Sindh govt urged to give priority to youth development

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Nov 25, 2021

The participants at a workshop have urged the Sindh government to give priority to the youth development in the province by allocating more resources to the youth affairs department, expanding infrastructural and institutional outreach of the youth affairs department at least divisional level for increasing the regional coverage and outreach of youth to implement policy and ensure the formation of youth development committees at the district level.

The United Nation Development Programs (UNDP) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organised a validation workshop on Tuesday for the finalisation of the implementation plan for the Sindh Youth Policy at a hotel in Karachi.

Representatives from the Youth Affairs Department, academia, civil society groups, business and corporate sector, youths, students, youth with disability forums, media persons and technical experts attended the workshop and shared their views on the implementation plan.

Javed Hussain, a consultant to the UNDP for its youth policy support program, Dr Ismail Kumbhar from the Sindh Agriculture University, Shahab Mughal of Sindh University, Fatima Ahmed and Syed Moin Haider Zaidi from the UNDP, Syed Habibullah from the Directorate Youth Development, Noor Najeer of the Civil Society Support Programme, and Shahnaz Sheedi of the South Asia Partnership Pakistan were prominent among the participants.

Participants said the major highlights of eight years of the implementation plan included initiating the youth capital fund, small and free interest loans, central job information and awareness databank for youth, promoting youth entrepreneurship, launching volunteerism, promoting peace and cultural harmony, mental health and life skills awareness among youth, strengthening the participation of youth in local government process considering the inclusion of youths living hard to reach areas and vulnerable youth population.

They suggested that the members of the Youth Development Committee can play an active role in monitoring and advocating youth responsive budgets at district levels and that already-notified YDC should be made effective.

They also discussed that the Inter-Departmental working committee should be formed to develop synergy and compile progress and speed up the implementation of the youth policy. In this regard, an inter-departmental coordination Working Committee inter-departmental coordination needs to be developed in the Youth Affairs Department.

A working committee will include the departments of youth affairs, health, education, and agriculture, Sindh Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority (STEVTA), Mental Health Authority, and Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Youth Development Program.

Participants of the workshop also suggested the formulation of the Youth Development Commission to support for technical advice, ensure resources, strategic direction and performance assessment. The participants suggested the composition of the commission and its mandate, scope, and suggested at least 30 per cent representation of youth and transgender for their effective participation in the planning and policy implementation process.