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More youth-centric govt initiatives in the offing

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SHILLONG, Aug 6: The state government will soon introduce more initiatives for youths that will provide them with an ecosystem that connects innate talents with skilling opportunities and employability-building interventions.
This was informed by Commissioner and Secretary of Sports & Youth Affairs department, Vijay Kumar D, during a graduation programme in Umroi, Ri-Bhoi.
According to a statement, as many as 1,900 students from campuses spread across the districts of Ri-Bhoi, North Garo Hills, South Garo Hills, West Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills graduated from Aspire Meghalaya at different functions in on Friday.
Addressing a gathering at one such programme, Vijay Kumar D said, “One of the reasons Aspire Meghalaya was conceived was to instill in each of you the kind of confidence that will embolden you to articulate your point of view without hesitation no matter who or how big your audience is. But it is very important for that confidence to be backed by a set of values and a sound belief system.”
He added how the programme was inspired by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma’s vision of every child possessing a foundation of soft skills. “The hard, technical skills you pick up from your formal education will truly be amplified when they are set on a rock-bed of values such as friendship, kindness, patience and humility, and soft skills that will empower you to voice your aspirations and connect with people,” he added.
He also lauded the efforts of the Avenues Team for conducting youth-centric programmes across the state, including in the remotest areas.
He also informed that that the state government will soon introduce more initiatives for youths that will provide them with an ecosystem that connects innate talents with skilling opportunities and employability-building interventions.
The students who graduated on Friday from Aspire Meghalaya are from various institutes including Ferrando Higher Secondary School, Nongrah and Little Flower Higher Secondary School, Mawbri in Ri-Bhoi; Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Mendal and Bajengdoba Higher Secondary School in North Garo Hills; Pioneers’ Secondary School and Captain Williamson Memorial Government College in Baghmara, South Garo Hills; Maharam Government Higher Secondary School and Sngap Syiem College in Mawkyrwat, South West Khasi Hills; Kiang Nangbah Government College, Jowai, in West Jaintia Hills; and St. Paul’s Higher Secondary School, Marbisu in East Khasi Hills.
Students react
Chisemchi N Sangma, a class 10 student of Ferrando Higher Secondary School, Nongrah, while reacting to the training programme, said, “The best lesson I learned from Aspire is Leadership which does not mean that we have numerous badges of recognition attached to our name, but to recognise and practice our values. Only then can we become leaders, in our households, in our communities and of ourselves.”
Jyotirmoy Talukdar, a class 9 student of Pioneers’ Higher Secondary School, Baghmara, expressed his gratitude to the Aspire trainers for having helped him build his confidence and overcome his fear of public-speaking.
Happy Chrisveleen Kurbah, a class 9 student of St. Paul’s Higher Secondary School, Marbisu, spoke of her Aspire Meghalaya experience, saying, “These days, in my observation, I see that bad habits and addictions change people for the worse. In one of the sessions, we were given awareness about drug abuse and how it can lead to degradation of our quality of life.”
“The graduation songs sung by the students were the highlight of these functions across districts, and from each campus emerged a special song with a beautiful message from the young graduates. The students in Mawbri delivered a moving performance of popular Khasi song Iaid Ko Mynsiem by Shillong’s very own rock-fusion band, Snow White, who were also present at the event. In Mawkyrwat, the audience was treated to a subtle rendition of Summersalt’s KamaiIa Ka Hok,” the statement said.
Aspire Meghalaya, an initiative of the Sports and Youth Affairs department, seeks to empower adolescent youths and young adults with critical soft skills, life preparedness and talent recognition opportunities.
The programmes are supported by the State Education Mission Authority of Meghalaya (SEMAM) under the Education department and are implemented by AVENUES, Meghalaya-based Personal Excellence Social Enterprise.
In addition to empowering youths with common minimum soft skills through modules that instill improved self-worth, communication skills, clarity of thought, critical thinking, emotional resilience and confidence, a huge part of the initiative is to provide a platform for youth to showcase their talents across music, singing, performance arts, literary arts, cultural and indigenous art spaces along with unique opportunities to explore alternative careers.

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