Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], July 23 (ANI): Zahoor Ahmad is a busy man, but feels 'fulfilled.' As Covid-19 crisis gripped the Kashmir Valley, his garment-manufacturing unit, nestled in South Kashmir's Pulwama, manufactured thousands of face masks for the people of the region.
"When this virus came, we made about 80,000 face masks after district administration placed an order with us," says Ahmad, sitting in a cozy chair in his factory amidst the sound of dozens of sewing machines.
Ahmad's spirit of 'help your neighbour' is inspiring. The Khadi Village Industries Board (KVIB) helped him establish the factory, where other youth also work.
After the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year, several governmental schemes have reached Kashmir and benefitted many like Ahmad, who borrowed a loan under Prime Ministers Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP).
One of the flagship schemes of the government, PMEGP is a credit-linked subsidy programme aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector by helping traditional artisans and unemployed youth.
Tariq Ahmad is one such beneficiary, who established a similar sewing unit, where over 20 men meticulously stitch garments for the people.
"This is a very good step by the central government and unemployed educated youth are being benefited," Tariq told ANI.
He is now not only earning for himself but has been able to provide employment to several other youths in the district.
Javaid Malik, an employee of the unit said he got work opportunity the under PMEGP.
"I was jobless but now I am working at my friend's unit here. It is a good initiative by the administration, and I am thankful to them for giving me employment," said Malik.
The Kashmir Valley is home to nearly seven million people, out of which a little less than half are youths. With the revocation of Article 370, several young women and men have started making big, and are optimistic that the road ahead will be fraught with happiness and prosperity. (ANI)