoint ‘Youth Ambassadors’ on boards of all autonomous bodies and state owned enterprises and would ensure reservation of 10 percent employment quota for female youth and employment quotas for the disabled and minority youth.

An intensive social media campaign was also held during the event to reach to a wider audience. The hashtag #SindhYouthPolicy trended on twitter in multiple cities of Sindh.

Sindh govt’s sports and youth affairs dept gets only 0.86% of the budget

KARACHI: The provincial government decreased the allocation for sports and youth affairs department from 1% to 0.86% of the total budget for the fiscal year 2017-18.

Budget allocation for the sports and youth affairs department for the coming year is Rs2.1 billion, of which sports department’s budget is Rs1.66 billion, while 440 million is for the youth affairs department. A total of 28 schemes were approved in the budget, which includes schemes that have been pending since more than 10 years.

Health budget up by 80% in budget for fiscal year 2017-18

Out of their 24 schemes from last year, the sports department completed 16 schemes while eight remain incomplete, that have been extended. The date for completion of the four schemes has been extended from June 2017 to June 2019. These projects are construction of sports stadium in eight cities of Sindh, mini sports complex at Kunri, Malakhara Stadium at Sehwan Sharif and construction of players hostel and fitness gym at Railway ground in Sukkur.

Out of the four schemes, the first two have been pending since more than 10 years. The construction of sports stadium in eight cities, which includes Matiari, Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Tharparkar, Sanghar, Shikarpur, Jacobabad and Tando Allahyar, was approved in 2006 and is now supposed to be completed by 2019. Meanwhile, the construction of mini sports complex at Kurni, Umerkot, was approved in 2007 and is proposed to be completed by 2019.

Budget 2017-18: Information and culture budget up by 50 per cent

The remaining four schemes from last year’s ongoing schemes are also targeted to be completed by 2019. Out of the 25 proposed new schemes in the last budget, 21 schemes were approved while three were not approved. One of the schemes, which is the construction of Malakhra ground near Dargah Hazrat Ahmed Shah Lakyari in Matiari, has again been included in the new schemes. Its estimated cost has been increased from Rs20 million to Rs25 million.

Other than this, the budget for youth affairs department has been increased from Rs425 million to Rs440 million. Out of their 11 ongoing schemes of the previous budget, six schemes have been completed while the remaining will be completed by 2018 and 2019.

Six out of seven proposed schemes from the previous budget have been included in the budget for upcoming fiscal year, while eight new schemes have been proposed for 2017-18.

Sindh Assembly’s body on sports and youth affairs meets

Karachi, February 19, 2015 (PPI-OT): A meeting of Sindh Assembly Standing Committee on Sports and Youth Affairs was held today at 11.30 a.m. in Committee Room No.2 Sindh Assembly Building, Karachi, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Ashfaque Ahmed Mangi, MPA/Chairperson Standing Committee on sports and Youth Affairs. Secretary Sports and Youth Affairs briefed on Sports and Youth Affairs Department.

The meeting was also attended by Mr. Sheikh Abdullah, MPA, Mr. Muhammad Iftikhar Alam, MPA, Mr. Adnan Ahmed, MPA, Ms. Sumeta Syed, MPA, Dr. Sikandar Mandhro, Minister for Law and Parliametary Affairs, Sindh, Mr. Tahira Pechuho, Consultant, Law Department Sindh and Mr. G.M. Umar Farooq Secretary Provincial Assembly of Sindh.