Lahore, August 31 (TNS): Amid working for development in sectors like agriculture, trade, energy, industries, communication and transportation, Shahbaz led Punjab government did not ignore Sports, Youth Affairs, Archaeology and Tourism.
The provincial government has taken various initiatives to promote Youth Affairs, Sports and Archeology & Tourism.
Punjab is known for producing players of national and international repute who have been instrumental in bringing laurels and glory to Pakistan. Our youth has grown in the information age, so it has more potential to bring change in the society. The youth should be provided with processes, programmes and strategies to harness its potentials. Government of the Punjab is fully awake to the situation, so it has brought Youth Affairs & Sports wing under a new Department, Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology & Tourism Department for youth development reforms.
Punjab government’s Sports and Youth Affiar department has provided the basic sports infrastructure at council to Divisional level while provision of International Level facilities like Swimming Pool at Lahore, registered by FINA, Tennis Stadium & Squash complex in Lahore has been done.
The department has established Sports Academy meant for training and coaching of players, coaches and sports officials to impart effective & efficient expertise and formulating of Punjab Sports Festival 2012 to 2017.
Up till 2003, sports was the subject of Education Department. In September 2003, the Sports Department was established. In February 2011, the Sports Department was disbanded and all the responsibilities, assets, liabilities and functions were transferred to the Higher Education Department. On 14th October 2012, Sports became the subject of a new Department Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology & Tourism.
The vision of the department is to help build healthy and tolerant society through promotion of sports, to conserve / preserve the cultural heritage of Punjab and develop it to have healthy share in the economic growth of Punjab and Pakistan and to develop and promote tourism in Pakistan so as to attract tourists to our historical & cultural heritage, provide entertainment and recreation facilities to the people, and to spread benefits of tourism among the public for employment creation and poverty reduction with ultimate aim of contributing to our national economic growth.
The Chief Minister thinks that sports are a means to empower the youth by putting their energies to constructive use as the more the fields are a buzz with sports activities for youth, the less the chances of their being brainwashed by the extremist propaganda.
According to Shahbaz Sharif’s vision sports are essential for the development of any society, as they not only provide recreation to the general public, but also help encourage qualities of discipline, physical fitness, and exploitation as well as utilization of abilities of the youth.
The basic purpose to establish this department is to bring out the best in the youth. In order to achieve this goal it aims to act on the following lines: International youth exchange programme. Development of youth centers. National youth award programme:- Youth conferences. National youth camps. Youth programmes for computer literacy. Youth conventions. Youth literary competitions. Recognition of top position holders in education at National level. Development of the Chief Minister Youth Commission. Projection of Punjab Youth Councils.
For the promotion of Sports, following plans have been devised by the Government:- Infrastructure development. Talent scouting, sports competitions etc. Production of films and literature/regarding material. To promote the sports through information technology Sports event management. Welfare of the sportsmen.
In order to achieve the desired objective, following steps are being taken:- Construction of state of the art Gymnasiums in all Districts of Punjab. Development of Sports facilities at School clusters in all Tehsils in Punjab. Up-gradation of Sports grounds at Tehsil level in Punjab.
Punjab Youth Festival is a sports festival held annually in Punjab, Pakistan. Chief Minister of the Punjab Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated it on October 20, 2012.
The opening ceremony was held on that day in the National Hockey Stadium, Lahore.
During the ceremony, 42,813 students sang the National Anthem in what became a Guinness World Record (GWR) for the highest number of people to have ever sung a national anthem in a live gathering.
The previous record had been held by India, in which fifteen thousand people had participated in an anthem singing.
The event is being organized every year to promote youth.
Similarly to promote tourism, Punjab government took bold steps which included Cholistan Jeep Rally, Thal Jeep Rally, Lahore tourism bus service, Murree Safari train, Pakistan International Mountain Festival and other initiatives.
In Archaeology section, Punjab government spent millions of rupees to restore some historical heritage including Rohtas Fort, Shahdrah Complex Lahore, archaeology sites from Taxila to Swat and other mega projects to preserve the historic heritage of the nation.