With gun culture dying in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the young generation is gradually showing an inclination to move towards a book culture.
As things stand today, the youth in J-K has realised the futility of fighting a war that ends in misery.
With the government starting various educational initiatives in the Valley such as free coaching centers for competitive examinations, make-shift schools for tribal and Gujjar populace, the youth has now hope for a better life.
They are grabbing all educational opportunities with vigor and enthusiasm. Efforts of the government to draw young and boys out of the toxic environment is paying off.
Last month a native of Tenz village of Shopian district and the son of a fruit merchant, Haziq Parveez Lone topped the NEET-UG 2022 exam in the Union Territory and ranked 10th in the country.
He scored 710 marks out of 720. He credits his feat to his secondary and higher secondary government school teachers in Turkwamgam village (Shopian) who instilled a passion for studying hard and living a better life in him.
It is pertinent to mention that Haziq belongs to a district that was notorious for its youth joining militant ranks not so long ago. Today South Kashmir is emerging as a competitive district in the fields of education and entrepreneurship.
In an effort to expose young minds to the world outside of J&K and inspire them to dream bigger, a five-day ‘Bharat Darshan’ Tour was flagged off in Srinagar recently.
The boarding and lodging facilities, including food and air tickets were provided to the students by the J&K administration.
Famous multinational companies, tourist spots, major industries, and historical places were covered in the tour. The travellers described the trip as an eye-opener and life-changing.
At the beginning of this year a Gujjar girl, Jabeena Bashir, from Shopian qualified for the NEET exam in her first attempt scoring 423 marks.
She gives the credit to her government school teachers who motivated her and directed her through all steps to this achievement.
The Indian Army posted at remote locations have also acted as substitute teachers to such Gujjar children who migrate with their families with changing seasons owing to their occupation.
The Tribal Affairs Department recently operationalised a 100-bed hostel for female students in Jammu and one is coming up in Srinagar.
The government plans to bring many more such hostels that will help bring students closer to education centers. The hostels will have all the modern facilities and subsidized meals. Tribal students will get scholarships and computer tablets with preloaded educational content.
To provide quality education to youth in remote areas of J&K, 25,000 additional seats are being provided by setting up 50-degree colleges. For the first time, the higher education sector of the UT will afford quality education to the disadvantaged section of society.
Under the ‘Aao School Chalein’ Campaign, there has been a 14.5 per cent increase in school enrolment in 2021-2022.
Besides, formal school education, 70,000 school children from 714 government schools are being imparted vocational training in 14 different types of trades.