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Mission Youth Initiative & Tourist Villages – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism | Breaking News J&K


At the outset, anything positive and constructive planned for the youth basically with intent to involve them in gainful activities that had potential of an acceleration effect to generate and widen economic activities, need to be prioritised and lent every type of support. The decision of identifying and developing certain number of scenic areas satisfying the requisite parameters as tourist villages in Jammu Region under Mission Youth Programme, therefore, must be hailed and looked at from the perspective of engaging youth in such a process for productive economic purposes. However, the UT departments likely to be involved in the process comprising Tourism, Finance, Revenue and Forest Departments as also Banks, district administration and other agencies etc, for the purpose, must as a natural corollary, devote to the task as one cohesive force. Administrative lethargy, procrastination, red-tape, insufficient budgeted allocation, divergent approaches to concerned emerging issues are often becoming as stonewalling factors. If just a cursory view of the tourism related projects in Jammu is made and their current fate known, less of positivity and hope of a turnaround becomes duller, which otherwise is expected to give tourism a tangible boost in Jammu region. We are definitely in an era where the obsolete and conservative cycle of routines and target less oriented approaches, has to be broken and the ideas like promoting rural tourism by transforming attractive and charming areas in five districts in Jammu division as tourist villages given a cogent and solid form. By promoting such areas as potential attractive spots of tourism, area specific specialities – be it the natural beauty, historical importance, cultural identity enticing interest, hospitality and cuisine specialities and the like, have got to be popularised and made widely known . It, therefore, follows that to start with, reasonably enough infrastructure of roads, transport, en-route basic amenities, spot facilities of staying, light, water, medical and other facilities must be provided on consistent basis in order to make the idea, which presently is in conceptual mode, get converted into a reality. In the absence of the concept being backed by a comprehensive approach and the required support to translate the same into a reality, the idea would be treated as just utopian and would meet the fate of many such schemes floated in the past. Youth groups comprising 5 members who must be eligible for financial assistance being in the form of bank loans supported by margin money or subsidy component paid by the Government all up to a limit up to Rs.10 lakh, in fact , is aimed at providing direct and indirect employment opportunities to the identified youth. However, it is still unclear as to how the rural entrepreneurship under the Mission Youth would be supporting the initiatives of the UT Government towards giving a fillip to village tourism, rural economy and transform the selected villages. Unless the said Mission and the purpose of financial assistance etc are clearly spelt out, the financial assistance in the form of repayable bank loans would slip into jeopardy of erratic, irregular and defaulting repayment schedule casting a long dark shadow on the very concept of village tourism. On a very positive note, there is no denying the fact that conceiving the idea of developing potential tourist areas in our rural landscape into standard tourist villages, can create wonders. The idea of engaging the (unemployed) youth in the exercise of transformation of the identified villages is a novel and productive step decided to be taken by the Government. It is loaded with many factors topping which is to provide employment opportunities, direct and indirect to them and be partakers in the developmental process undertaken by the Government in order to give a practical shape to the concept. However, a dedicated and a consolidated team of professionals, bureaucrats, experts and youth representatives must monitor and pilot the scheme to ensue it succeeds in it mission and the rural tourism circuit was duly created . Only then ideas can be claimed to have been given the life to move.

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