The government is looking at programmes to send youths to villages along the country's borders and have them spend at least a day there, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur said on Wednesday.
The Minister was addressing the government's 14th Tribal Youth Exchange Programme for the development and mainstreaming of tribal youths in areas affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE), which got under way at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi.
The exchange programme, run in collaboration with and funded by the Department of Left Wing Extremism of the Ministry of Home Affairs, has been organised by the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan of the Youth Affairs Ministry since 2006.
“The vision of PM Modi’s Ek Baharat Shrestha Bharat must be taken forward and we plan to send our youth to different villages at the border and let them spend at least a day there,” Mr. Thakur said.
A government statement said the aim of the Tribal Youth Exchange Programme is to "sensitise LWE tribal youth to rich cultural heritage of India and to enable them to appreciate the concept of unity in diversity", in addition to helping them create emotional connections with their peer groups through different activities.
The Ministry added that 220 selected youths between the age of 18 and 22 are participating in the programme this year. These youths were selected from Left Wing Extremism-affected districts of Sukma and Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh, Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh and Jamui district of Bihar.
This Tribal Youth Exchange will focus on interactive sessions with Constitutional authorities, dignitaries and eminent personalities, panel discussions, lecture sessions and activities under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. Other activities include a declamation contest, skill development, industry exposure visits for career guidance, exposure to on-going sporting events, visit to a CRPF camp and cultural performances, among others.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs said that a total of 26 such exchange programmes (each lasting seven days) are scheduled for the current financial year.