Silent Youth of Kashmir: A Call for Change

Silent Youth of Kashmir: A Call for Change

Analysis Local News Opinion

By Syed Basharat Syed Hussain

The youth of Kashmir are often described as silent, not because they lack a voice, but because they have been systematically stifled by a myriad of socio-political issues. The situation has been exacerbated by the elite section of Kashmiri leadership, whose actions have diverted the youth and left them with few viable options. Corruption, backdoor selections, and a host of other injustices have created an environment where the young people of Kashmir feel disenfranchised and directionless. It is imperative that we address these issues head-on to prevent losing an entire generation to despair and inactivity.

S – Stifled Aspirations

The aspirations of Kashmiri youth have been stifled by systemic corruption and favoritism. Talented and deserving individuals often find themselves sidelined as opportunities are handed out through backdoor selections to those with the right connections. This corruption undermines the very foundation of meritocracy and leaves the youth disillusioned and demotivated. To combat this, we need transparent and fair systems for educational and employment opportunities. Only then can we ensure that the youth’s aspirations are met with the opportunities they deserve.

I – Inaction and Indifference

Inaction and indifference from both the government and the private sector have further compounded the problems faced by the youth. There is a dire need for proactive measures and genuine concern for the plight of young Kashmiris. Government departments must actively engage with the youth and create platforms for their voices to be heard. Corporations and SMEs should also play a crucial role in this process by providing internships, training programs, and employment opportunities that can help bridge the gap between education and employment.

L – Lack of Opportunities

A significant barrier to the progress of Kashmiri youth is the lack of opportunities in entrepreneurship and startups. The current environment does not support the entrepreneurial spirit, and there are few resources available to those who wish to start their own ventures. This lack of opportunities forces many young people to either migrate in search of better prospects or succumb to inactivity. It is essential to create an ecosystem that fosters entrepreneurship and innovation. This includes providing access to funding, mentorship, and infrastructure necessary for startups to thrive.

E – Empowerment Through Education

Education is a powerful tool for empowerment, but the educational system in Kashmir needs a major overhaul to meet the demands of the modern world. The curriculum must be updated to include practical skills that are relevant in today’s job market. Vocational training and digital literacy should be prioritized to equip the youth with the skills they need to succeed. By investing in quality education, we can empower the youth to become active contributors to society and the economy.

N – Nurturing Talent

The silent youth of Kashmir possess immense talent and potential that often goes unrecognized and underutilized. It is crucial to identify and nurture this talent through various programs and initiatives. Sports, arts, and cultural activities should be promoted to provide a platform for young people to showcase their abilities. Talent development programs can help in honing skills and preparing the youth for national and international competitions, thereby boosting their confidence and self-esteem.

T – Technology and Innovation

Embracing technology and fostering a culture of innovation are essential for the progress of Kashmiri youth. The government and private sector should invest in IT infrastructure and services tailored to the unique needs of the region. Initiatives like tech hubs, innovation labs, and coding bootcamps can provide the youth with the tools they need to become tech-savvy entrepreneurs. By integrating technology into their lives, we can help the youth of Kashmir stay connected with global trends and opportunities.

Y – Youth Engagement

Engaging the youth in decision-making processes is vital for their empowerment. They should be given a seat at the table where policies affecting their future are being discussed. Youth councils and forums can serve as platforms for young people to voice their concerns and contribute to policy formulation. By involving the youth in governance, we can ensure that their perspectives are considered and that they play an active role in shaping the future of Kashmir.

O – Opportunities for All

Creating opportunities for all, regardless of socio-economic background, is crucial for the development of the region. Special focus should be given to marginalized and underprivileged youth who face additional barriers. Scholarships, financial aid, and affirmative action policies can help level the playing field and ensure that everyone has a fair chance to succeed. Inclusive growth will lead to a more harmonious and prosperous society.

U – Unleashing Potential

The potential of the youth of Kashmir is immense, and it is our collective responsibility to unleash it. This can be achieved by providing them with the right environment, resources, and support. Mentorship programs, leadership training, and entrepreneurial workshops can help in unlocking this potential. By fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement, we can prepare the youth to tackle the challenges of the future.

T – Transformation Through Teamwork

Transformation is a collective effort that requires teamwork and collaboration. Government agencies, private sector entities, educational institutions, and civil society organizations must work together to create a supportive ecosystem for the youth. By pooling resources and expertise, we can implement effective strategies that address the multifaceted challenges faced by young people in Kashmir.

H – Hope and Healing

Lastly, it is essential to instill hope and promote healing in the hearts and minds of the youth. The tumultuous history of Kashmir has left many young people with emotional scars and a sense of hopelessness. Psychological support, counseling services, and community-building activities can play a significant role in healing these wounds. By creating a supportive and nurturing environment, we can help the youth of Kashmir rebuild their lives with renewed hope and optimism.

The bottom line, the silent youth of Kashmir need our attention, support, and action. By addressing the issues encapsulated in the acronym DIRT, we can pave the way for a brighter future. It is time for all stakeholders to come together and work towards empowering the youth, fostering entrepreneurship, and creating a vibrant ecosystem that supports their aspirations. With dedicated efforts, strategic planning, and unwavering commitment, we can transform the lives of young Kashmiris and help them realize their full potential. TheVOK thanks Syed Basharat Hussain for raising the issues that Kashmiri youth face in their day-to-day lives, via a Zoom call with Dr. Bilal Ahmad Bhat. Their insightful discussion highlighted the urgent need for systemic changes and the empowerment of young Kashmiris. We appreciate their commitment to making a positive impact and look forward to furthering these essential conversations.

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