* Calls for reinventing Forest Deptt
JAMMU, Feb 28: The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today said the youth in J&K need to be skilled according to their needs and aspirations to enable them to have not only gainful employment, but also a sense of dignity in the jobs they do.
He said there is a need to sharply focus on skilling and up skilling of youth to improve their skills not only for better jobs but to enable them to set up their own ventures.
Dr Mehta said skilling and up skilling programmes have to be anchored in the concept of ‘learn to earn’.
Dr Mehta made these comments while chairing a meeting to review the progress under Mission Youth, an ambitious programme to empower unemployed 50000 youth in J&K through gainful employment.
He said the mission should focus on empowering youth to set up their ventures /start economic activities at new and upcoming 225 heritage/tourist/trekking destinations/sites/routes.
Dr Mehta asked CEO, Mission Youth to tap the youth in and around the areas of these 225 new and upcoming tourist/heritage/trekking sites/ routes for skilling and assistance to enable them to make a living where it would matter to them the most.
He asked the mission to build the database of 5 lakh youth through youth clubs and other mission initiatives with aadhar numbers, mobile numbers and other relevant information in an effort to map their job requirements by the end of April 2022.
Earlier, CEO, Mumkin, Shahid Choudhary made a brief presentation on the progress made under various components under the Mission.
Dr Mehta asked the mission to follow aggregator approach and set up SHGs for resource/economic multiplier effect and added that such groups can be skilled/trained to make their living using forest and non forest produce in ways that are in harmony with the nature.
Meanwhile, Forest Department organized a one-day consultation meeting-cum-discussion on ‘Forests for Livelihood’. The event was inaugurated by the Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta in presence of Sanjeev Verma, Commissioner/Secretary Forest Ecology and Environment Department.
The event focused on consultation with stakeholders for undertaking diverse activities for the creation of forest-based livelihood in Jammu and Kashmir; and was kicked off by an exhibition of forest-derived handicrafts, forest produce, and display technologies for processing of forest produce by various institutes of repute, followed by two technical sessions and a panel discussion.
In his address, the Chief Secretary highlighted the key role of Forests in sustaining the economy; supporting the livelihood of millions of people living around forests, and ecosystem services provided by forests, especially in a hilly region like J&K.
For the preservation of green cover, the Chief Secretary urged the Social Forestry Department to take the mission of ‘Har Gaon Haryali’, green villages, a step further to ‘Har Ghar Haryali’, green homes, in an attempt to encourage households to plant trees. He also suggested launching a movement on the lines of Har Nagar Ek Upvan, a green space for every town.
Coming hard on encroachment of forest lands, the Chief Secretary said, that such activities would not be tolerated and all the guilty would be evicted by law. Forests are for the people and not for individual encroachers.
Those present at the occasion include Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Dr. Mohit Gera; Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Executive Officer, CAMPA, Sarvesh Rai among other senior officers from various departments and heads of various premier research and educational institutions of the country.