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Indian Sports minister focuses on youth, sports development in North Eastern states

The union Youth Affairs & Sports minister of India, Ajay has out lined his ministry’s vision and objective with respect to the North Eastern States of the Country.

a file photo of Ajay Maken

Delivering the keynote address at the workshop on “Youth and sports development in the North Eastern Region”, Maken underlined that, skill development among youth aimed at facilitating employment; evolving Sports as a source of employment and prestige and Preservation as well propagation of the rich cultural heritage of the region will be the primary aim and functional area of his Ministry in the North Eastern States.

The workshop was co-organized by FICCI and also had participants from the National Skill Development Council and BASICS.

Reiterating that the North East was the Power House of Sports in the country, Maken said that the STC at Imphal had alone given the country 6 and 5 Gold Medals at the CW Games and the Asian Games recently. Such natural ability and aptitude towards Sports needed encouragement and support, and the Government will do everything to augment the efforts of the youth in the region, he added.

The average population of Youth between the age of 15-35 years in the North East was to the tune of 43 per cent and there was a need to channelize them into the national mainstream though positive intervention aiding gainful and meaningful employment, Maken stressed.

He informed that there were 59 District youth Coordinators (DYC), 1027 National Youth Corps Volunteers (NYC), 10475 active Youth Clubs in the region. The aim of the workshop being held today was to identify skill development curricula for development and implementation. Once developed, the DYCs and NYCs will be trained in various skills by experts. These trained youth will further train youth in different skills right upto the level of Panchayats.

The minister declared that the Ministry had decided to identify and convert 18 of its 79 Sports Training Centres (STCs) and Special Area Games Centres(SAGs) into Model Centres, two of these were to be identified in the North East. He requested FICCI to pitch with Corporate houses to help the setting up of at least 5 such model centres.

The Ministry had also decided to enroll and develop 1.7 lakh NSS volunteers in the region, a lakh more than the previous figure, it is learnt.

The minister said, focus of the Ministry was going to increasingly hover around youth in the North eastern Region and the Tribal areas and the next similar Ministerial workshop of states having Tribal Areas was scheduled to be held in March.

2500 villages in the North Eastern states had got sports facilities at a cost of Rs 40 Cr under the Panchayat yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyaan (PYKKA) during the last 3 years and it would be further strengthened and extended. The Minister also informed that the next North East Youth Festival will be held in Shillong in Feb-March this year.

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