Another day, another terrorists attack. A government building in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pampore area near Srinagar has been burning since Monday due to heavy exchange of fire between security forces and militants holed up inside the building.
The site of an earlier attack in February, this year, the building houses the J&K Entrepreneurship Development Institute. The institute is widely acknowledged as a Valley success story, drawing youths from different parts of the state to its programmes on skill development and capacity building.
Officials at EDI, who rank it as one of the most successful startups in the country, underline that it’s a centre par excellence with state-of-the-art regional centres across Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
Also read: Terrorists still holed up in govt building, heavy exchange of fire continues
Community organisers are present in all 22 districts of the state, enabling entrepreneurship and promoting development at the grassroots.Established in 1997 to develop and hone entrepreneurial skills, the EDI began functioning in 2004. Since then, more than 4,000 youths have trained at this institute — these include 1,800 youths from the Valley.
Unfortunately, the same success story has been target of terrorists more than one time. In fact, a month before the last encounter, 373 youths successfully completed their training at the institute — they were trained for three weeks from December 21, 2015 to January 13, 2016.
“Currently, two short-term business entrepreneurship courses help the unemployed youth understand opening of new businesses, and in getting government subsidies, processing loans and finances for the businesses,’’ an EDI senior instructor said an English daily. “Many who received training and loans are now running successful ventures across the state.’’
The EDI offers short-term programmes on handicraft, boutiques, shawl making, embroidery, training for pharmaceutical stockists, timber shops, and other courses.
On Monday, after the militants again occupied the EDI complex, former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: “No wonder for the 2nd time this year they have attacked the institute. They want young Kashmiris to be subservient & bitter not self-reliant. All the EDI ever did was train young Kashmiri boys & girls to stand on their own feet & not seek government jobs. Militants don’t like that!”