The demand of cricket balls is on rise in curfew hit this winter capital of the state as due to snapped mobile internet service, ‘gully cricket’ has hit the streets and youth instead of indulging into any ‘unwanted’ activity remained busy in sports.
While the Jammu and Kashmir Government has laid focus on boosting sports to engage ‘misled’ youth of Kashmir and channelise their energies, the youth in Jammu is already more inclined towards sports and games and in view of snapped mobile internet service for almost a week in view of curfew imposed here when violence broke out during a daylong shutdown call given by the Chamber of Commerce and Industries to protest killing of CRPF men in Pulwama Terror attack, they loved hitting ‘boundaries’ and ‘sixes’.
The streets are flooded with youth in parts of the Jammu city but not as ‘trouble makers’ but busy enjoying ‘gully cricket’ in view of curfew clamped for the fifth day and snapped mobile internet service.
The demand of tennis cricket balls, usually used in playing ‘gully cricket’ is also on rise in parts of the winter capital particularly in shops located in residential areas of the town.
Pertinent to mention here that the Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik headed administration on December 5 last approved Rs 350 crore budget for raising infrastructure in separate sports and games disciplines.
In order to complete all ongoing works of stadiums, play fields including game specific infrastructure, Rs 350 crores has been proposed to be spent during 2019-2020 besides an initial provision of Rs 5 crore has been provided in the budget to promote youth exchange programmes.
“The youth of present era, which remains busy on mobile can be seen shouting and screaming ‘hip hip hurray’ after winning ‘gully’ cricket matches because the mobile internet service remained snapped for the past one-week in view of curfew,” Ramesh Lal, who is running a small grocery shop in Talab Tillo area here said.
He expressed that he had a stock of tennis cricket balls, which has almost finished due to the cricket matches being played on streets.
The shopkeeper said that the youth can be engaged more and more in sports to move them into the right direction instead of making them feel alienated in such situations.
“Numbers of youth in Jammu are unemployed and have no major job avenues. The government must engage them in sports activities by raising good infrastructure,” Subhash Chander Mahajan, a wholesale dealer asserted.
He said that the Jammu city has no playfields and grounds available except the lone Maulana Azad Stadium, which is also under renovation to build it as an exclusive cricket stadium and added that youth can be provided space so that they indulge in more sports activities.
Apart from youth ‘gully cricket’ also turned to be source of entertainment the senior citizens busy watching the ‘gully’ matches while basking in the sun.
“It is good to see our young boys rather than indulging into any wrong activities, are playing ‘gully’ cricket and enjoying the curfew days,” Purshotam Lal, a retired government employee said.
Asserting that sports is the best medium to keep self engaged and away from negative thoughts, Ankhush Sharma, a college student demanded that the government must introduce such programmes and activities to give right directions to the youth especially those who are educated and are unemployed.
Meanwhile the tennis cricket balls sale goes high for the past few days in the town since the curfew was imposed after violence.
Not only the parks located in posh localities, the streets are also flooded with the youth enjoying ‘gully’ cricket and making optimum use of restrictions imposed. (UNI)