The construction of the first centrally-funded sports ground in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara has brought cheer and excitement to the youth in the area.
According to Adil, a youngster who lives in the Kupwara district, the construction of this new playground created a space that enabled youngsters to hone their skills as sportspersons while also keeping them away from deterrent activities.
“Since there are no other sports grounds in the district, many young people in their free time fall prey to drugs and alcohol as they don’t have much else to do to keep themselves occupied. We are glad that this ground has been constructed because we can spend our evenings playing here,” Adil told ANI.
“As excited as we are for this new ground, we do hope that we receive more funding in the next few months as we still need more facilities. The fencing needs to be completed and we require a changing room. When guest teams come, they need room to change in privacy so that they may not feel uncomfortable. We would also like to have more equipment so that we can play volleyball, football, etc,” he added.
Shoukat Hassan Pandit, Block Development Chairman of Langate said that the new ground would pave the way for sportspersons to emerge from the Union Territory.
“We are very glad that more attention is being paid to the development of Jammu and Kashmir. In the last two years, we have been receiving ample funds from the Centre. Last year, when the Lieutenant Governor came to visit, we requested a mini-stadium and work started almost immediately with the sanction of Rs 24 lakh. Since Jammu and Kashmir became a Union Territory, construction and development have been fast-tracked.” he said.
As per Pandit, being physically active would help the children to focus on studies and help them with mental health problems.
“Jammu and Kashmir has no dearth of talent. We only lack in infrastructure. With all this help from the Centre, we are sure to have a sportsperson in the future. Every morning, 300-400 children come to play here. So far, we have finished fencing two sides of the ground and have built a spectator sitting area. We hope to receive more funds in the coming months to complete the construction,” he added.
August 5 marks the one-year anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.